Buried between the lines of the final score of the Texans game against San Francisco is the fact that the Texans were very much in this thing up until the final minutes. There are no moral victories but let the record show that Houston gave the 49ers everything they could handle into the final quarter.
After trading possessions in the first quarter, even the Texans getting off the field on the first of two fourth down stops, Desmond King II got things going with a second quarter pick was ultimately spotted at the Houston 20. An 80-yard march ensued, ending up with a Davis Mills to Brandin Cooks touchdown that gave Houston the lead late in the first half.
A three-and-out by the D resulted in another possession but this one was short-lived. San Francisco was able to produce a field goal drive and the teams hit the locker rooms with the Texans up four. The defense did good work again, getting off the field on the first second half possession with another fourth down stop. But Houston's follow-up drive ended with a Mills pick. The Niners navigated their way down the field and scored on the first of two Trey Lance TD passes to put San Francisco up for good.
The teams traded punts before the Texans got a good drive going again. But that one ended with a missed field goal and San Francisco then went 65 yards for another score, furnishing themselves a double-digit lead.
The Texans' answer drive got them to the 49er 41-yard line but no closer. After a turnover on downs, the 49ers put together back-to-back field goal drives to put the game away.
This was a winnable game, one which the young players will learn from. The offensive production of the last two weeks wasn't there but the Texans showed a lot of fight as they hung with a team fighting for a postseason berth.
Now comes a finishing tilt with the Titans. Their loss to the Texans still stings, as if they prevailed they'd have wrapped up the top seed in the AFC by now. It will be fun to watch the Texans try for the sweep.