I was so stunned that Texans lost to the Bills at the wire that I was nearly speechless. Obviously, that's not good in my line of work.
Even down 14-0, I had a good feeling that Houston would come back. Stuff the run, get the offense cranked up and leave Reliant Stadium victorious. But the offense failed to pick up first downs when they needed them most, and the defense started springing leaks at a bad time.
Both teams were banged up. We could argue about who was worse off, but it's pointless. The Bills made more big plays, and the Texans made the big mistakes.
**Glass Half Empty:
**Two huge plays (83 yards each) given up by the defense early.
Losing potential points late in the half because of Jamel Cook's fumble in the red zone.
Losing potential points in the fourth quarter after a holding penalty wiped out a Carr scramble to the 10.
Houston having trouble fielding kickoffs in the sunshine in the North end zone. Ideally, home field characteristics shouldn't hamper the home team.
Texans losing winable games in painful fashion three of the last four outings.
**Glass Half Full:
**Samkon Gado and Wali Lundy both ran the football well.
The defense picked up its first TD on Dunta Robinson's INT return for a score.
Shantee Orr's hurdling sack.
Punt cover team downing kicks deep in Bills' territory.
Carr completing 22 in a row.
The Texans playing very competitive ball in the last seven games (with the exception of the last quarter and a half against Dallas).
**On "The Call"
**There has been and will be much discussion about the Texans trying a slant to Andre Johnson on third-and-two with two minutes to go and the Bills with one timeout left. If you totally support last week's fourth-and-inches call, then this call should not bother you a whole lot. If it works, it's a gutsy, aggressive call. If it doesn't, the game is certainly not over.
The fact is that many things contributed to the loss. The early big plays, the lack of offense in the second half, the late defensive lapse and J.P. Losman playing out of his mind all helped.
It's sad that we have seen so many of these heartbreakers at Reliant Stadium. Last year vs. St Louis, Green Bay in '04, Tennessee, New England, Indy and the Jets in '03 come to mind. We're due for a run of good fortune.
This team is making progress, but it hasn't materialized in the win column enough. Here's to our ship coming in soon.