Friday, December 14, 2007

Super Mario to the Rescue

Mario WilliamsThe Blot Says… would like to congratulate #90, and former #1 pick, Mario Williams (North Carolina State) on his record breaking night last night against the Denver Broncos. While The Blot is not in any way a Houston Texans fan, I do live in the H and am glad to see Williams finally be able to shut his critics up with his incredible play on the field.

Mario WilliamsIn last night’s win against the Broncos, Williams had 3.5 sacks which is a new Texans’ single game record. Not only that, but with two games left in the season and the Texans already at a franchise high 7 wins, Williams has now tied the Texans’ single season record for sacks in a year with 15. (link) Mario is also the first Texan to record a sack in five consecutive games and now leads the AFC in sacks with 15, only trailing Seattle Seahawks’ Patrick Kerney by half a sack for the NFL lead. (link) Obviously the Texans are a young franchise but in less than two years Williams has also already surpassed the franchise record in career sacks with 17.5, a mark previously held by Kailee Wong at 16, and should be representing the AFC at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii come February. (link)

Mario WilliamsThe Blot is glad to see Super Mario doing well considering all of the media and fan scrutiny he has had to endure after he was drafted #1 in the 2006 NFL Draft instead of home town favorite and 2005 National Champion Vince Young or the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. Obviously The Blot would have preferred Vince, but when it was apparent Young was out of the equation I was glad to see the Texans choose defense over a flashy running back unable to be a team’s primary rusher. I can remember countless fights with friends from Houston over this subject but I stood firm with my belief that a solid defensive player with the potential to play in the league for 10 years is always better than a running back with the overall number one selection in the draft. Running backs are a dime a dozen. Just look at the Denver Broncos who have proven this by year after year starting RBs who were either late round selections or not drafted at all. All one has to look at is the 2005 draft where three running backs were selected in the top 5 picks (Ronnie Brown/Dolphins, Cedric Benson/Bears, Cadillac Williams/Buccaneers), none of which have really panned out over the course of a full season.

Mario Williams, Vince Young, Reggie Bush
I will admit the pick looked absolutely dreadful last year and I took a lot of flack because of my support of Williams. But the truth is the Texans’ defense was improving and the emergence of rookies Williams and linebacker DeMeco Ryans (University of Alabama) were huge reasons for this. Often times it takes time for a rookie to catch up to the speed of the NFL and it was no different for Mario. It didn’t help that Vince was already being selected to his first Pro Bowl while leading the Tennessee Titans to the playoffs and Reggie Bush was helping to turn around the New Orleans Saints while leading them to a division title and the NFC championship game. But now that Bush and the Saints have come down to earth and the Madden Jinx seems to be killing Vince’s ability to pass, Mario is able to shine all alone and show why he was worth the overall #1 pick two years ago.

Gary KubiakWith only two games left in the year the Texans are still in the playoff hunt and on the verge of possibly winning an 8th game, which would put the team at .500 for the year. This would be the highest win total in franchise history and the first time the Texans have ever ended a seasons at .500 or better. It seems Head Coach Gary Kubiak was the perfect choice for this team and has done a pretty good turnaround job after taking over a lowly 2-14 team just two seasons ago.

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