Wow, was it just three weeks ago that the Texans were 3-4 and people were talking playoffs? Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?
The Texans are now 3-6 and are playing the Indianapolis Colts this weekend. The Texans haven’t had a lot of luck against the Colts – the teams have met 13 times, and the Texans have won once. Once. The Texans almost won their last matchup against the Colts, until Sage Rosenfels tried to go all John Elway and failed. The Colts went on to score 21 fourth quarter points and defeat the Texans 31-27.
Let’s get some of the basic stats out of the way, shall we?
The Texans should be able to handle the Colts. No, really – I’m serious. The Texans have the fifth-best offense in terms of total yards in the NFL, averaging 371.7 yards per game. They average 264.3 yards through the air and 107.3 yards on the ground. The Colts don’t exactly have the NFL’s best rushing defense; they rank 24th in the NFL, giving up 134.2 yards per game on the ground. However, the number is a bit misleading, as the Colts gave up 188.5 rushing yards per game for the first four games of the season and an average of only 90 yards on the ground in the past five games. And the Colts’ passing defense, meanwhile, has given up a league-low two touchdown passes this season.
How about a few other minor stats? Like Peyton Manning, in 13 games against the Texans, is 259-for-409 for 3,539 yards and 31 touchdowns. Or that the Colts lead the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage, having scored touchdowns 76 percent of the time they’ve gotten inside the 20-yard line.
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Then there’s the whole Texans QB situation. Sage Rosenfels has the start once again. And while the offense seems to operate pretty well under his command, he’s got a problem. He turns over the ball. In five games, Rosenfels has eight turnovers, including five turnovers in the fourth quarter – a time when you don’t want to make those kinds of mistakes. And don’t forget that last week against the Ravens, Rosenfels threw four interceptions. He’s part of the reason that the Texans have an NFL-worst minus-12 turnover ratio.
Meanwhile, the Texans are nearing team chaos territory. Owner Bob McNair is hinting that changes need to be made, and Richard Justice is hinting that McNair has given up on Kubiak even though the players haven’t. Meanwhile, despite making David Carr their very first number one draft choice, and despite giving up multiple draft picks for Matt Schaub, the Texans may once again be in the market for a quarterback.
The Texans are in freefall here. There’s no way they should be able to beat the Colts, who are getting healthy and have started winning games. In the past two weeks the Colts have upset the Patriots and Steelers. Reggie Wayne is looking for his third 100-plus yards receiving game against the Texans. Dwight Freeney will once again be lining up opposite of rookie Duane Brown. Gary Kubiak has yet to display a basic ability to manage the clock. Defensive coordinator Richard Smith has yet to find a defensive scheme that will work against even a mediocre football team.
You won’t believe it, but I don’t want the Texans to lose. I’m tired of watching them fail every week. And I’m sick of watching the Texans get worse and worse as time goes by. But facts are facts, and the stats are the stats. I think the Texans are going to lose this game. I just hope they don’t look too bad while doing so. – John Royal