Unlike most of the other losses during the Texans losing streak their tilt with the Dolphins was a one-score affair and they had multiple chances to take control at any time and certainly an opportunity to pull a win out of the fire on many occasions.
They didn't get it done because their offense was constantly under duress and they couldn't play clean, committing a bevy of mistakes in the NFL's most turnover-laden game of 2021.
Nine combined cough-ups defined the afternoon, not that the Texans were complaining about a feast of five takeaways of their own including two relatively deep in the Dolphins' end of the field.
The fact that the Texans had short fields off two strips in the first half and only came away with a couple of field goals off of them was a big problem. The larger issue was their own tendency to give the ball back to Miami. It happened on the opening Texans drive after the D registered a three-and-out.
Tyrod Taylor, back in the lineup, looked crisp and the running game popped a couple of times. Then, on third-and-two at the Miami 16-yard-line, Taylor threw an end zone pass that was intercepted by rookie Jevon Holland and the drive yielded nothing. The Dolphins then drove 80 yards, scoring on a wildcat play.
The Texans got their own takeaway brigade rolling, but came up with only the two field goals before intermission. The defense, playing with bravado, kept them right in the game. Miami added a field goal to make it a four point deficit. Late in the first half, Taylor threw a pick on a throw-away pass that Jerome Baker toe-tapped to give the Dolphins field goal field position. They ultimately scored their final points of the game moments later.
A Texans field goal was the only scoring in the entire second half after Houston couldn't punch it in from the Miami two. Kicking the field goal there made it a one-score deficit and Houston did get the ball back twice, three times if you count the late desperation possession, but there was no serious threat. The final Texans turnover was an overturned incomplete pass that was deemed to be a catch and fumble, during the review.
This one stung badly. Taylor threw three interceptions and moved the ball a bit but didn't seem like the QB the Texans saw in the first game and a half. The running game produced more than usual but not enough. The defense shined and special teams got the three field goals and forced a fumble.
It all adds up to loss number eight in a row. This was a closer game today but leaves no one feeling any better after a gigantic missed opportunity to stop the slide.
The bye will be a good time to self-scout and find a way to generate some offense as an AFC South battle with Tennessee is up next in two weeks. Until then, it's important to recharge and gear up for eight more games, a huge portion of the schedule.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
Check out the best photos from the Texans Week 9 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.