How Texans' ineptitude on offense raises 2 big questions moving forward

Texans Tyrod Taylor, Brandin Cooks
When will the Texans score another TD on the road? Composite image by Jack Brame.

We've made it through the first full week of the Astros' offseason, but how can we possibly make it through an autumn weekend without a Houston Texans game? The same way most have been doing it most of this season. By paying them no mind whatsoever. This pathetical facsimile of an NFL squad comes off the open week (it's not a bye!) playing at Tennessee next Sunday. Let's set the over/under for Texans' touchdowns in that game at 1/2. The under is on a four game road winning streak. The Texans last road touchdown was September 19 at Cleveland. How absurd is that? The 2000 Baltimore Ravens had a stretch of five consecutive games without scoring an offensive touchdown. Those Ravens wound winning up the Super Bowl on the back of one of the greatest single season defenses in NFL history. The Texans will finish a bit short of the Super Bowl. The Texans getting taken apart in Nashville will clinch their first back-to-back losing seasons since 2005-2006.

Do the Texans win another game this season? At least one online wagering site has the over/under for Texans wins the rest of the way at 1/2. They should have a shot at home against the Jets, maybe at the Jaguars, maybe at the 49ers. A 16 game losing streak following the season opening win over the Jaguars is an obvious possibility. Last season the Jaguars won opening day, then lost their remaining 15 games.

Not that Davis Mills had a decent supporting cast while playing, but he showed essentially nothing that should make one believe he is a legit long term starting quarterback option. That makes it worse for the Texans that there is no QB worth taking with a top five pick in the 2022 draft. The top guys touted in the preseason were Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler and North Carolina's Sam Howell. Rattler isn't even the Sooner starter anymore. Howell is having an all right season for the Tar Heels but he is not top five worthy. Matt Corral of Ole Miss and Malik Willis of Liberty might be the top two QBs picked. Not exactly Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck coming out.

Once he actually starts trying to assemble a decent roster maybe General Manager Nick Caserio gets a lot of stuff right. In the meantime, he's the captain of the Titanic, or, if you're up on ship disaster history, the Losertania. And yet, at 1-8 the Texans don't even have the worst record in town.

Failure to launch

Hello, 1-10 Houston Rockets. The second ring in our sports circus of lameness (a much smaller ring, but the Dynamo rounds out the conventional three ring circus, having finished the 2021 Major League Soccer season with zero road wins in 17 tries, and dead last in the Western Conference behind expansion team Austin FC), going back to last season the Rockets have lost 55 of their last 62 games. The worst Rocket season ever finished 14-68. Goals! Friday night the Rockets play host to the only team besides the Rockets yet to win a road game this season, Portland. The Trail Blazers are 0-6 away from home, with superstar guard Damian Lillard shooting the ball miserably so far.

College football

While the Texas Longhorns strive for the glory of bowl eligibility (I think they're going to make it!), Texas A&M remains alive in the College Football Playoff chase, albeit on the periphery. The Aggies are at number 11 in the CFP rankings as they play at number 15 Ole Miss Saturday. Win that game and then beat Prairie View (gee, you think?) and LSU, and the Aggies would have an untopped resume for a two loss team. Let's say Georgia, Ohio St., and Oregon all win out and are in. No two loss team has made the playoff but the Aggies would have a case if 1. Alabama loses another game (including the SEC title game) 2. Oklahoma and Oklahoma St split two games 3. UH knocks off undefeated Cincinnati in the AAC title game 4. The committee doesn't want to put a one loss Notre Dame back in the playoff with the Fighting Irish having only 1 win over a top 25 opponent. That's a lot of stuff that needs to break right for the Ags, but for the second year in a row it hands down beats being the Horns.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Pure guess: Carlos Correa does not sign before the lockout December 2nd shuts off the hot stove.

2. Good job Mother Nature getting rain out of the way early Thursday and keeping it beautiful through the weekend for the Houston Open at Memorial Park.

3. Baseball's greatest Carlos-es: Bronze-Correa Silver-Delgado Gold-Beltran

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Justin Verlander is heading to the injured list. Composite Getty Image.

Astros ace Justin Verlander missed his start over the weekend due to neck discomfort, which had many fans concerned. The last Houston pitcher (Cristian Javier) to miss time with the same injury would end up out for the season and having to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Fortunately, it doesn't look like that will be the case for JV, and the team didn't anticipate having to put Verlander on IR. They hoped he would be able to start Thursday's game in Chicago.

But manager Joe Espada told the Astros flagship station on Tuesday that his progress “is slower than we expected.”

Fast-forward a few hours and JV is headed to the IL, with Nick Hernandez joining the club from Sugar Land.

Hopefully, this is just a short stint on the injured list for Verlander. Quite frankly, the Astros are running out of big league caliber starting pitching options.

One has to wonder, how many more injuries the team can sustain in 2024? The injury bug is biting hard, and the club is currently nine games behind Seattle in the AL West.

Up next

Framber Valdez takes the mound for Houston against the White Sox on Tuesday night.

The Athletic's Chandler Rome shares some possibilities the Astros might explore to replace Verlander in the post below.

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