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.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome