Inspiring defense by the Houston Texans, which included a clutch goal-line stand, couldn't overcome the team's mistakes as they fell 20-13 to the Ravens Sunday.
T.J. Yates threw three interceptions on passes that should never have been thrown, and Jacoby Jones disastrously muffed a punt that led to a Ravens TD, but the defense never crumbled.
They held the Ravens when it counted, but the offense just couldn't come up with points despite a solid day from running back Arian Foster, who gathered 132 yards.
The Texans got the ball for one last effort with plenty of time left, down a touchdown with 2:45 left, but after two nice passes, Yates threw yet another inexplicable pass that was picked off by Ed Reed, sealing the deal.
The drive summed up Yates's day: Some great plays, but others that made him look like the rookie he is. The Ravens dropped a couple of sure interceptions along the way.
After the defense held the Ravens yet again, the Texans got the ball back with 45 seconds and no timeouts left at their own 48, but little came of it.
Few outside of Houston gave the Texans a chance today, but the game was there for the taking at several points.
Each time, though, the offense just couldn't get a score.
The team had a great run despite a crushing series of injuries -- a series which led, of course, to having to start a rookie QB in a road playoff game.
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Next year will bring plenty of optimism for Texans fans, and barring some big offseason changes, they should be one of the top teams in the AFC next year, with a solid shot at the Super Bowl.
Not this year, though. Maybe next.