Vandermeer's View: Turnovers tighten division race


The home cooking the Texans were hoping for turned out to be more like three day old Thanksgiving leftovers. They were hoping to stay perfect at NRG Stadium but failed to follow the winning recipe, especially against a team with as much firepower as San Diego.

Turnovers kill everybody and the Texans are not equipped to consistently overcome them. At this time of year, they need to be gradually correcting their giveaway-takeaway margin. Instead they are sinking further in the wrong direction, now at minus nine after three picks and a fumble in today's game.

And even though they got a much needed pick from Quintin Demps, they failed to get any more interceptions or fumbles from a team that coming into Sunday was previously tied for last in the NFL with 22 turnovers.

If you told me coming into the game that Houston would hold San Diego to 21 points I gladly would've taken it. Houston's offense was starting to improve and if they could just hang onto the rock everything would work out.

They didn't.

Bill O'Brien knows that he has to take some chances. Like Bruce Arians says, "no risk-it, no biscuit." But O'Brien also know his passing game has committed too many donations to the opponent's cause and he must be careful. That's where the running game comes in and it's been doing well. To finish drives though, you often need to sling it and Houston is on pace for its lowest TD pass total in ten years.

Somehow, the coaching staff has to take the good things in the passing game and phase out the unforced errors. There were some encouraging moments on Sunday, like the 33-yard throw to Will Fuller V to set up the team's lone touchdown. Several plays to DeAndre Hopkins and C.J. Fiedorowicz were also notable. But the mistakes and unfinished drives determined the game and grabbed the headlines.

Now the Texans go back out on the road for two games against good quarterbacks. The defense and running game need to travel well. And the passing attack has to leave the mistakes at home. Aaron Rodgers will be coming off a Monday Night road game. And even though the Packers have recently lost to two AFC South teams in Tennessee and Indy, don't think for a second that Lambeau field will be easy to deal with. Early weather forecasts have the temperature in the upper 30s. So at least there's that.

The division is a tight race now with the Titans only a half-game back and the Colts sitting at 5-6 with a home date against Houston in two weeks. There is no more margin for error. It was gobbled up with your cranberry sauce. The Texans need to transform into a team that takes pristine care of the football. And fast.

Take a look at the best game photos from the Texans Chargers game.

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