Someday we hope to look back on the 2020 season as one of learning and reset – a season in which the team was in transition and lost too many games - yet the seeds were being planted that would eventually sprout into big wins and historic moments in the future.
For now, we're left contemplating what might have been, especially with different execution in several games on plays that misfired or died at the two-yard line.
After what happened against the Colts two weeks ago we didn't think there'd be another late two yard line mishap that would determine the outcome of the game. But there was.
A catch-and-run fumble ended the Texans chances and stopped a would-be tying drive from finishing. Keke Coutee was furiously trying to get to the endzone when Darius Leonard punched the ball out. It ended a productive day by the offense and gave the Texans double digit losses with two games to go.
Yes, two yard line troubles have been an unfortunate theme in 2020. The Texans missed a late two point conversion at Tennessee. They failed in a goal-to-go at the two against Cleveland in a three point loss. And they had the two mistakes against the Colts from the same distance. Mix in the late third and goal from the one vs Minnesota and you have five point-blank missed opportunities that have really affected the season.
If the Texans had cashed in on even three of these, particularly against the Colts and Titans, they'd be in contention for the division and in reasonable shape for a wild card bid.
The latest installment of the Texans-Colts saga included good performances from Coutee, minus the fumble, and Chad Hansen catching his first career TD, a 38 yarder. Perhaps David Johnson was the story of the game with career highs in catches and receiving yards on a day when Duke Johnson was unavailable.
Deshaun Watson continues to amaze. He gives the Texans a great chance to win every week. This game was another close-but-no-cigar showcase. He's one of the top five QBs in the game and he's yours. The future is bright.
The defensive players will tell you it certainly wasn't their best day, as indicated by giving up the late 75 yard drive to lose the lead. But at 14-0 it was beginning to feel a lot like Chicago until everyone upped their game. Producing takeaways is still a huge issue as Houston has zero in four of the last five games, three of them being losses. Still, the Texans hung around and had a chance to win with seven defensive starters out from the start of the season.
There are no moral victories. Every week the players and coaches pour themselves into game planning and practicing. To lose on Sunday, especially like this, is a gut punch. But they press on. Cincinnati is up next. A new regime is on the way. But the Texans have two more shots to feel better about what's happening on the field before we start a new chapter in franchise history.
Check out some photos from the Texans, Colts matchup in Week 15.