This time Matt Schaub was surgical. He got the Texans in the end zone three times and led them into field goal range when then had to have it late in regulation. Steve Slaton could have run the ball better, but it didn't matter as he has emerged as a multi-dimensional threat that we could enjoy for a long time.
The defense put together its second good half of the season, but that was in the first half. After the break, they began to spring leaks that resulted in an overtime loss sending the Texans to 0-3 for the third time in the last four years.
The game started on an extremely low note when the Texans allowed Montel Owens to run 41 yards on a fake punt that caught them completely off guard. Other than that, Houston's "D" was fine in the first act, allowing only a field goal before intermission. But the special teams blunder, even with its early occurrence, turned out to be a key factor in the loss.
Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor were held in check, but it was David Garrard's arm and feet that did Houston in. He scrambled out of trouble numerous times including a 9 yard run on fourth-and-8 late in the game and TD run on third-and-goal at the five. Ouch.
Back to Schaub. He was getting much grief on the talk radio lines all week but rose up to put up one of the best passing days in team history. If this is the way he plays all year the Texans will win a bunch of games.
Don't ask me to define "bunch" just yet though. Houston has many issues on the defensive side of the ball and still needs to find a consistent running game. The next four games are at home and a fired up Texans team should be able to go 3-1, but that still keeps them in a bit of a hole.
This was an excruciating loss that really could have been a big springboard toward a significant turn around. As it is, it could serve as a catalyst still with all eight home games remaining and road dates at Cleveland, Minnesota and Oakland on the horizon. In other words, it's a bad start and even though it feels like the season is half over, it's really just getting rolling. Wear Deep Steel Blue on Sunday and let's see how they respond.