Sunday I was driving around doing some chores at half time of the Texans 30-23 loss to the Colts and listening to the broadcast on the radio. I knew the Texans were in trouble when John Harris stated that Bill O'Brien in a quick halftime interview wanted the team to continue to focus on stopping the Colts' running game and forcing them to throw.
Did BOB actually watch the first half as Indy's QB Jacoby Brissett ignored the lack of a running attack as he sliced and diced the Texans' pass defense for a bunch of completions, 2 TDs and a 14-9 lead? The team continued to "force" the Colts to pass in the 3rd quarter as Brissett hit two more TDs and pulled away to a 28-16 lead that they clung to during a fourth quarter where the Texans did a better job of slowing the Colts down.
The Texans did hold the Colts to 26 carries and only 62 yds rushing. Their pass defense (which unfortunately suffered multiple injury blows during the game) gave up 326 yds and 4 TDs to Mr. Brissett and the Colts.
This was a game the Texans could have easily won, but they kept shooting themselves in the foot, calf, kneecap and every other part of the body.
I did like BOB's call to take a safety towards the end of the game, which allowed him to flip the field a bit. I did not like that the clock ran down 40 seconds or so while he figured this out. This gave the Colts the ball with 2:35 on the clock rather than 3+ minutes and it of course took away one of our precious TO's.
So, I learned to be zen with that decision until he made the next decision. That was to let the clock run down to the 2 minute warning and then use his two timeouts after the 2 minute warning on the subsequent Colt possesion. If he had used his 2 timeouts after 1st and 2nd down, the clock would have run down to 2:00 minutes after 3rd down. As it was, the clock was down to 1:41 when the Texans got the ball instead of say 1:52. (We will not get into the argument that if the Texans had efficiently handled taking the safety without letting the clock run down to the TO - they might have gotten the ball with 2:30 left and a time out at the 2 minute warning in their pocket.)
This was important. The Texans got to mid-field, but might not have had to throw the deep pass that was intercepted to Coutee, if they had had more time.
Against the Chiefs the Texans took advantage of a number of penalties that hurt KC. This week it was the other way around. On their first drive they had 2 (TWO!!) illegal formation penalties that derailed a promising drive. They later on had defensive holding on a 3rd and 15 that extended a Colt drive and then they had one second half drive where both a defensive holding on a 3rd and 11 and an unnecessary roughness on a 3rd and 12 led to a Colts TD.
They had to settle for a Ka'imi Fairbairn FG after recovering the Colts only turnover of the day at the 4 yard line. They also got down to the 8 yard line right before half and had to settle for another Fairbairn FG. It did not bode well that the Texans were trading FGs for the Colt's TDs in this game. It was ironic that Fairbairn was their most reliable offensive weapon in the first half of this contest.
Turnovers / Sacks
After keeping Watson clean for two weeks - they did allow 3 sacks that all hurt their chances in one way or another (will have more to say about one of the "sacks" in a moment). Watson had a fumble (that he recovered) and he threw two interceptions in the 4th quarter - one totally on him, the other only picked off because Coutee kept it alive. He overthrew that last pass but it was placed where only Coutee could touch it.
The refs early whistle kept the Texans from scoring on an extraordinary effort by Watson to keep a play alive and hit DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone for what would have been a big TD. Don't the refs watch film of this magician?
The Texans already had some injuries, including Bradley Roby and Tytus Howard coming into the game, but losing Will Fuller (again), Tashaun Gipson and Johnathan Joseph were all killer losses (especially to the defensive backfield).
In the end the Texans were again their own worst enemy. They need to forget this game, but remember that their own actions hurt them in this one.