Ryan Mallett was brutally honest after his first loss as a starting quarterback.
"I didn't play well today," Mallett said after the Texans 22-13 loss to Cincinnati. "I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from five yards away."
Mallett completed 21-of-45 passes for 189 yards and one interception in his second start. Despite targeting Andre Johnson 12 times, Mallett only connected with him three times for 12 yards. He also completed just 5-of-9 passes to DeAndre Hopkins.
"I've got to go look at the film to see if I was six inches off with the step or just one of those things," Mallett said.
With the run game faltering, Mallett had 50 percent more attempts through the air than he did in last week's win at Cleveland. Alfred Blue, who had 156 yards against the Browns, had just 46 yards on 16 carries against the Bengals defense.
"As an offensive line, that's all I can really assess as of now until we watch the film but we have to be more consistent in the run game," center Chris Myers said. "That starts from the first quarter on. We can't not run the ball and establish ourselves on the ground."
Mallett said he didn't need to check out of plays very often, but just needed to execute better. His command of the game was still a strength for Mallett, according to Myers.
"He is our field general," Myers said. "He put us in the right place here and there and moved us down the field. He handles the offense well. He handles everything in and out of the huddle well. He is very communicative about talking to tight ends and receivers. In that sense it's all going smooth. We just have to get better executing each play."
Houston's offense converted just two-of-eight third downs and was unable to score a touchdown. The Texans were 0-for-3 in red zone efficiency and 0-for-2 in goal-to-go efficiency.
"I've got to watch the film to really pinpoint it, but it's a team loss," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "It's not one guy. That whole locker room, coaching staff, everybody. We lost the game."