Let’s start things off with a number.
That was the high point where the Houston Texans had the best odds of winning their game against the Chicago Bears today. And that was with 7:21 in the second quarter of the game after giving up a six yard run to Justin Fields to get them to the Bears’ 24-yard line. At no point in the remainder of the game were the Texans favored by that much to win.
It was not a dominant win or loss for the Texans, as the win probability hovered near the 50/50 mark pretty much throughout the game until Davis Mills threw the interception which set up the game-winning field goal for the Bears.
The game itself was a tale of two offenses. The Texans offense was, despite Davis Mills’ best efforts, extremely pass-heavy, leading to Mills throwing for 245 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Bears gashed the Texans’ run defense, which gave up 281 yards on the ground Sunday. Khalil Herbert (David Montgomery suffered an ankle and knee injury early in the game) piled up 157 of those yards with two touchdowns, good for 7.9 yards per carry.
Which was really not good for the Texans.
So let’s actually recap this game.
The scoring started off with Cairo Santos kicking a 47-yard field goal to put the Bears up 3-0. They then followed it up with an 11-yard touchdown run by Khalil Herbert to put the Bears up 10-0.
The Texans then struck back with a 75-yard drive capped off by a Jordan Akins touchdown reception, putting the Texans down a field goal.
So far, so okay, the Texans scored in the first quarter and are keeping close with the Bears. Not great, not terrible. Then the Texans get another touchdown, this time a one-yard run by Dameon Pierce at the end of a four play, 41-yard drive to put the Texans up 14-10.
That will be the last touchdown the Texans score. It will NOT be the last touchdown of the game, though.
Santos kicked another field goal at the end of the half to cut the Bears deficit to one, 14-13 still Texans lead.
Okay, now it’s the second half, the Texans still showing at least SOME signs of life on offense, kicking two more field goals sandwiching a Bears touchdown, making it a 20-20 game going into the fourth quarter.
And now—let’s just get it over with.
AND THEN THE FOURTH QUARTER HAPPENED. AGAIN. AGAIN.
Now...I know we’re only three games into the season and you can’t really extrapolate much from what little data we have, but the Texans have played three games and scored exactly zero points in the fourth quarter. while giving up 30 points in that same period. That’s a -30 point differential in the fourth quarter.
This cannot (and probably will not) continue unless the Texans are finally putting in the effort to tank early on.
We Need To Talk About...
The Fourth Quarter
I know, I literally just brought this up but this is really kind of amazing in all the worst ways that the Texans haven’t even accidentally managed to score a field goal in the third quarter. But you know what? It’s still an improvement over BOB because at least with Lovie Smith we’re only unprepared for one quarter. BOB would have entire halves that he did not expect were going to happen.
Jalen Pitre made himself known today by recording not just his first but also his second interception on the season as well as the first sack of his career. Granted it was against Justin Fields, who looked like he wanted to sack himself a couple of times during the game, but it was still a [kitten] good game for Pitre.
Look, just because Mills is the best quarterback to come out of 2021’s draft class (and after seeing Justin Fields, I’m ready to believe he is the best of the class), that does not mean, in any way, that he is a good quarterback. He’s not. Against a bad Bears team, he only managed 245 yards a TD and two picks. He locks onto receivers too much, his throws are inaccurate. He plays like an unfolded lawn chair with weird sprinklings of good football mixed in. If this team were anywhere close to being a contender, I would be far more upset about Mills’ poor play than I am.
The Run Defense
This is unacceptable. The stats alone are bad, but there are no numbers you can put in to express just how poorly this defense plays against the run. Large gashes for big gains, getting those crucial single yards by slamming the ball up the middle, it all worked against the Texans. There were plays where I was unsure the Texan were trying to bring down the runner so much as trying to play Ring Around The Rosies with the rusher.
So What Have We Learned Today?
We learned that the Texans are only allowed to score 20 points in a game, if the season so far is any indication (it’s not).
We learned that if the run defense doesn’t turn it around and fast, this team could contend for the top pick in the draft.
But most of all, we learned that Pep Hamilton reads these recaps because we did not see Jeff Driskel once in the entire game.
The Texans’ next game is at home against the Los Angeles Chargers at noon. See y’all then!