Sifting through the wreckage of the Texans' latest loss feels a lot like an easy coroner's job. The body isn't cold yet and the evidence of what mortally wounded the team's chances is plain as day.
The Texans are killing themselves with turnovers. Matt Schaub, who has never been through a stretch like this, is now upside down in the touchdown to interception ratio (8 TDs, 9ints) with four 'pick 6' throws in the last four games. Ben Tate has fumbled a couple of times in the last two games to help put the team at -8 in turnover margin.
Houston got through another game outgaining the opponent and actually possessing the ball for nearly 34 minutes yet lost by a staggering 31 points. Unthinkable.
The record might read 2-3 but your team is dangerously close to seeing the season slip away. It's already sliding in the wrong direction and there's no telling how they are going to get back on track. They have nine Pro Bowlers from last year. And that doesn't include Ed Reed, Antonio Smith and Brian Cushing. They have a Formula One race car that's stuck in a ditch.
Seldom have you watched this team with more concern that they will not make plays on both sides of the ball. Other than the first half against Seattle, in which things clicked beautifully, the Texans have played ten quarters of perplexingly counterproductive football. This has to stop fast.
DBs are jumping routes with alarming efficiency. Penalties are being committed at the worst possible time (OK, is there ever a good time?). Third downs are being picked up when stops are desperately needed.
Sure you can look all you want at the defensive stats, and they're good. But the players will be the first to tell you they need a few more takeaways to take some heat off the offense and help the cause. They don't give up a lot of yards but they haven't been the destructive force they were for much of the last two seasons.
But let's focus back on the attack, where Matt Schaub has to somehow pull it together, for his team and for his career. Is he going through a phase (he hadn't thrown three picks in a game in five years)? Is he losing his touch?
Gary Kubiak has to figure out how to turn his quarterback, his offense and this streak around or we'll be talking about a lost season.