Robert Mathis' sack of David Carr with 6:10 left in Sunday's Texans-Colts game in many ways sums up the Texans' season.
It was painful, especially for Carr.
It also represented one of many mistakes that have kept Houston from gathering more wins and re-channeling the team that one four of five games earlier in the season.
Houston had 3 rd and 2 at their own 44-yard line when Mathis exploded through the line and dropped Carr. The Texans were trailing by six and driving for the winning touchdown.
Instead they punted and watched as the Colts kicked a field goal to put the game out of reach. A few minutes later Indianapolis left the field with a 23-14 win.
The sack was one of five on the day.
The Texans also had five false start penalties and two turnovers – one lead to a touchdown; the other ended a promising drive deep into Colts territory.
"When you look at a team like the Colts, there's a reason why they're the number one offense in the league, the number one scoring team in the league," Houston head coach Dom Capers said. "You have to match their efficiency."
The Texans were efficient in the run game.
Domanick Davis rushed for 128 yards and has ran for more than 100 yards in two of the last three games, by far the best production in the running game the Texans have enjoyed all season.
Capers said he expects more good things to come, even though the Texans are guaranteed of no better than a .500 finish.
Players around the locker room were frustrated with the loss. The feeling had not softened Monday afternoon, with penalties and missed opportunities still lingering.
"The plays that we're not capitalizing on are the ones that are hindering us from going over the edge," tight end Mark Bruener said.
Capers said he did not doubt his team's ability or motivation. The Texans have overcome adversity before this season and will take to the practice field Wednesday eager to disprove any doubters.
There are three games left to find a new play that can define the season.
"To me there's a right way of doing things and there's an easy way of doing things and we're looking for guys that want to do it the right way," Capers said.
INJURY REPORT:Linebacker Troy Evans sprained his left ankle during a kickoff return Sunday. Capers said he will be out for Sunday's game at Chicago.
Capers said Tony Hollings "continues to make progress" after pulling a hamstring but will not practice Wednesday.
Capers said some other players may also be limited.