Two years ago the Texans had a late-in-the-season three game losing streak and rebounded to win the division and win a playoff game. Three years ago they were three games under .500 and somehow won the AFC South. Ten years ago they started 0-4 and 3-7 but finished 5-1 down the stretch.
Why do I bring these things up? Because your Texans are in a deep hole and we need perspective. They have played three games in which penalties, stalled drives and un-clutch play have pushed them to 0-3. They know there’s still plenty of time to do something about it. They also know if they don’t reel off some wins, this season will never get off the ground.
The Giants came in hurting as well. But they found a spark on offense as their rookie running back and 37-year old quarterback helped them score on their first four possessions for all the points they’d need on the day.
The Houston offense started the game with a promising drive that stalled and ended with a Ka’imi Fairbairn field goal, one of three on the afternoon. The offense began to click more in the second half but two possessions ended in New York territory with turnovers until Deshaun Watson was able to complete the second to last possession with a touchdown pass to Will Fuller V to cut it to a one score game.
Fuller had an excellent day and is performing like one of the best in the game. To have him and DeAndre Hopkins on the same team is a tremendous advantage. But the Texans haven’t been able to truly capitalize on their firepower as they are averaging just 19 points per game.
The defense rebounded from the first half with a second half shutout until the Giants final drive. It was a 77-yard march that gave them a two score lead and basically sent the Texans into next week. For a few moments it looked like J.J. Watt’s three sack day would create the stops and momentum to get Houston over the top. But it was not to be.
All three losses have similar characteristics - a slow start offensively combined with some defensive issues. Then a second half run that either got them close or grabbed the lead. Then a failure to get the needed plays in crunch time to earn a win.
With all the Texans have going for them, file this under one of the most perplexing starts to a Texans campaign. Somehow this team needs to find a way to start faster and play better down the stretch of games. There’s too much football left to hang heads. But if a run doesn’t start soon, the season will be doomed.