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Penalties help cripple Texans in loss

Posted Dec 15, 2013

The Texans were flagged 14 times for 114 yards in the road loss to the Colts.

The last dozen games have all been unique in their own way for the Texans. But they’ve all ended in a loss. On Sunday in Indianapolis, Houston was manhandled by a 25-3 margin. And for the second straight game, they committed 14 penalties.

“Things just continue to go bad for us,” wide receiver Andre Johnson said. “We aren’t helping it any with penalties and the lack of execution and stuff like that. When you have those things happen, it sounds like a broken record, but you continue to lose, so that’s pretty much it.”

The Texans entered the game with 89 penalties for 912 yards in 2013. The Colts, by comparison, had only been flagged 57 times for a league-low 499 yards. To combat the problem last week during practice, interim head coach Wade Phillips brought in officials to throw flags and keep the Texans in check. But their presence didn’t help Houston improve in that area.

“That’s very disheartening,” Phillips said. “Ten of them were in the first half which really hurt our defense.”

Defensive backs coach Vance Joseph, who called defensive plays because of Phillips’ promotion, was frustrated by the miscues as well.

“Obviously our guys are not getting it right now,” Joseph said. “They’ve got to get it. That first drive, we got two offsides penalties. We got them stopped on 3rd-and-1 in the high red zone. That’s three points. That’s what you want there.  Penalties killed us again.”

With 114 yards worth of flags, the Texans gave the Colts extra opportunities. Inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton summed it up in a somber locker room after the game.

“Penalties are going to kill you,” Sharpton said. “They are just negative plays that you dig yourself a hole and it is difficult to get out of. Most of the penalties are discipline penalties that we are having, offsides and stuff like that. You just can’t win with those kind of penalties.”

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