Bill O’Brien has often described his team as ‘resilient.’ Considering the Texans lead the NFL in comeback wins over the last two seasons, he’s right on target.
Being down 14 in the first half is not the way the Texans want to do business. But they were able to storm back after a 17-3 deficit at Kansas City to pull out the win. It was their first 14-point comeback since they rallied with two fourth quarter touchdowns to beat Indy in 2016.
The ingredients of a comeback win are having a defense that can stop the bleeding, like the Texans did when they held the Chiefs to one second half TD and a total of four offensive snaps in the fourth quarter.
And you need an offense that can get hot and rally. The 12 comeback wins the Texans have racked up in the last two years all share these elements. In fact, the last two road games saw Houston facing double-digit deficits and roaring back to win.
Even in the Saints game, the Texans grabbed a late lead with a 13-second two-play, 75-yard drive, only to lose on a 58-yard field goal.
You could also apply ‘resilient’ in a week-to-week context. Yes, the Texans stumbled to a hot Carolina team at home in a game that saw them score only 10 points. Since then, they’ve totaled 84 points in two outings. And they’ll be the first to say they can actually play better.
One bright stat that’s key, whether the Texans are trying to catch up or ice a game, is their third-down conversion rate on offense. Houston is first in the NFL in converting third downs, at 51.4 percent. One of the third downs they missed last week was the late 3rd-and-1 that ultimately led to O’Brien deciding to go for it on 4th-and-3. Deshaun Watson hit DeAndre Hopkins for the clock-draining first down to end the Chiefs chances. Resilient.
The Texans have a lot going for them right now, but this Sunday presents their most important game yet, a date at Indianapolis for the AFC South lead. It’s relatively early but it’s big and we’ll all be on the edge of our seats.