Texans head coach Dom Capers said his team was put into a two-minute situation with nine minutes to go in Sunday's loss to the New York Jets.
Well, it was one of those games.
Houston led 7-6 at halftime but lost 29-7. The Jets scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and dominated time of possession in the second half meaning the Texans had to play catch up for most of the fourth quarter.
The Texans simply fell apart after some untimely penalties – the first coming on the team's first punt of the second half.
Chad Stanley’s 50-yard punt out of the Texans end zone was called back on a holding penalty. His second punt was just slightly shorter, but Jets return man Santana Moss returned the ball 46-yards to set up 1 st and goal from the four.
"Over the years I know I've certainly not had very good experience when you have to punt a second time," Capers said Monday afternoon. "Normally something bad happens, especially when you have to back up and punt the second time with your back right to the end line."
New York was flagged for an illegal block in the back on the return, but after a meeting on the field, officials reversed the call.
Capers and the coaching staff then spent some time discussing the momentum turning play with referee Tom White.
"What Tom said to me was the official threw the flag and there was another official that came in and had a different angle and felt that it was not a block in the back, the guy tripped," he said.
The Texans were flagged for intentional grounding on the following drive – a questionable call because David Carr was under no pressure when he made the throw. Capers said there was a miscommunication between the quarterback and wide receiver Andre Johnson.
He said White said he could not officiate a miscommunication and the penalty stood Another Texans drive stalled.
"That somewhat set the tone for the second half. We battled in the third quarter," Capers said. "It was still 13-7 at the end of the third quarter and then it got away from us a little bit in the fourth quarter. When you look at our execution and the consistency of our execution it just wasn't there in the second half."
The Texans played very well in the first half and had opportunities to take a larger lead. Johnson dropped a pass in the end zone on the team's first possession and Domanick Davis’ 60-yard touchdown run was called back on a holding penalty.
Davis rushed for 52 yards on 17 carries and was rendered ineffective in the second half when the Texans were forced to pass more.
A one-dimensional offense played into the Jets hands Sunday afternoon. Carr was sacked twice, threw two interceptions and completed passes to five receivers. Only Johnson had more than two catches.
On the bright side, Johnson recorded the sixth 100-yard game of his career and became the first receiver in team history to have more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
In the end the Jets (9-3) showed they are indeed one of the most efficient teams in football, despite having beaten only one team with a winning record.
The Texans were outscored 23-0 in the second half one week after outscoring the Tennessee Titans 21-0 in the final two quarters.
The Jekyll and Hyde season continues.
"The Jets aren't going to beat themselves," Capers said, adding later that his team's lack of consistency spelled its own demise. "They're a sound football team. I like what they have going. I think they have the winning combination. They play a lot of close games but they win a lot of close games because of the style they play."* *
INJURY REPORT:As expected, the Texans placed linebacker Jay Foreman on injured reserve Monday. Foreman suffered a high ankle sprain Sunday.
Capers said Foreman will undergo a series of MRIs to determine if surgery is necessary to repair the damaged ligaments.
"We're losing one of our defensive leaders and you never want to see that happen at any point in the season," the coach said.
Running back Tony Hollings (hamstring) will be held out of practice and listed as doubtful for next week's game against the Colts. Center Steve McKinney (rib bruise), defensive end Gary Walker (foot sprain) and right guard Zach Wiegert (thigh bruise) will be limited in practice.
Tight end Mark Bruener (sore neck), Carr (sore neck), free safety Marcus Coleman (shoulder), Johnson (back bruise), left guard Chester Pitts (hip straight) and Stanley (back strain) will also be limited in Wednesday's practice.