TEXANS FALL SHORT AGAIN
Here are 5 important takeaways from the Texans loss to the Bengals
In the Texans' 37-31 loss to the Bengals, there was more of the same old Texans. There was also a couple bright spots and some causes for concern. They didn't quit and kept fighting, but they also made crucial mistakes that led to the loss. A play here and a play there, the outcome could've changed. Or, maybe it was meant to turn out the way it did.
1) One thing that reminded me of the same old Texans was their slow start on both offense and defense. Their first possession on offense ended in a three and out. It was the eighth time this season they've started a game with a three and out. Starting half your games by giving the ball right back to the opponent isn't ideal. Neither is allowing your opponent to score on their first possession of the game. This was the ninth straight game the Texans have allowed an opening possession score which is the longest single season streak in the last 20 years. Slow starts are a surefire way to put a lesser talented team at a disadvantage.
2) Keion Crossen played a good game at corner. At 5'10 185lbs, Crossen did his best to slow down the Bengals' twin towers at receiver. A.J. Green and Tee Higgins are both 6'4 and weigh 210lbs and 215lbs respectively. Not an easy task to shut them completely out or contain them for that matter, but I thought Crossen did an admirable job. He should be on this roster next season for sure because he's cheap labor and could use the reps to get better before being offered an extension.
3) Brandin Cooks and David Johnson both showed flashes of their past selves in this game. Johnson had 15 touches for 139 yards and two touchdowns, while Cooks caught seven passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. Was their performances worth keeping them? Maybe, maybe not. I'd be more inclined to keep Cooks, but Johnson can't do anything to make me think he should stay on this team past this season.
4) Watson piled up more impressive passing numbers again this week. However, he took a couple shots that gave everyone a scare. While he's been on fire lately, I've seen a couple instances in which I wish he had a tad more accuracy. On Cooks' 50-yard reception, he had the corner beat and Watson threw a Matt Schaub-esque deep ball in which Cooks had to wait for. They settled for a field goal on the drive, but that could've been a touchdown with more air time leading Cooks. On another deep ball to Cooks, Watson overthrew him. He did the same to Steven Mitchell on a key 3rd down before halftime. These are things Watson will get right. One can hardly blame him considering he was playing behind another makeshift offensive line.
5) Another week, another one score loss for the Texans. This now makes seven one score losses of their 11 on the season. The optimist would say "this team is a few plays here and there away from being 11-4 instead of 4-11." The pessimist would say "this team is trash and will be trash for years to come wasting Deshaun Watson's prime years!" One could argue either side and make valid points. I'd tend to side with the pessimist at this point, but could make a slight case for the optimist. Let's hope the new head coach and general manager can change the culture