PANTHERS 16, TEXANS 10
Texans vs Panthers: Good, bad and ugly
Texans moved to 2-2 with a 16-10 loss to the Panthers. Winning the turnover battle and going +46 yards in rushing differential is making my analytic look bad two weeks in a row. Here's some other observations I had:
-Whitney Mercilus, JJ Watt, and Brennan Scarlett all had strip sacks of Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen. All three were recovered by the Texans (Carlos Watkins, Watt, and Benardrick McKinney). Playing against an inexperienced quarterback, this was the type of performance you expected from the pass rush.
-Last week, the team totaled 39 rushing yards in a win. This week, they got 136 yards on the ground in a losing effort. The fact that they were able to run the ball against a tough Panthers defense was a good sign for things to come.
-Duke Johnson seems to be hitting his stride. He had eight touches for 88 yards and looked at lot more comfortable in the offense. He ran hard and finished his six runs with some force, very uncharacteristic of him. Maybe Carlos Hyde is rubbing off on him? Or maybe he knows the oppotunity he has and isn't trying to lose it? Either way, I was pleased with his performance.
-The Texans had 16 total yards to start their second possession of the game towards the end of the 1st quarter. They finished the quiarter with 53 after a couple good plays. To sputter against the Panthers defense isn't a big deal, but to look that inept to start the game was a little unnerving. Boiled down to a three yard average on their first 19 plays.
-Deshaun Watson was sacked six times today. A lot of those were on him. He holds onto the ball too long trying to make something happen and sometimes would not be aware of the rush around him. The offensive line can't keep taking the blame for Watson's lack of awareness and his committment to be a superhero.
-Watson's sacks lost a total of 32 yards, which left the team with 128 yards passing. Any time a team has more rushing yards than passing yards and wins the turnover battle, you'd think they'd win. However, the Texans create new ways to lose sometimes and blow my turnover/rushing yardage differential analytic out of the water.
-Kenny Stills limped out of bounds to end the first quarter and was taken back to the locker room for more observations.All we know is that it was a hamstring injury of some sort. Losing him hurt an already struggling offense. If they have to go it without him for an extended period of time, the offense may conrinue to struggle.
-DeAndre Hopkins threw an interception on a trick play pass intended for Carlos Hyde when the Texans were in the red zone in the second quarter. Plays like this are totally unacceptable! Sure, Hopkins threw a bad pass, but he's not a quarterback and that playcall was idiotic. I'm sure Bill O'Brien will either have a smartass reply, or use The Kubiak. (He owned it at halftime according to Lindsay Czarniak.)
-The challenge on Christian McCaffrey's catch early in the fourth quarter was dumb! It was clearly a catch when watching the replay. Whoever told Bill O'Brien to challenge that should be slapped, and O'Brien should slap himself as well. Not only did it cost them a timeout, but it was compounded by the other two timeouts they wasted in the second half, especially whgen they couldn't stop the clock on the Panthers' game-icing drive. O'Brien continues to prove his ineptness when it comes to game managment.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. More sacks, more baffling play calls, more game management ineptitude, more Watt whiffing on sacks in crucial situations, more of the same old crap in general. This was a game the Texans should've won and will regret when the playoff race is tight. That is if they manage to find themselves in the playoff race. Keep playing down to their competition and being their own worst enemies will take them out of the race before it starts.