The Houston Texans really could have been anything in the first month of the season. They could have closed the game out over Indianapolis, or eked one out against the Broncos, or against the Bears, and the aura surrounding the Texans would have been so very different. They could have been so slightly better than this terrible team and been 2-1, just like the Bears are now.
All of the melancholy surrounding the Texans in reaction to what has so far been a very disappointing season - even when considering this team is rebuilding - could have been curtailed into blooming thoughts of a sunny future if the Texans could have made one stop against the Colts, or one touchdown drive against he Broncos, or…not throwing a game-losing interception against the Bears:
But that is what the Texans did. This is what they’ve done so far this season, and it’s what they are. Their miraculous losses have been the single, shocking thing about this team that the whole country is able to understand. And with that, comes the total collapse we’ve been dreading:
32. Houston Texans (0-2-1)
Week 3 ranking: 31
Team QBR: 29.1
QBR rank: 29th
Davis Mills has regressed through the first three weeks of the season. He is completing 57.9% of his passes, third-worst in the NFL among starting quarterbacks. Last year he completed 66%. His biggest issue is third downs, on which he is netting 47% of his passes, fourth-worst in the NFL. And when the team has needed Mills the most, he hasn’t produced late in games, as the Texans’ offense has scored zero points in the final quarter. — DJ Bien-Aime
32. Houston Texans (0-2-1)
Previous rank: No. 32
The Texans desperately need to find a way to improve their run defense. The Bears rushed for 281 yards on Sunday, averaging 7.0 yards per carry in a game despite their standout running back, David Montgomery, missing the bulk of the afternoon with a knee/ankle injury. Houston’s continued issues on the ground stood in stark contrast to the team’s success in the passing game. Chicago QB Justin Fields was harassed into two picks and two fumbles and generally did nothing. Still, it wasn’t enough. “We’ve lost three winnable games,” coach Lovie Smith said. “Glass half-full, that’s saying that we’re close.”
PRO FOOTBALL TALK:
32. Texans (0-2-1; No. 30): The worst team in the worst division gets the worst spot, this week.
32. Texans (31): They haven’t trailed entering the fourth quarter in any game this season. They also haven’t scored a fourth-quarter point this season.
32. Houston Texans (0-2-1 | last week: 30)
The Texans have played three of the worst offenses in the NFL and still are without a win. The Broncos and Colts currently rank 30th and 31st, respectively, in points per game, and the Bears ranked tied for 26th before their 23-20 win over Houston on Sunday. Rookie safety Jalen Pitre was a standout performer with two picks in the Week 3 loss to Chicago, but second-year quarterback Davis Mills’s fourth-quarter interception ultimately cost the Texans a shot at their first win. Mills enters Week 4 tied for 29th in EPA per dropback among the 31 NFL quarterbacks with 60-plus dropbacks on the year.
28. Houston Texans (0-1-1)
Last week: Loss at Chicago, 23-20
Next week: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Dameon Peirce gets a season-high 20 touches and moves the ball more effectively than the rapidly-cooling Davis Mills. Silver linings?
32. Texans (0-2-1)
Davis Mills is really struggling right now. They are 0-1-2 and have to be thinking quarterback in next year’s draft.
32. Houston Texans (0-2-1)
Last Week: 32
Week 3 Result: Lost at Chicago 23-20
For lack of a more descriptive term, the Houston Texans are a mess. This is not news. But losing to a bad Bears team in Chicago still isn’t a good look for the franchise.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Texans in Week 3, as they got big games from a pair of rookies. Running back Dameon Pierce piled up 101 total yards and a touchdown on 20 touches, while safety Jalen Pitre racked up eight total tackles, a sack and a pair of interceptions.
But second-year quarterback Davis Mills threw two interceptions of his own, including a devastating late pick that set up the Bears’ game-winning field goal. Those type of mistakes are something this team just cannot afford.
The Texans aren’t going to light up the scoreboard this year. Entering Week 3, no team in the AFC was averaging fewer yards per game. The defense won’t bail them out, either. Despite playing a completely one-dimensional Bears offense, Houston surrendered a staggering 281 yards on the ground.
It’s going to be a long season in Houston. Perhaps Texans fans should start thinking about what to do with the No. 1 overall pick in 2023.
31. Houston Texans (0-2-1, LW: 31)
The Texans would be 1-2 if they didn’t decide to try to sit on a Week 1 lead with Rex Burkhead, giving him all the playing time at running back over rookie Dameon Pierce. That was one of the weirdest coaching decisions of the season. That has corrected. Pierce had 80 yards on 20 carries Sunday, had a number of good runs, and it’ll keep getting better from here. Houston still won’t be very good overall.
32! 32! Among the 9 different websites cited in this article rankings all NFL teams, there is almost unanimous agreement that the Texans are the worst team in the league. There were plenty of times last year where this rankings felt more than appropriate, but to be revisiting this position this early in a season where we were expected to show at least modest improvement? That’s shocking, and that’s how you earn the #32 ranking.
Next week, the Texans host the spiraling Los Angeles Chargers in a get-right-or-else game for both parties. Last year, Davis Mills had the best performance of his professional career thus far against the Chargers. Accompanied by a great rushing attack and time in the pocket, Davis Mills was able to dazzle us enough in that game to get our hopes far enough up in the sky that we didn’t even realize how close we were to the sun. Now, crashing down to Earth, grasping at anything, Davis Mills has a chance to soar again against the foe that kickstarted all of the hype.
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