If you want to know how tough it is to rebound when a team has lost three in a row, just take a look around the league at some of the squads that have been suffering through bad streaks. There’s finger pointing, head-hanging or worse.
Credit your Texans for keeping their heads up when they dropped three straight to start the season. They have clawed their way back to take the top spot in the division, a position they have no intention of giving up easily.
Facing three top five defenses in the last three weeks, the Texans have scratched for every point they got. Their starting quarterback has been banged up and their offensive line, missing their starting right tackle since the first half of game one, fought through yet another injury-forced line up change to beat a desperate Jacksonville team on the road for their fourth consecutive win.
Most of the pundits predicted a low scoring game that the Jags would win. But the Texans D changed the narrative by forcing two Blake Bortles fumbles that turned into 10 points, all the scoring Houston would need.
The Jaguars were coming off two road blowouts. But at home they’ve held teams to point totals of 20, 9 and 12. They also beat New England in commanding fashion in week two. But September seems like a long time ago. Just ask the Texans.
Deshaun Watson didn’t put up fantasy-busting numbers. But he also didn’t turn it over and helped the Texans go two for two in goal-to-go situations. Bill O’Brien had to navigate through a game in which he could not risk more health problems for his QB yet put up enough points and clock grinding drives to come out ahead.
Lamar Miller’s 100 yards certainly helped. The Texans ran for 141 yards with Watson picking up ‘only’ 13. That was a huge part of the recipe; make enough throws to move the sticks and count on your vastly improved special teams to force Jacksonville to play on a long field. The Jags started five drives inside their 20. And Houston was eight for 16 in third downs on offense.
So, here we are at 4-3. Not too many people saw this coming. It’s a short week to get ready for the Dolphins, then the Texans play one game (at Denver) in a 24-day span. There’s never smooth sailing in the NFL but the Texans have a relatively good situation here. They are done with the road portion of the AFC South schedule and finished it at 2-1. They still have five home games left with a lot of great possibilities on the table.
Enjoy this win and get ready for Thursday. Hitting the halfway point at 5-3 would be solid for just about any team in the league. For the one-time 0-3 Texans, it would be colossal.