FRED FAOUR

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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Correa could be on his way out. Composite image by Jack Brame.

Editor's note: Ken Rosenthal updated his column on Tuesday afternoon.


It has not been the best of times to be a star athlete in Houston. In the last year, Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins were solid off for a warm bucket of spit. George Springer won't be back. James Harden and Russell Westbrook rumors are rampant. J.J. Watt might be moving on as well.

Now, reports are the Astros are listening to offers for Carlos Correa.

Predictably, Astros fans are livid. And if it's true, they should be concerned about the bigger picture.

Trading Correa makes sense - if you have no plans on keeping him after next season, as was clearly the case with Springer. If the Astros can get a haul and replenish the farm system, it would be the right move, especially considering Correa's injury history.

But in the long run, it does not bode well for the direction of the team. All recent indications are that the Astros are going cheap.

They would still be a competitive team without Correa, but it would be yet another indication their World Series window has closed. Alex Bregman could slide over to shortstop, but who would play third? And they only have one starting outfielder on the roster as it is. Putting together a competitive lineup around Bregman, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez would still be possible, but if the Astros aren't going to spend money, that could be problematic.

The writing was probably on the wall when the team hired James Click as GM from the notoriously frugal Tampa Bay organization. The good news is the Rays have been successful. But this is a new direction for a team that was not afraid to spend big money to make runs at the World Series.

If they lose Correa, they lose a team leader, one of the few players who embraced the villain role in the wake of the cheating controversy and was not afraid to speak out. But he has never lived up to his MVP potential, has battled injuries and will command big dollars on the open market. He is still young enough to become that kind of player, and someone will gamble big money that he will.

Sadly, if this rumor is true, it won't be the Astros.

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