The Texans loss’ to the Colts has been hashed and rehashed. We won’t do that again here.
Well, maybe a little. Yes, they should have run the football more. Gary Kubiak’s weekly — or maybe weakly — attempt to explain away another loss did nothing to dispel the thoughts that his head simply wasn’t in the game on Monday night. The Texans probably weren’t going to win anyway, but the blueprint that worked in Week 1 would have worked Monday night, too. A 27-24 loss would have looked a lot better than another rout.
And coach, if you are going to say you didn’t run because you were 0-for-6 on third down…you wouldn’t have been 0-for-6 if you had run the ball more on first and second down. And the back to back passes on 3rd and 2 and 4th and 2 was just plain awful.
But we digress.
Enough of that. Let’s not hammer the obvious. Let’s look ahead to what’s left.
The Texans are once again in a must-win situation, hosting the Chargers on Sunday. What does it say about this team that at 4-3 they are 3-point underdogs at home to 3-5 San Diego?
A loss puts them 4-4 and square on the path to another 8-8 mediocre Kubiak special. If they come away with a win, 5-3 would look a lot better. It might also be necessary for a winning record as we look at the second half of the season.
Beating the Chargers won’t be easy. San Diego’s issues have been with special teams and too many turnovers. The Texans are last in forcing turnovers, so if the Chargers hang on to the ball, it’s hard to imagine the Texans defense stopping Phillip Rivers and Co.
The Texans will likely need a 35-31, Chiefs-like effort to win.
There are no guarantees the second half of the season.
They play at Jacksonville, and the Jags beat them twice last season. The Texans should be better than Jacksonville, and they should win, but does anyone have confidence it will play out that way?
After that, a trip to the Jets, where a win is highly unlikely.
Then they host Tennessee, which picked up Randy Moss on Wednesday. The Titans were already a handful for the Texans defense without him. With him? The Texans will once again need to win a scorefest.
At Philadelphia, Baltimore and at Tennessee follow.
The good news is the last two games appear to be the most winnable. They go to Denver, where the Broncos are getting worse by the week, then host Jacksonville in the season finale.
By then, the season could well be over. If the Texans go into one of their patented midseason spirals (see 2009), what happens the last two weeks won’t matter.
If they can scratch out a few shootout wins, however, including Sunday, and be sitting on a 8-6 record when they go to Denver…
Even then, at 10-6, they might be on the outside looking in. The Patriots and Jets will have a better record. The Steelers and Ravens will likely have a better record. The Colts or Titans will likely be better than 10-win teams, too.
The good news is the Texans control their fate with the Titans, Ravens and Jets. But with three ugly losses in seven games and little hope for defensive improvement, it’s hard to be encouraged.
A win over the Chargers might provide that encouragement.
If nothing else, 5-3 will look a lot better than 4-4.