Quarterback Matt Schaub looks downfield for receiver Kevin Walter.
The Houston Texans recorded 341 receiving yards in their 37-17 loss to the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
Walter on point: Opportunities are seldom for Texans' receivers not wearing No. 80. At least that used to be the case. With Andre Johnson out of the lineup Sunday at Jacksonville for the fourth consecutive game, Kevin Walter continued to prove that he can be counted on to be more than a possession receiver.
Walter caught 12 passes for 160 yards (13.3 avg.). Both totals were game- and career-highs for the fifth-year receiver from Eastern Michigan, who also had a career- and game-long 46-yard grab on the game's opening drive.
Walter's receiving yards total was the second-most in team history, and his 12 catches accounted for 40 percent of the Texans' total receptions in the contest.
"No. I wasn't surprised," Walter said of his output. "You go out there and you prepare real hard during the week. Whenever you get an opportunity to make a play, you have to do it."
Unfortunately, Walter was left agonizing over the offense's missed opportunities rather than enjoying his career game.
"I'll tell you what, that defense is a good defense up and down the board," he said. "We executed on some plays, and some plays we didn't execute. But we just have to continue to work hard.
"Penalties killed us. Turnovers killed us. And our red zone efficiency killed us. That's what it came down to right there."
Despite an emphasis on their red zone offense, the Texans continue to come up short.
"It's frustrating, very frustrating, because we really focused on our red zone (offense), getting in the end zone and not taking the field goal," Walter said. "We need points, touchdowns, especially against a group like this. We just need to go back to the drawing board and work real hard in doing that."
Whether or not Johnson misses another game because of a knee sprain, Walter's approach won't change, even if he begins to receive more attention from opposing defenses.
"Whatever (teams) decide to do, I'm just going to continue to work hard and play my game," Walter said. "I feel confident in myself. I said from the get-go we have a good group of receivers that can go out there and make plays. We just have to continue to do that."
Red zone woes: The rest of the Texans' offense did not look as confident in the red zone, finishing 1-of-5 in touchdown territory. In the first three quarters, the team had to settle for three Kris Brown kicks and did not cross the end zone until the final minute of the game.
"Settling for three's on the road in this league - you know, when you get down inside the red zone, it's going to hurt you," quarterback Matt Schaub said. "We want to score seven points down there, so we've got to find a way to finish drives and finish plays and finish games."
Instead of finishing, the offense kept fumbling. Wide receiver André Davis fumbled a pass in the end zone and Schaub fumbled the ball after being sacked at the Jacksonville 26-yard line.
"That hurts anytime you are down there and turn the ball over," Schaub said. "You know, my fumble - that hurt when they recovered it and ran it back. Everyone, I think, has a play today where they would like to have it back because it impacted the team in a big way."
Kubiak had a few play calls he would like to recall. In fact, the head coach shouldered much of the blame for the team's loss.
"We moved the football down the field in the first two drives and got three points," Kubiak said. "You can't do that against this team. You have to get all you can get because they're a very good defensive football team.
"In the second half, we got our butts kicked. It starts with me. I got mine kicked and the rest of our coaches got theirs kicked. There are no excuses."
Pass first: Even with running back Ahman Green in the lineup after missing two games with a sore knee, the Texans could not ignite the running game. The team finished with 61 rushing yards.
"We played a team that's pretty good against the run; number one, they're pretty good," Kubiak said. "I thought we did some better things, but we don't have a lot to show for it because we were throwing the ball throughout the second half."
Green, who led the Texans with 44 yards on the ground, did help put the offense in good second down situations. The Texans, however, continued to have much more success in the air, throwing the ball 43 times in the game.
When asked if he had planned to pass that often, Kubiak said he was just doing whatever he could to attack the Jaguar defense.
"We were moving the ball," Kubiak said. "The ball's going to go where it's supposed to go according to coverage, but you have to finish drives."
The Texans recorded 341 receiving yards; however, as the head coach pointed out, none of Schaub's long bombs resulted in touchdowns.
Now the team will go back to the drawing board to find new ways to fix nagging problems as the Tennessee Titans come to Reliant Stadium in the TNT Rivalry game this coming Sunday.