Hard Knocks Season Finale Recap


The season finale to wrap up another successful year on Hard Knocks is upon us. We got an extensive, and often emotionally touching, look at the Houston Texans. The finale is always tough because of the inevitable cuts to get the 75-man roster to the acceptable 53.

We learned last week that the standout star of this year’s Hard Knocks Charles James II has been cut from the Texans. We saw how that meeting went down in the finale. But more on that later.

The episode kicks off (literally) with a field goal competition between Vince Wilfork and U.S. Women’s World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd. Wilfork was impressive, matching Lloyd’s two attempts to split the uprights. Lloyd finished her visit by talking to the team about motivation. Wide receiver “E.Z.” was star struck, hoping to get a quick word in before she left.

Charles James gets some camera time to talk about being cut in earlier seasons. James was a part of the Giants in 2013 and 2014, but was cut. He explains that he stopped eating when that happened, and it was tough to overcome. A montage of the team’s hopefuls shows several rookies and others on the chopping block tell how they cope with the unstable job situation.

Carly Lloyd meets with the Houston Texans

From there, Hard Knocks shifts gears to the management side. Coach O’Brien meets with GM Rick Smith to go over what players have what it takes, and which don’t. E.Z. is the topic of conversation. Both E.Z. and Charles James seem like they’re right on the edge of the making the team and getting cut.

Well look who decided to show up! Star running back Arian Foster, who has been MIA since the first episode, makes an on-camera appearance. Foster has been nursing a groin injury since early in training camp, but has also been absent from Hard Knocks during this time. He’s briefly shown working out.

This was certainly a montage heavy episode of Hard Knocks. We’ve seen lengthy montages of workouts, practices and building to the final preseason game. It’s entertaining, but just time filler when it comes down to it.

The fourth and final preseason game is at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys are the host. It’s a preseason battle for Texas. The preseason section is earlier in the episode this week, assuming the last and final section of the finale is reserved for cut conversations.

Running back Chris Polk impresses in the game with several successful runs and a reception for a TD. Houston shuts out Dallas at the half, leading 7-0.

Kourtnei Brown has had a tough game, going into the game when he’s not supposed to and subbing out when he’s gassed. He comes out strong after the half and records multiple sacks and tackles early in the 3rd quarter.

But where Brown excels, Charles James is the other end of the spectrum. The 5-foot 9-inches cornerback is gets thrown on consistently. He just can’t make the plays. Dallas comes out victorious in the end by a score of 21 to 14.

Here are all the cuts from the finale:

Odell Beckham Jr. Plays Charles James in an online game of Madden 16

Rookie Safety – Corey Moore

Defensive End – Brandon Deaderick

Defensive Tackle – Louis Nix

Rookie Linebacker – Lynden Trail

Linebacker – Kourtnei Brown (picked up by Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Rookie Defensive Tackle – Christian Covington

Wide Receiver – Uzoma “E.Z.” Nwachukwu (Picked up by Miami Dolphins)

Cornerback – Charles James II (Picked up by Baltimore Ravens)

O’Brien and Rick Smith discuss the decision about James. O’Brien likes James because of his skill on special teams. But it’s his size that becomes the final decider.

Agony jumps to ecstasy. J.J. Watt is shown renting a private jet for his friends to head to Dallas. J.J.’s brother T.J. Watt is playing for Wisconsin at AT&T Stadium.

And that’s a wrap for the latest season of Hard Knocks. What do you think of the Houston Texans chances this year? I think their defense looks strong, but their offense looks shaky.