Maybe I was naive to hope and think that this would be a competitive game for the Texans. The thing that bugs you the most is that the defense actually played pretty well. New England's average drive start was the Houston 49. I would love to see how the defense would have looked even if the offense could just punt deep to play them on a long field. Put up 14-17 points and don't turn it over and this thing would have been a single-digit loss at worst. Maybe even a win.
David Carr had a rough game. A couple of the sacks were team-oriented and maybe one of the picks, but there's no doubt he had one of his worst games as a pro. The disturbing thing is that there was a running game to support him and the passing game still couldn't click.
Try this for bizarre: Four games ago, the Texans threw for 321 yards against the Jets while gaining almost nothing on the ground. Then, in the next three games, Ron Dayne has the best stretch of his career and the team can't get any big plays going through the air.
Carr's best stretch of his career were games three through seven in 2004 when he led the team to a come-from-behinder at Kansas City, beat Oakland at home, put up nearly 400 yards in an overtime loss against Minnesota, and defeated Tennessee and Jacksonville. The Texans had won four of five and were 4-3 on the season. Things really haven't been the same for Carr or this offense since.
There's irony that Gary Kubiak is an offensive coach and it's the defense that looks most promising. Of course, spending the first two picks on that side of the ball helped. If there was any silver lining Sunday, it's that the seedlings of a great defense are there, but it's still very much under construction.
This game was a homecoming of sorts for me as New England is where I saw my first NFL game and I broadcasted my first football game at Foxboro High School, about two miles from Gillette Stadium. Seeing old friends who still can't believe I do what I do was fun.
But the game was tough to take. Almost tougher than last week is that the Titans game was a competitive showdown that came down to the wire. This one was a massive blowout helped enormously by unforced errors. Now the Texans have two games to go to prove how much better they are than last year's 2-14 campaign. It would be nice to end this season with, as former head coach Dom Capers would say, the arrow pointing upward.
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