After each loss of this perplexing streak, the quick 'possible win-out' math was always used to project the final record. The best case scenario now stands at 7-9. But that mark sounds like a pipe dream after Sunday's 13-6 defeat by the Jaguars.
Here we are, in the land of lost. Preseason debates about whether Matt Schaub can take the team to the Super Bowl have morphed into discussions about whether this is actually the worst team in the NFL. You might be thinking that can't possibly be true but the record (2-9) is tied for the poorest in the league.
Think about that for a moment. Once upon a time this was a playoff team contending to get to the Super Bowl. Now they are contending for the number one pick in the draft.
Case Keenum was brought off the bench to give the team a spark going into the Kansas City game. That was five weeks ago. Back then, the losing streak, at four, was bad enough. It took the team down a few pegs off the NFL's best. It put them in a position in which they would have to fight their way into a wild card berth or get help and claw their way back into the division race. But it hasn't stopped.
They've played five close games in the Keenum starts. And they've lost them all.
Don't blame him. The machine is broken. Houston has played three games this season without scoring a touchdown (four, if you count the Rams game with a late non-factor TD). Arian Foster hasn't played a full game since the 25 point loss to St. Louis. Ben Tate is playing hurt. Owen Daniels is out and the overall attack is a shadow of what we've come to expect in the Kubiak era.
The offense is misfiring. The defense hasn't pitched shutouts but it's been good overall and its mistakes are magnified with the offense failing to produce, particularly in the second half. Special teams has put together two pretty good games in a row but it hasn't mattered.
We've gone from the best of times in the last two seasons to the toughest of times. The streak is at nine and the would-be softer part of the schedule is behind us.