The Houston Texans players will be back in the building on Tuesday following Sunday's 31-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17. Here are three takeaways from Head Coach Lovie Smith's Monday press conference.
1. Goals not met
The Texans will close out their 2022 campaign without a win at home and the worst record in the NFL heading into the final week of the 2022 regular season. Lovie Smith said that it ranked among his most difficult seasons as a head coach, but is encouraged by how the players have performed in recent games and what the future holds for them.
"Do we feel like we've met our goals this year? I think it's safe to say we haven't," Smith said. "Everybody has high goals for winning every game, winning the division. There's a lot of things we didn't get accomplished. Was that realistic? I don't know but those were our goals."
With one game remaining, Smith says the Texans have a chance to "add to the story."
2. Facing the Colts
After opening the season with a tie against the Colts, the Texans will close the 2022 chapter against their AFC South rival. The 4-11-1 Colts now have a different head coach and play caller than when these two teams faced each other in Week 1. Interim Head Coach Jeff Saturday announced Monday that there will be quarterback change too. Sam Ehlinger will start against Houston.
"I know he played earlier," Smith said. "Being a guy from Texas, I know about this career and what type of football player he's been. I know he's excited about this opportunity, if he's the guy. I know he's a mobile guy. From all I've heard, he's a great leader, guys buy into him. He can move the chains with his feet as much as he can throwing the football."
Ehlinger finished the Colts' Week 17 game against the Giants after Nick Foles suffered a rib injury in the second quarter. Matt Ryan is expected to back up Ehlinger, who threw his first career touchdown in in the 38-10 loss on Sunday.
3. Desire to win and draft order
While the Texans can lock up the No. 1 draft pick with another loss, they can also still add some of the top rookies in the 2023 draft class with a No. 2 or No. 3 pick, according to Smith. Either way, getting the first overall pick will not factor into the Texans' primary goal, which is to win their final game of the season.
"I've been asked this question a few weeks because we've been in that role," Smith said. "I understand it. We've been trying to win for a long period of time, every game. None of that has changed. That's why there is disappointment in what happened yesterday. We're going to go to work this week and do everything we possibly can to win this last game."
The Texans will close out their 2022 campaign on the road against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18.
Browse photos from the Texans-Jaguars Week 17 matchup.