It was another afternoon of watching the young Texans make plays but ultimately end up on the low end of the scoreboard, losing at New York 24-16. These games all seem to come down to the final frame but closing the deal remains elusive.
- The Texans had the ball in the red zone six times yet walked away with a TD, three field goals and two turnovers.
- In the pregame show we pick a player to be a bit of an under-the-radar factor in our Reliant Power Player of the game projection. My player was Christian Harris. He contributed well, with nine tackles. Andre Ware picked Jordan Akins. Had the Texans scored a touchdown after his late third quarter 46-yard catch-and-run things might have been different. But Houston turned it over on back-to-back red zone possessions in the 4th quarter to thwart their chances to win.
- Davis Mills threw for 319 yards, his second highest total ever. But an interception in the end zone and the fact that the Texans went three for 10 in third down tries created hurdles to winning.
- Saquon Barkley had 152 yards and a touchdown yet it 'felt' like the Texans were keeping it close. They were. Despite the Giants grabbing a 14-3 lead after their first possession in the third quarter, the Texans never backed down and answered with a 75-yard drive to cut the deficit to four. Mills started to heat up, finding Jordan Akins for two key completions and Chris Moore on a chunk play of 23 yards. Moments later he connected with Nico Collins in the end zone to make it 14-10.
The Giants went right back down the field and scored before Houston cranked up the attack again to earn four more red zone possessions that only netted them just two field goals.
- One of the encouraging things is that the first and second year players continue to flash and make a difference. Dameon Pierce had 94 yards. Harris was the team's second leading tackler.
Kenyon Green had some key blocks and a couple of penalties and is learning on the fly. He's faced some of the best DTs in the NFL in recent weeks and often, for an offensive lineman, it's important to remember that optimal performance takes time. Duane Brown platooned his first season. There's plenty here to get excited about.
- Jerry Hughes continues to shine, with a sack and TFL. He has eight sacks on the season.
Now comes Washington. The Commanders will be playing a road tilt after visiting Philadelphia on Monday night. It doesn't happen often that a team plays a Monday nighter on the road and has to travel again on a short week. It'll be another opportunity for Houston to get things right.