FALCON POINTS

5 reasons why the Texans 9-game winning streak came to an end

T.Y. Hilton had some big plays. Tim Warner/Getty Images

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Every-Thing Sports

Texans vs Chiefs: Good, bad & ugly

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The Texans and Deshaun Watson won the battle of the two best quarterbacks from the 2017 draft over Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs 31-24. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Although both young quarterbacks had two turnovers each, it was Watson who outdueld Mahomes. He had a total of 322 yards and three touchdowns to Mahomes' 272 yards and three touchdowns. It was his ballsy playmaking ability on two fourth down conversions, as well as his timely rushing touchdowns in a big time road win that put him over.

-Rookie defensive lineman Charles Omenihu had a crucial strip sack of Mahomes just before halftime. Linebacker Benardrick McKinney recovered the fumble and the Texans scored on the next play to go up 23-17 with their 20th unanswered points of the first half. This was a huge momentum shifter.

-Tashaun Gipson caught the first Mahomes interception of the season in the second quarter. The Chiefs were driving again and in field goal range when Mahomes took a shot at the end zone thinking he had a free play because of a potential pass interference/defensive holding call. The refs remarkably overruled the original call and ruled it an interception. Shocker!

The Bad

-Whitney Mercilus jumped offsides and Mahomes took a deep shot knowing he had a free play. Tyreek Hill won the jumpball over Justin Reid and Phillip Gaines. Hill is listed at 5'10, but looked as if he was 6'7 when he leaped to catch the ball. Reid appeared to have the ball in his grasp, but came up empty.

-Carlos Hyde fumbled on the first play from scrtimmage where he appeared to have simply lost his grip on the ball. The no-contact fumble was recovered by the Chiefs and led to a field goal to put the score at 10-0 about five minutes into the game.

-Watson threw a pick into double coverage trying to go for DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone while thewy were in field goal range down 24-23. It was his second pick of the day. It also came after Hopkins dropped a potential touchdown catch uncharacteristically taking his eyes off the ball before securing the catch.

The Ugly

-Horrible missed call on an offensive pass interference on the Chiefs opening drive! Travis Kelce basically threw a pass block that opened up Damien Williams for a huge 52-yard gain. The Texans challenged the call and the refs upheld it. This was the epitome of ref C.Y.A.

-The two teams combined for 14 penalties for 114 yards in the first half. That was most in a half this season. In an offensive shootout, penalties can kill you. They ended the game with 21 combined penalties for 149 yards.

-Rookie offensive lineman Tytus Howard was carted off with a leg injury on the third play of the 3rd quarter. It looked to be somewhat serious as his leg was rolled on and bent in a weird way. Bradley Roby gingerly walked off the field mid way throught he 3rd quarter and left the Texans with four healthy corners. Few plays later, Chiefs went up 24-23 on another Hill touchdown catch.

The Texans put together a great gameplan and it went as well as one could expect against a juggernaut like the Chiefs. Bill O'Brien deserves come credit. He gambled on a couple key 4th down conversions because he trusted Watson to do the right thing. He also committed to the run to the tune of 192 yards on the ground, despite Hyde's early fumble. Hyde himself ended up with 116 yards rushing. If O'Brien and Watson keep this up, there could be big things on the horizon. Next week's matchup against the Colts in Indy will tell us who's the big dog in the AFC South. Can O'Brien and Watson make magic again?

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