The latest loss in the historic slide of 2013 was different from the others. The Texans tied a season high point total with 31. They put up two touchdowns in the second half, an area of the game in which they've been anemic offensively. They also had four rushing touchdowns when, heading into the game, they had only two all season.
At the end of the day it was still a loss, the tenth in the slide.
It was fun watching the Texans go toe-to-toe with Tom Brady, yet sad at the same time. Prior to the season, this was a big 'circle-it-on-the-schedule' game that would certainly have top seed implications. It did, but for only one of the squads. For the other, it had top-pick-in-the-draft implications. That hurts.
What felt good was seeing Ben Tate and the ground game bust loose. Andre Johnson looked as good as ever and Case Keenum made enough off schedule plays to make the Pats nervous. But the defense, while holding down the fort in the first half, lost its footing in the second, surrendering 27 points after intermission.
The Patriots knew they were in a game but ultimately prevailed while Houston's misery continued. The last six games of the streak have been tight. The Texans have had the ball late in the fourth with a chance to tie or take the lead in all of the Keenum starts. Seven of the ten losses have been decided by a total of 25 points. So close yet so far.
Now comes another date with the Jaguars. They've won three out of four, all on the road, and are starting to feel good about themselves. The Patriots sharpened the Texans' senses and got their attention. After the Thursday nighter, Houston has the Colts, on the road, the Broncos at Reliant and a visit to Tennessee. They're running out of chances to end the streak before the 2014 season.