The final 12 minutes of Sunday's game with the Rams saw the Texans move the ball better than they have in weeks. Unfortunately, they were down five scores at the time and the game was basically out of reach.
The Rams scored early and often on their way to a 38-0 lead as the Houston defense had trouble getting off the field and the offense had trouble staying on it.
The Texans were 1-5 on third downs in the first half and turned the ball over in their own end with a pick, the first thrown by Davis Mills at home this season.
The L.A. pass rush was overwhelming with five sacks along with other pressures and hurries that made life difficult for the Houston attack. Running the ball was once again a challenge as the Texans only gained 44 yards in the contest.
A late first half field goal drive got the Texans in position for a 45-yard attempt that sailed wide right. Other than that, the deepest first-half penetration into Rams territory was a trip to the L.A. 49-yard line. But that drive was snuffed out by a sack.
The second half began with the Texans racking up four consecutive three-and-outs before the offense caught fire late.
Three straight scoring drives followed by a stop in Houston territory gave the Texans the ball with just under two minutes to go. Had they scored fast, it would have unbelievably created a very significant onside kick opportunity – almost unthinkable after a 38-0 hole.
But the fireworks ended at the L.A. 25-yard line with an incomplete pass and another loss, the seventh in a row.
Sifting through the damage, you can see some bright spots with the young players on offense with rookies Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan contributing. Of course Brandin Cooks was his usual productive self. And Mills ended up throwing for over 300 yards with two TDs in the late run. Jonathan Greenard notched his seventh sack and Tremon Smith shined on special teams.
This was a brief stop at home as the Texans are in a stretch of four of five on the road plus the bye. They won't be back here for four weeks, when the Jets arrive. Miami, in South Florida, is up next and they're not happy either after dropping a divisional game in Buffalo, also putting them at 1-7.
Somehow the Texans need to keep pushing and bottle what they had late in the game against the Rams so they can force the action earlier, like they did against New England. The challenge continues and the majority of the season remains, to improve and reverse their longest losing streak in eight years.
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 Houston Texans Week 8 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.