Vandermeer's View: Roughed up in the Rockies


Bill O'Brien often points out how every week is different in the NFL. Clearly, the Texans need to play differently if they are going to stop a red hot Detroit team Sunday in their attempt to bounce back after getting bludgeoned by Denver 27-9 on Monday night.

Brock Osweiler knew he would hear the boos from the Mile High faithful. The hope was that he would come back to his former employer's place of business with some momentum after his come-from-behind heroics against the Colts.

It didn't happen.

Houston hung in there until the third quarter. Then the turnovers hit. First Alfred Blue was hit hard by Darian Stewart, popping the ball out which air-mailed into the hands of linebacker Todd Davis. The Broncos then drove 72 yards to go up two scores and really turn up the pressure.

Then, Osweiler fumbled as the ball slipped out of his hands, trying to pull the string on a pass. Three more points by Denver and it was a 15 point deficit that was seemingly insurmountable. The Bronco rushing attack got well and made life miserable in the second half.

It's the strangest of seasons, so far. Houston is a perfect 4-0 at home and 0-3 on the road with all three losses in lopsided fashion. O'Brien is right because the Texans are almost completely different at home and will need to find better performances away from NRG Stadium or this season could soon spiral out of control.

The formula was clear on Monday night. Run the football, check. Play good defense. Well, they gave up two first half touchdown drives then settled down. As was the case in the defeats at Minnesota and New England, the offense's inability to sustain drives wore out the defense. We'll never know how these games might have gone with clean, productive offense. Houston ran the ball well at Denver but couldn't finish drives.

Now, Detroit invades. The Lions are on a roll and led by Mathew Stafford who has more passing yards in his first 100 games than anyone in NFL history. And the Texans are hardly healthy.  This is a huge and quick week for this team. If the Texans can protect their home turf they'll go to 5-3 heading into the bye. And the team has been better under O'Brien in the second half of his first two seasons. But the matter at hand is somehow getting more consistent on offense. And fast.

The Texans took on the Broncos in Denver on Monday Night Football.

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