Was this one of those let down type performances in which your vastly superior team is caught napping against a seemingly dead squad? Or is this a performance that sets off alarms about deep concerns you have about your franchise? The answer is yes. There's a little bit of truth in both questions.
It was supposed to be like driving down to the corner store to pick up a loaf of bread. Instead, the Texans almost saw their hopes of a winning season jacked by a depleted and desperate Rams team.
In one of the strangest games we've seen the locals play, they nearly fumbled and dropped their way to an embarrassing loss. Instead, the defense stepped up and the offense ran out the clock as the Texans ran out of town with a 16-13 win.
So here we are at 7-7 for the third straight year with another chance to get a winning season and a super-model-slim chance at getting into the postseason. Houston needs more help than the 2008 banking system, but sports are about hope and drama and we'll be watching to see if they can pull off a football miracle.
There are a few constants that need to be addressed. The Texans have too much trouble running the ball and they aren't finishing enough drives because of that and a tendency to cough up the ball.
Things to be encouraged about:
- The aerial attack is one of the best in the NFL with Matt Schaub pulling the trigger.
- Schaub has shown great leadership being vocal with his teamates, playing hurt and putting up ridiculous numbers.
- Since the first three games, the defense is a top-five unit against the run.
Things to be concerned about:
- Not running the ball well.
- Turning the ball over too much.
This has been a tough second half of the season with a four-game losing streak and a way-too-stressful win at St. Louis. There is zero margin for error, but at least the Texans enter the final two games of the year with something they have never had before: a chance to play in the postseason. It's not a good chance, but they'll take it.