Most important lessons from Texans miscues, controversial calls in derailment for division supremacy

TEXANS ON TAP

After all was said and done at NRG on Sunday, CJ Stroud and the Houston Texans came up short against the Jaguars. Winning the division now seems highly unlikely, unless Jacksonville falls apart down the stretch.

Now let's look at the positives. CJ Stroud was amazing once again on Sunday, using his legs more than ever to buy time and complete big plays down the field. We'd be curious to know how many miles he ran when escaping pressure time and time again. He also led the team in rushing, something will discuss in a bit.

Stroud outplayed Trevor Lawrence despite ultimately losing the game. And one thing is for sure, Stroud is already a better QB than Lawrence, and he's only played in 11 games.

So if Stroud outplayed Lawrence, why did the Texans lose the game? Let's start with the defense, which gave up multiple chunk plays to the Jags. Several screenplays went for huge yardage that eventually led to points.

Cornerback Tavierre Thomas had a rough day at the office, not only did he have multiple penalties called against him, but was also burned badly by Calvin Ridley on a TD catch. He was a matchup the Jags were looking to exploit all afternoon.

Speaking of penalties, the officiating in this game was atrocious. And while bad calls were made against both teams, it certainly seemed like all the close calls were going to the away team. Home field advantage seemed to have no meaning in this game when it came to the refs.

Tank Dell had multiple huge plays called back that were highly questionable. Corner Steven Nelson was hit with a phantom holding penalty. Even the broadcasters couldn't stop talking about how bad the officiating was.

But in spite of refs, and Houston's inability to run the ball (32 rushing yards combined between Devin Singletary and Dameon Pierce), the Texans had a chance to win the game. In the end, Houston's o-line could not keep Stroud upright, with Laremy Tunsil regularly beat by edge rusher Josh Allen.

Which led to a decision from head coach DeMeco Ryans. Go for it on 4th and 12, or try to kick a 58-yard field goal?

Either option was a big ask. And the field goal attempt turned out to be a lot closer than we anticipated. Another six inches and it may have been good. But at the end of the day, we would rather have taken our chances with CJ Stroud over a backup kicker that struggles to make kicks over 50 yards.

Losing Sunday's game was undoubtedly a heartbreaker, but all is not lost. Winning 10 games and making the playoffs as a wild card is completely within reach. The Texans have the same record as the Colts (6-5), who are currently the final wild card seed if the season were to end today.

CJ Stroud and the Texans will have plenty of opportunities to win games and reach the postseason. And it starts with the streaking Denver Broncos this Sunday.

With so much to cover from Sunday's game, be sure to watch the video above for our full breakdown.

Watch Texans on Tap (a Texans podcast) every Monday on our SportsMapTexans YouTube channel.


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