5 reasons why the Texans 9-game winning streak came to an end
The Texans did a lot of the things against the Colts that they did in their winning streak. The difference is they were bad things, and the result was their first loss since the 0-3 start as the Colts hung on for a 24-21 victory. At 9-4, the Texans likely blew their chance at a top two seed, but they are still well in control of the AFC South, up two games with three to play. (Yes, New England lost, but chances are that is not going to happen again).
Here are five reasons they lost:
- Tough first half. Bill O'Brien teams are 30-1 when leading at halftime. They trailed 17-7 in this one, and never got back in front. The Texans are now 0-4 when trailing this season at halftime. They did not trail in any of the games in the nine-game winning streak. They are at their best with a lead where they can run the football. The Colts took that away on Sunday.
- Old problems on defense. The Texans simply don't have anyone on the roster who can cover T.Y. Hilton and he once again dominated them with 8 catches for 193 yards. They also can't cover tight ends, and Eric Ebron had several plays (and several drops) including a touchdown. Once Andrew Luck got going, the Texans simply did not have answer. They were able to win the turnover battle 1-0 or the game would have been worse, but they did not have the game-changing play that could have won it.
- Give the other guys credit. Luck was terrific. The improving Colts defense came to play as well. The Colts were the better team on this day. It happens.
- Confused Deshaun. Deshaun Watson did not have a great day. The Colts baffled him with several blitzes and he held the ball too long on too many plays. He was sacked five times and never really looked comfortable.
- No running game. The Texans had been terrific running the football of late, but Sunday the Colts stuffed them. Without a running game, the Texans could not use play action effectively, and the Colts teed off on an offensive line that could not stop them and a quarterback who could not handle the pressure.
Of course, this loss could be on me. The Texans are 0-3 lifetime when I am out of the country. (Visiting in-laws in Saskatchewan, Canada.
No loss is a good loss at this stage of the season with so much on the line in terms of playoff seedings. But the Colts were in must-win mode and played like the better team for three quarters. The Texans are still in a good spot to win the division, so this is one they should put in their rear-view and move on. It does re-raise the concern as to whether or not they are good enough to beats teams with great quarterbacks in the playoffs, but that's a discussion for another day.