Diagnosing the Houston Texans problems that contributed to a devastating 34-10 loss to the Giants Sunday is not exactly easy. It’s a mixed bag of problems, to say the least, that have been prevalent in the past three weeks.
Sunday was the first contest in which Houston was clearly dominated in all aspects of the game. This is the reason that it is difficult to pinpoint the problems, because there are many.
Matt Schaub’s Struggles
Schaub’s passer rating is a mediocre 75.3 over the past three games. This is in comparison to a 90.9 career percentage. The QB has three TD’s and three INT’s in his last three games.
Houston’s last three games have been against top 12 passing defenses, so that may be an area of excuse for Schaub’s performances. The Giants are number one in passing defense and continue to put menacing pressure on QB’s, ranking third in the league with 19 sacks.
Coach Kubiak highlighted familiar points of concern regarding Schaub and the offense:
“He wasn’t yesterday, but I think we helped him not be sharp, too,” Kubiak said. “He didn’t have a lot of help. He didn’t have a lot of help up front; we dropped some balls; we need to do a better job protecting him; we need to run some better routes. He’d be the first one to tell you he wasn’t good enough for us to win, but there’s a lot of people involved in that. We’ve got to be able to win games when our quarterback goes out and throws for 180 yards, too… There can’t just be one way to be successful.”
Things shouldn’t get any easier for Schaub against Chiefs next week. The Chiefs are 25th in passing yards allowed/game, but are third in pts/game allowed. The Chiefs showed how stifling they can against Indy on Sunday, only letting Manning’s high-powered offense in the end zone once.
The Texans are still dominating the most yards allowed per game at an incredible 329.6 (27+ more than any other team). Fortunately, their run defense currently ranks fifth, leaving hope that a turnaround in pass prevention could make for a decent defense.
The Texans were also unable to record a sack Sunday. Their sack totals have dipped to average after Mario Williams contributed to five of their nine sacks in the first four games. Williams is clearly a dominant end, but the Texans haven’t been able to line up anyone consistent opposite him.
A point of promise is that SLB Brian Cushing looked good coming of his suspension. He should be able to up the defensive pressure, but the Texans must find an answer opposite Williams. The recent addition of Mark Anderson may provide a spark. The 4th year player will get a chance to show his stuff next week against Kansas City.
Developing more pressure on quarterbacks could allow the woeful Texans secondary to jam up receivers at the line with more effectiveness.
Don’t Fret Foster
RB Arian Foster had his worst performance of the season against a Giants rush D that ranks 9th in the league. There is no need for Texans fans to get concerned in this area.
Foster is one of the most promising aspects of the Texans future, and the NFL for that matter. He is still likely to finish in the top five statistically amongst running backs, and I believe he will.
Searching For Answers
The AFC South is as up-for-grabs as it gets, with all four teams sitting at 3-2.
The Texans 2-0 starts seems oh-so-long-ago, but they still have the divisional advantage over Indy…I guess that’s something.
For Houston, the answers will need to come quick. Jacksonville shouldn’t be major concern but the Titans and Colts both have pull-away ability. The Texans defense will need to shore itself up rapidly and get consistent – Houston’s problem for several years now.
The match-up against the Chiefs should give an impression of where this team is headed.
About the Author
Written by Zachary Stanley
By the end of the fall I will have obtained a Bachelor's degree from Ithaca College. I have been blogging for quite some time and am greatly enjoying my various responsibilities in this field. I am currently a Feature Celtics Columnist and a Featured Sports Contributor for two different sites. I am also a couple weeks from opening up my new blog site, CelticsNotes.com.