HOUSTON (AP) – Last week, Houston lost to Buffalo on a last-second touchdown pass. On Sunday, it was mistakes and a third quarter collapse that assured a defeat against the New York Jets.
With five games left and only three wins, Houston will need a couple more victories to improve from last year’s embarrassing 2-14 finish. The chances for a win this week seem good, as the Texans travel to play Oakland (2-9), home of the NFL’s least potent offense.
It won’t be easy though as the Raiders defense is allowing the seventh fewest yards a game in the league.
“I just want to see them keep battling,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “The character and the effort has been as good as I’ve been around. The football needs to get better. We’ve got to find a way to make some plays.”
The Texans trailed 9-3 at halftime before the Jets scored 14 points in the third quarter on the way to a 26-11 win. David Carr threw an interception to end one drive in the third quarter and the other three ended in punts after Houston failed to gain even one first down.
Kubiak said in meetings Monday he tried to stress the importance of players stepping up to make things happen for the team.
“Players have to go above and beyond in this league,” he said. “Just doing your job is not enough. You have to make some special plays. Those things you can’t coach.”
The Texans, who already have 11 players on the injured reserve, announced that backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels and center Mike Flanagan will miss the rest of the season with injuries. Rosenfels broke his thumb making a tackle on Justin Miller as he returned a badly missed field goal, and Flanagan has two fractured ribs.
The injury to Rosenfels leaves Carr as the only quarterback on the active roster. Kubiak said the Texans will sign Bradlee Van Pelt to replace Rosenfels. Van Pelt spent last season with the Broncos and was released just before the start of the 2006 season.
“He knows our system,” Kubiak said. “He knows what we’re doing, so it will help us have somebody ready to play real fast if something happens to David.”