Living on the edge

Each week in the NFL (aside from bye weeks), there are 16 winners and 16 losers. The winners are happy, sort of, and the losers are miserable. The Texans are among the miserable this week and they are keeping some good company. The NFL Champion Steelers are 1-2, the Titans are 0-3 as are the Dolphins. On the flipside, somehow Denver is 3-0 and the undefeated Jets look like a Super Bowl team. It's a crazy league and a long season. Hang on for the ride.

After another head-scratching loss at Reliant, at least one thing is crystal clear: The Texans' offseason defensive moves have yet to pay off. Sure, Brian Cushing looks great and Antonio Smith has made some plays, but the end result is that Houston has given up more yards than any team in the league and the third-most points.

Gary Kubiak's teams have been slow starters. The Texans are now 4-11 in the first quarter of his four seasons as head coach here. Historically, they have been fast finishers winning 3-of-5, 3-of-4 and 5-of-6 in Kubiak's stretch runs. But he can ill-afford to see his team fall into a sink hole if he wants them to seriously flirt with a playoff run.

The Jacksonville game was a blown opportunity. The team is pretty healthy, and to lose a winnable home game early against what is considered an inferior opponent could help spoil a chance at a good record later. And if the Jags are running and throwing effectively (6-of-12 on 3rd and 4th down) one has to wonder what offenses led by the likes of Carson Palmer and Kurt Warner will do. And, oh yeah, we still have Peyton Manning on the schedule. Twice.

Steve Slaton looked like his 2008 self Sunday, and Matt Schaub is certainly performing like one of the league's better quarterbacks. But the defense needs to undergo a major breakthrough or this season will break down quickly.

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