Rolling into Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans were feeling pretty confident. Yet in a game where they could have made a big statement, the Texans instead got pummeled from pillar to post.
There was very little that went the Texans’ way from the start. They were still without the services of top receiver Andre Johnson for the fourth straight week. Rookie wide receiver Jacoby Jones was also out nursing a separated shoulder. Probably the worst news for the Texans was the new mindset of the Jags. They were no longer content to just overlook the Texans and they had revenge in mind after a string of losses to the Texans the last couple of years.
The Texans’ Ahman Green returned after missing several games, but the running back was useless in igniting a running attack that ranked 25th in the league.
The bottom line in the NFL is that the team must get it done in the red zone. It is what separates the great teams from the average teams. The Texans were one out of five in red zone attempts. Quite frankly, that just is not good enough to win football games.
I had to search high and low, but I was able to come away with a few positives from the game. Kevin Walter had a career-high 12 catches for 160 yards, but no touchdowns. I continue to be more and more impressed by Matt Schaub every week. After having David Carr as our quarterback the last five years, Schaub looks like the second coming of Joe Montana. Schaub’s poise in the pocket, decision-making skills, and leadership abilities are proving that the Texans made a smart move (a real rarity for this franchise) in acquiring him.
As Texans’ coach Gary Kubiak said, “When you run the ball for over nine yards a carry in this league like the Jaguars did, you’re kicking someone’s tail and that was ours that they were kicking today.”
Coach Kubiak, I can tell you exactly what you need to do to win next week: Copy the Jags’ game plan. Establish the running game early and often, shut down the other team’s run attack, and execute in the red zone.
I may seem really down on the Texans but that is just because I expected more out of them. Yet they have a new attitude this year and I can see that they are trying harder, except for Sunday. And I do realize that this is just one game and that it could be worse.