The Texans know it. Sure the Chiefs played well. But it was self inflicted wounds that contributed to this opening day loss as much as anything. Too many penalties, turnovers, mistakes on third down and special teams snafus spelled doom.
Houston dug a big hole and couldn't get the takeaways or offensive execution to climb out. There was a late rally but not enough key plays to pull it off. What's left now is corrections and a giant wave in the rear view mirror as the squad gears up for Carolina.
Sure there were some positives. In hurry up mode, the Texans offense looked good. But, as Bill O'Brien said they couldn't get that "first first down" enough to fire up the no-huddle attack.
We figured there might be a time when the quarterback conversation came up again but if you had three quarters into the first game in your office pool, congratulations. Ryan Mallett did move the team but it's up to Bill O'Brien to decide whether it was enough to put Brian Hoyer on the bench before the second game of his Texans career.
DeAndre Hopkins looked terrific and Nate Washington looked like he's going to have a very good year. And a guy named J.J. Watt still looks like the best player on the planet.
Jadeveon Clowney made a huge stop on a sideline first down bid by Jamaal Charles and had some other nice moments. A great start for him coming off a catastrophic injury.
The fact that the defense put up a donut in the second half was needed and clutch. But O'Brien talks about complimentary football all the time and the pieces just weren't fitting together. He knew it was a field position game and the Texans were on the short end of that stick all day long.
It's one game.
It was a rough one and virtually the entire season lies ahead. But the Texans know they can't expect to win without embracing the basics. The next opportunity is against a team that's won back to back division titles. And it's on the road. They need to get back to what they were doing right late last year when they went 5-2 down the stretch. In a hurry.
Take a look at photos from Sunday's matchup with the Chiefs.