Through nearly two quarters, the Houston Texans looked like they could come out with a decisive victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Through nearly two quarters, the Texans had built a fairly convincing 13-point lead that was sparked by an uncharacteristic touchdown on their first drive.
But then everything fell apart.
With 3:08 left to go in the 2nd quarter, the Steelers would score 24 points before halftime thanks to a hilarious, if not depressing, sequence of errors that featured all three of units of the Texans' roster. Offense, defense and special teams each equally contributed to one of the more depressing meltdowns in Texans' history.
After a Shaun Shuisam field goal, the Texans promptly punt the ball back to the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger then hit rookie Martavis Bryant deep down the middle of the field for a 35-yard touchdown, torching fellow rookie Andre Hal in the process. But they weren't done yet.
On the ensuing kickoff, Danieal Manning dropped the ball at the 1-yard line and pinned the offense inside the five. An Arian Foster fumble two plays later gave the Steelers the oppotunity to unleash a nifty toss sweep/reverse/WR pass from Antonio Brown to Lance Moore.But they weren't done yet.
Now the Texans were reeling, having lost their 13-point lead in the matter of minutes.
With 1:03 left on the clock, Fitzpatrick's very first pass of the drive was tipped and intercepted by superior-bearded Brett Keisel, giving Pittsburgh the ball back on Houston's 8-yard line. But they weren't done yet.
The last hope of a disastrous three minutes was holding the Steelers to a field goal attempt. Running back LeVeon Bell motioned out to the right, but no Texans defender followed him right away. It was all too easy for Roethlisberger to hit him for the easy score.
Just like that, the Texans finished the half trailing 24-13.
The loss overshadows another typical outing by J.J. Watt (three tackes, a sack, two QB hits) and a surprisingly decent outing by Whitney Mercilus (five tackles, two sacks, one pass defensed, and a forced fumble). Arian Foster contributed 102 yards on 20 carries.
It was Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell who consistently thrashed the Texans defense. Whether it was missed tackles, lax coverage or poor angles, the two combined for 17 catches and 188 yards through the air alone. Bell added another 57 yards on 12 carries.
As I type this, Bill O'Brien is chewing out the Houston media. "It's awful to lose. We have to coach it better and we have to play better."
O'Brien's frustration is well-warranted and mirrors the frustration rolling through the fan base right now. Up next, the Texans travel to Tennessee.
Discuss this game, and what you think the Texans should do before that game. The Texans are now 3-4, needing a huge spark to save a fading season.