FRED FAOUR

5 reasons the Texans lost to the Tennessee Titans

5 reasons the Texans lost to the Tennessee Titans
Deshaun Watson was up and down. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Texans dropped to 0-2 with a 20-17 road loss against a Tennessee Titans team missing its quarterback, stud left tackle and tight end and led by a first-year coach. A division road loss on top of that. The Texans got in a hole early by giving up a free touchdown on a fake punt where they were completely caught off guard. They battled back to take a 17-14 lead, but the defense gave way late - much like last season's 4-12 disaster - and the Texans find themselves in a tough position. So why did they lose this one?

1) Being unprepared

After the quick touchdown on the fake punt, the Titans put together a nice drive and some missed tackles led to a second touchdown and a 14-0 lead on two possessions. The Texans simply looked like they had no idea what the Titans were going to do. That is on coaching and game planning. They adjusted, but the big hole left little margin for error, and they had more errors...

2) Up and down Watson

Deshaun Watson got off to a very slow start. He also nearly fumbled another ball. He also cost the team points with an ill-advised interception in the end zone. He also made a terrible decision on the last play with ball to the middle of the field that left the team with no time. When he was good, however, he showed flashes of last year's Watson, completely 22 of 32 for 310 yards, two TDs and he also rushed for another 44 yards on 5 carries. 

3) Flag day

Costly penalties hit the Texans at every turn. They had 11 for 88 yards, many costing them on big plays. It was sloppy, awful football at the wrong times. 

4) Not an elite defense

The Texans defensive numbers look good on paper, and they were terrific in the third quarter. But they gave up two drives late to lose the lead and did not force a turnover. If the Texans are going to win, they need some playmaking from the defense. They did not get it, even against a below average quarterback in Blaine Gabbert. It proved costly.

5) Special teams woes - again

Remember all those things the Texans did to improve the special teams? Besides the botched punt coverage, they missed a 54-yard field goal, which led them to pass on another one late in the game that could have at least forced overtime. That's minus-9 points on special teams. 

There were some positives - the Texans had more yards, first downs and averaged two more yards per play than the Titans. They ran the ball very well, with 148 yards, averaging 5.7 per carry. Those are numbers that will win most football games. 

But not when you do the five things listed above. And that's how you wind up 0-2.

 

 

 

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Who holds the power in Houston? Composite Getty Image.

It should come as no surprise that after a slow start to the season, fans and media are starting to voice concerns about the organization's leadership and direction. The latest evidence of this involved Astros adviser Reggie Jackson and the comments he made on Jon Heyman's podcast, The Show.

Jackson discussed the Astros reported interest in starting pitcher Blake Snell. He said that ultimately, Snell was looking for a deal the Astros weren't comfortable with in terms of money and structure of the contract.

Which is interesting considering the Astros were okay with paying 5-years, $95 million for closer Josh Hader, but not willing to pay Snell 2-years, $62 million. We believe the opt-outs in Snell's contract were a dealbreaker for Houston. And of course the money played a role.

However, the Astros passing on Snell is not the intriguing part of the story. It was Jackson talking about the club's power structure in the front office and how they go about making decisions.

“Being fiscally responsible is what kicked us out of the Snell deal… That's too much for him… Between the 4 or 5 people who make decisions with the Astros, we don't play that game,” said Jackson.

Based on Jackson's comments in the interview, the decision makers are Jim Crane, Dana Brown, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Reggie. But not necessarily in that order. He also mentioned that they had conversations with manager Joe Espada and his staff, plus some input from the analytics department.

These comments add to the concerns we've had about the front office since Crane moved on from GM James Click and operated without a general manager for several months. Which led to the disastrous signing of Jose Abreu and to a lesser extent Rafael Montero.

Which begs the question, are the Astros in a better spot now with their front office? Many blame Dana Brown for the state of the starting rotation. While there were some red flags this spring, anticipating injuries to Jose Urquidy, Justin Verlander, and Framber Valdez is asking a lot.

But only bringing in Hader to replace all the innings left behind by Hector Neris, Phil Maton, Kendall Graveman, and Ryne Stanek always felt risky.

Finally, what can the Astros due in the short-term to weather the storm while Framber and JV rehab from injury?

And is Hunter Brown the biggest liability in the rotation?

Be sure to watch the video above for the full in-depth discussion.

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