LOVIE REFLECTS ON WEEK 2

9 critical takeaways from Lovie Smith's Week 2 Houston Texans presser

Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith met with the media on Monday afternoon and shared his thoughts on the Texans 16-9 loss to the Broncos on Sunday.

1. The Broncos scored a TD and the Texans didn't, sometimes it's that simple. Lovie made this point on Monday, discussing some missed opportunities for the Texans offense. Multiple times the Texans coached emphasized that the team has to score more points.

2. The Texans got RB Dameon Pierce more involved and that will continue, according to Smith. Pierce led the Texans RBs in touches with 16. He finished with 69 rushing yards on 15 carries and caught one pass for 8 yards. This is a big improvement over week 1 which featured Rex Burkhead with the most touches. Burkhead didn't even have one carry against the Broncos. He did catch 2 passes on three targets.

3. Kevin Pierre-Louis and Brevin Jordan are dealing with injuries. The team is evaluating the injuries and will give an update at a later point in time.

4. The Texans only recorded one turnover for the defense. Coach Smith talked about one turnover just not being enough and the team needing more. Smith also complemented the turnover by Christian Kirksey.

5. At one point, Lovie Smith deflected a question about Davis Mills' strengths saying, "we've talked about Davis enough."

6. The Texans played without starting center Justin Britt on Sunday. Lovie Smith said backup center Scott Quessenberry did a great job and didn't feel like the team missed a beat.

7. Rookie corner Derek Stingley Jr. had a challenging day against Broncos WR Courtland Sutton, who finished with 7 catches, 122 yards. Coach Smith said he felt Stingley competed hard and tackled well.

8. Lovie acknowledged that the team hasn't been able to stop the run as well as they would like to, and penalties have been a problem. We have to think both factors will be critical in Houston's next game against the Chicago Bears.

9. Lovie Smith pulled the curtain back toward the end of the presser when he talked about the Texans lack of execution on 3rd and 15 at the start of the fourth quarter. Courtland Sutton streaked down the left sideline and caught a pass for a first down easily. Derek Stingley and Jonathan Owens were both in the area and looked confused. Smith told the media that was one of his major disappointments from the game.

Up next: The Texans have a shot to push their record to 1-1-1 if they can defeat the Bears in Chicago on Sunday. The Texans are 3-point underdogs. Be sure to check out the video above to watch the full press conference.


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It more of the same from the Houston Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Sunday afternoon provided a high-res snapshot of the state of Houston sports. The Astros, already assured of the best record in the American League, played a game they didn’t need to win. The Astros won, ho-hum, their 104th win of the season.

Meanwhile, eight miles away, the Texans, mired in last place with fan support dwindling, played a game they really needed to win. The Texans lost 34-24 to the Los Angeles Chargers in front of (giggle) 69,071 fans at NRG Stadium. The Texans really ought to stop saying the stands are packed. Every time a team punts, and cameras follow the ball skyward, there are thousands of empty seats on display. I know the NFL methodology for determining attendance, (total tickets sold, no-shows don’t count) but it just looks silly when the Texans announce 69,000 fans.

The Texans came close as usual before sputtering to another defeat. The Texans now stand at 0-3-1, the only winless team in the NFL. It’s the second time in three years they’ve started a season without a victory after four games. It’s telling to note that not one of the Texans opponents has a winning record for 2022.

In other words, the Texans have played four games they shoulda/coulda won. Shouda against the Colts, Broncos and Bears, and coulda against the Chargers.

Should/coulda four wins. Instead, none.

That’s the Texans. They’re in every game but can’t close the deal. Yeah, yeah, on Monday we hear, “the Texans are playing hard for coach Lovie Smith” and “they’re competitive” and “they’re a young team.” These are NFL equivalents of a participation trophy.

Sunday’s loss to the Chargers at NRG Stadium was straight out of the Texans playbook. Fall behind, make it interesting, lose. The Texans stuck to their script, timid play calling, momentum-crushing penalties (nine for 67 yards), self-inflicted drops, lackluster quarterbacking and Rex Burkhead on the field for crunch time. After one play where a Texan player was called for holding, the announcer said, “and he did a poor job of holding.”

Statuesque quarterback David Mills keeps saying “we’re in a good spot” and “we’re improving.” Statuesque as in he doesn’t move – or barely moves to avoid sacks. Sunday saw his first touchdown pass to a wide receiver. He’s now thrown four interceptions in the past two games. Let’s go to the tote board: 5 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 4 fumbles, 11 sacks, qbr rating 28.5 – good for 28th in the league.

A bright spot, sort of. This was the first week the Texans didn’t cover the spread. They’re now 1-2-1 against Vegas oddsmakers, meaning you’ve won money if you took the Texans all four weeks. They head to Jacksonville next as early 6.5-point underdogs.

Meanwhile, Alabama’s brilliant quarterback Bryce Young, who will be available for the Texans when they draft first in 2023 (as Paul Heyman says, that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler), suffered a shoulder injury last Saturday. The Texans need to take out a Lloyds of London insurance policy on Young.

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