Patriots edge Texans
by ELWYN HENDERSON
Dec 02, 2013 | 851 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 2-9 Houston Texans came into Sunday’s game at Reliant Stadium knowing they had a monumental task at hand to attempt to stop Tom Brady and the 8-3 New England Patriots. They had no doubt they would have to play their best football of the season in order to have a chance to steal a victory. The only thing in their favor was the fact the Patriots had lost their last three road games this season.

You have to give the Texans and their coaching staff some credit. They had a superb game plan that kept New England out of sync for the entire first half and a fair portion of the second half. Houston actually held a lead four different times during the game, but in the end the experience and determination of Tom Brady proved to be more than the woeful Texans could overcome, and they lost the game 34-31, and dropped to 2-10 on the season.

Thanks to a win by the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road in Cleveland on Sunday, Houston is now officially the WORST team in the NFL. The win moved the ‘Jags to 3-9. Interestingly enough, the Texans travel to Jacksonville this Thursday night for the NFL Network game against the Jaguars.

While there were positive signs Sunday against the ‘Pats, and you can see definite signs that Case Keenum is evolving into a starting NFL quarterback, when you are 2-10, moral victories mean nothing. It is all about winning at every level of football, and the pressure is even more intense in the NFL.

The Texans have one more home game this season against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, so there is no doubt the fans will show up to watch the master Manning carve up their team, but make no mistake—UNLESS Bob McNair pulls the trigger and replaces Gary Kubiak, there will be a mass exodus of fans coming to Houston games next season.

There IS a “wait list” in Houston, but a lot of those fans will “opt out” if their number comes up after this year’s cancellations are in simply because of what was expected of the Texans this season. Coming off consecutive AFC South Division titles, they were considered one of the AFC favorites to make it to the Super Bowl next February.

About the only positive to take from this season’s debacle is the fact that if they end up being the worst team in the league, they will get the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. That in itself poses problems though, in that they have so many needs based on the play at numerous positions this year it will be hard to decide WHICH position is the most pressing need.

It is hard to figure out exactly HOW the team that is #1 in the NFL in defense has only 2 wins. When you dig a little deeper though, you will find that Houston is #26 in run defense, yet is #1 in pass defense. The latter has been good enough to propel them into the top spot. In defense of that unit, they have had numerous injuries, and at some point the “next man up” simply is not good enough to start in the NFL, so that has to be taken into consideration.

There is a valid argument that Wade Phillips deserves one last shot at being a head coach, but then you have to remember he went 1-7 in his last year in Dallas at the beginning of the 2010 season and was fired by Jerry Jones at that point.

The bottom line is that wholesale changes MUST be made in Houston if the Texans’ fortunes are to change in 2014. You have to believe that even as fine a man as Bob McNair knows the NFL is a business, and realizes his business is going down the pipes, and that he will make the necessary changes to right the ship.

Hopefully, the Texans will find a way to get a win in their final 4 games, but that is anything but a guarantee at this point. The mental psyche of the team makes it harder each week to keep a positive attitude. Ultimately, that all comes back to the feet of the head coach, and Gary Kubiak has simply lost the team, and changes should be up-coming. It will be a very interesting off-season in Houston, to say the least.
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