Sports

Football Watch

Phillips out; will Gilbert be next?

Football Watch

It's a race to the bottom for the Cowboys and the Longhorns while the Texans continue to wade in mediocrity. A national TV audience was privy to the latest low point for Dallas as the Green Bay Packers dismantled the Boys to the tune of 45-7 last Sunday night. Wade Phillips' imminent firing had the Twitter birds all aflutter the following day while his replacement, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, now has a chance to prove if he's got what it takes to captain the sinking ship. Despite Roy Williams' claims to the contrary, Jon Kitna is nowhere as good as Tony Romo which also lowers the value of his weapons at hand (Miles Austin, Jason Witten). Witten and Austin combined for five receptions (on 10 targets) totaling 60 yards and no TDs versus Green Bay. Tune in Sunday at 3:15pm on Fox TV for the latest drama as the Cowboys face divisional top team the New York Giants in New Meadowlands Stadium.

If the (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) Longhorns were an NFL team, coaches' heads would be rolling and Garrett Gilbert would be benched. The young QB's struggles continued in the embarrassing 39-14 loss to Kansas State last Saturday in Manhattan, Kan. This was his worst game (possibly ever) as he threw for five interceptions on the day. Garrett threw three interceptions in a row at one point and completed more passes to Kansas State players than did their own QB, Collin Klein, who only had four pass attempts on the day. Gilbert ended the game with 32 completions on 59 attempts for 272 yards with one TD and the five INTs. Is it too early to throw in the towel on Gilbert's season and bring in Case McCoy? Other than damaging Gilbert's confidence, they don't have much to lose. Except another game of course ... leading to this week's matchup. There's another challenge on the horizon for the floundering Horns as No. 10 Oklahoma State rolls into Austin this Saturday for a 7pm kickoff (ABC). Good news, UT basketball got started this week.

The 4-4 Texans continue to find ways to lose as they dropped their home matchup vs. the Chargers 29-23 last Sunday. Playing without first-stringers Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd, the NFL's leader in passing yards, Philip Rivers, made big plays to Seyi Ajirotutu and Randy McMichael with little resistance form Houston's league-worst defense. Fourth-quarter miscues from QB Matt Schaub and coach Gary Kubiak and a late-game interception that bounced off wide receiver Andre Johnson's knee added up to another loss for the Texans. The fourth in their last six games. With middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans gone for the season, the Texans are going to need a lot of offense to counter their pitiful D. Running back Arian Foster continued to shine with another great performance vs. the Chargers accounting for 197 total yards and two TDs. The Texans have a winnable (and must-win) game on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at noon (CBS).

Picks of the week: Last week I went 1-0-2, although my prediction for the first Bills win fell short. This week I like the Jets minus 3 at Cleveland (the Browns magic has to fade at some point), the Chiefs minus 1 in Denver (with Kansas City looking to bounce back after that heartbreaking OT loss to Oakland last week), and the Rams plus 6 in San Francisco.

Area Bars and the Football Teams/Fans They Cater To:

Aussie's catered to Browns fans last year but is focusing more on the Texans and Cowboys this season. 306 Barton Springs Rd., 480-0952.

Bagpipes Pub & Eatery supplies the setting for Alabama Crimson Tide football fans. 9070 Research Blvd., 467-8700.

B.D. Riley's Irish Pub is the place to go if you're a fan of Tom Brady's tresses or his football team, the New England Patriots. Fittingly, the pub is also home for Notre Dame games. 204 E. Sixth, 494-1335.

Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill (both locations) is a straight-up Steelers bar. 6901 N. I-35, 454-2247; 214 E. Sixth, 469-0001.

Billy's on Burnet is the "unofficial Packers bar of Austin." 2105 Hancock, 407-9305.

Black Sheep Lodge has a good contingent of Saints, Redskins, Vikings, Texans, and Titans fans. USC and Ohio State lovers cheer on their teams on Saturdays. 2108 S. Lamar, 707-2744.

Cedar Door hosts USC and TCU supporters. Second and Brazos, 473-3712.

Cool River Cafe is the place for Nebraska Cornhuskers fans. 4001 W. Parmer, 835-0010.

Hog Island Italian Deli hosts Philadelphia Eagles watch parties. 1612 Lavaca, 482-9090.

Joe's Bar and Grill Attention Colt McCoy lovers, Joe's hosts fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. 506 West Ave., 473-0885.

Mangia Pizza Mesa is the official home for Auburn football. 8012 Mesa, 349-2126.

Pluckers North Austin is the official home of the Arkansas Razorbacks. 9070 Research, 533-9464.

Pluckers South Lamar is the official place to be for Michigan Wolverines games. 3909 S. Lamar, 443-9464.

Shoal Creek Saloon is the home of the Saints. 909 N. Lamar, 474-0805.

The Tavern sees a lot of Steelers and Ravens fans show up for NFL Sundays. 922 W. 12th, 320-8377.

Third Base Round Rock caters to Giants, Chargers, and Steelers fans. Arkansas Razorbacks lovers meet there on Saturdays. 3107 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/388-2273.

Third Base Southpark Meadows is the place to be for Saints, Vikings, and Steelers supporters. In the NCAA, it's Oregon State, Minnesota, and Texas Tech territory. 9600 S. I-35, 381-2273.

Third Base Downtown has a good following for the Texans, Saints, and Vikings and generally a "pretty mixed" crowd. As far as college goes, it's the official home for Illinois Fighting Illini and Florida Gators fans, as well as followers of Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Kansas. 1717 W. Sixth, 476-2273.

The Warehouse Saloon & Billiards sees a lot of Vikings fans, among others. I've also heard Dolphins and Bears fans have been known to congregate there. 509 E. Ben White, 443-8799.

Weirdos is a Chargers bar. 12408 MoPac N., 291-6703.

Hit me up at gameplans@austinchronicle.com with additional info.

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