We’ve seen almost everything under the sun from the Houston Texans this year.
The Texans are a far cry from their week one dominance of the Colts. There seemed to finally be a new team in Houston, but the past four weeks have looked like the past four years as inconsistencies remind fans of past seasons’ woes.
Like dozens of times before, the Texans found themselves in an offensive race on Sunday. Not against the Colts or the Patriots, but coming from behind for a 35-31 win against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs were 3-0 just a couple weeks ago and are no doubt better than they were in the past; perhaps a few steps away from being a very good team. They gave the Colts a run for their money last week (particularly on defense), but did anyone actually think they would win?
The Chiefs would probably not have a good shot at winning if they were in six of the other seven divisions in football, but they happen to be in an AFC West that seems to be trying to compete with its NFC counterpart for the league’s weakest division.
The Texans offensive line has struggled to protect QB Matt Schaub is recent games, but did a reasonable enough job on Sunday to unleash the often dynamic Texans offense that we are used to seeing. Adding RB Arian Foster to that equation makes the Houston offense pretty fun to watch.
However, the same problems still remain and they may not have been any more apparent than on Sunday.
The Texans have been atop the list for most passing yards allowed this season for weeks now, and even against Kansas City I did not have much expectation that their ranking would suddenly change. But it was the run game that suddenly proved just as inept this week.
The Texans passing YPG allowed improved about twenty points this week, but that was not because there were signs of improvement. The Chiefs just had no need to rely on the pass.
An extremely balanced dose of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles made up the majority of the Chiefs’ 228 yards on the ground (Jones 100, Charles 93). Both players averaged over five yards per carry in methodical fashion. The Texans run defense was previously the only aspect of the defense worth being proud of.
Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe had previously been utilized more for blocking this year than as a big play threat, but naturally he erupted against Houston. Bowe logged 108 yards (the third most in his career), and two touchdowns for the second time his career.
The Texans are lucky that the Chiefs defense somehow managed to be more incompetent than theirs.
On top of everything, the potential for defensive improvements took a devastating hit with the loss of MLB DeMeco Ryans.
In the post-game press conference Coach Gary Kubiak announced that Ryans had a torn Achilles’ tendon, ending his season. Prior to week six, Ryans was averaging 9.4 tackles per game. Now veteran Zach Diles will attempt to fill the spot, with rookie Darryl Sharpton replaying Diles at weak-side LB.
The fallout of a run defense that still manages to rank twelfth in the league; a passing defense that greatly accounts for the Texans ranking second to last in the league in total YPG, and a special teams that are struggling to make any big plays whatsoever adds up to one giant problem.
The issues can only be diagnosed individually, and allowing more points than you put up on the season is not likely to keep you above .500 for long.
A miraculous win and time are two items on the short list of things that the Texans have to be thankful for heading into a bye week.
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.