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Just out of reach

Some day, the Texans will find a way to win consistently. Some day, that mojo and execution will become second nature. It could kick in anytime – maybe next week or next month or next year. But for now, we wait.

The Texans have played five games this year. One was a decisive loss; another, a blowout win. And three others that could have gone either way. The Texans are 1-2 in the "either way" games after falling in the desert to the Cardinals 28-21.

Just like in the Jacksonville game, Houston had a chance to tie the game late and force overtime but failed at the one-yard line. Tough pills to swallow for a franchise that desperately needs to take a giant step toward becoming a winner.

Now, with a date against the suddenly relevant Bengals, the Texans must find a way to exorcise their execution demons and move back into the winners circle.

There was plenty to complain about following the Arizona game. Matt Schaub's Pick 6 that provided the winning margin, Schaub's pass that sent Joel Dreessen out of the back of the end zone on third-and-one, Chris Brown's failed run on fourth down. The list is longer, but we'll start there.

However, you also have to take into consideration that Schaub and the offense were able to roar back into the game after a mostly dormant first half. They put on quite a show that required flawless precision to earn their way back into the game. The only problem was that, like in the Jacksonville game, the margin of error was paper thin and they weren't able to perform at the moment of truth.

One silver lining was that the defense that looked great in the second half. After a second quarter in which they wore down following the offenses miscues, they rose up and put the brakes on one of the better attacks in the league. It's something to build on.

This was another winnable game that slipped away. There are only three losses on the table so far, but the way things are going, the Texans are going to have to hijack some wins on the road to propel themselves above .500. They are certainly capable of winning games like the one against Arizona, but potential doesn't make the playoffs.

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