The Houston Texans nightmare, I mean season, was just another day in the books Sunday as they lost to the Arizona Cardinals 27-24.
Case Keenum fumbled on the Texans’ first play from scrimmage and it was returned for a touchdown. Things got better, but not much better, as the Texans lost 27-24 and extended their losing streak to seven.
Lets explain how the bad this season is for the Texans. The Houston Astros have a better 2013 win percentage than the Texans do right now. At 51-111, their worst record in franchise history, the Astros had a win percentage of .315. The Texans, at 2-7, have a win percentage of .222.
The Texans have the No. 1 defense and No. 10 offense in the NFL, an expected Hall of Fame wide receiver in Andre Johnson, and the reigning defensive player of the year in defensive end J.J. Watt.
The Texans are also just one win better than Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. The Buccaneers rallied to defeat troubled Miami 22-19 Monday night, earning their first win of the season and moving to 1-8. The lowly Jaguars are still floundering at the bottom of the AFC South, but they also picked up their first win in Week 10, beating Tennessee 29-27.
An upside-down season dominated by injuries became more painful Sunday. Kareem Jackson, Johnathan Joseph, Joe Mays, Ben Tate and Elbert Mack dealt with ailments on the same day it was revealed the Texans will lose star running back Arian Foster for the remainder of the season because of back surgery. Joseph and Mays returned to action against Arizona; Tate exchanged a missed series for some of his strongest runs of the game late in the second half. Jackson was dealing with pain post game, though, speaking lightly while adjusting to a sternum injury that will require an MRI on Monday.
Tate carried 15 times for 56 yards in Sunday’s 27-24 loss at Arizona. He wanted to carry the ball more. He’s playing with pain but learning to deal with it. “There’s not much you can do,” he said today. “It’s just the same thing each week.”
Tate said a couple of unnamed Cardinals defensive players tried to hit his ribs, but he didn’t think too much about it. “A couple of guys in this game were (going after ribs),” he said. “Some guys are going to be like that. That’s the kind of players they are. You just have to be aware of who they are and try to protect myself. It’s part of the game. There’s nothing I can really do about it.”
Safety Ed Reed took the field for just 12 defensive plays Sunday during the Texans’ 27-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, contributing in only 18 percent of the 66 total plays. He participated in three special-teams sets, which marked just nine percent of special-teams action.
After saying the Texans were at times outplayed and outcoached, Reed acknowledged being surprised by how little he was allowed to contribute during the team’s franchise-record seventh-consecutive defeat.
“Me, too, man,” Reed said. “Of course, man, (I wanted to play more). I’m just doing what I’m told for the most part. But at the same time, I know a lot of football. I know a lot about football, I know a lot about this game. I’m not just watching it like a blind man. The stuff I do know, I can’t say to you guys, because it is a team sport. … There’s a lot of soul-searching, top to bottom, that needs to be done, as coaches and as players.” Reed was the Texans’ main offseason addition after winning a Super Bowl last season with Baltimore, agreeing to a three-year, $15 million deal.
With many questions and few answers, the Texans will have a long road ahead of them while trying to climb out of this slump. The team needs to come together and find a way to win. That’s what separates most teams. All players in the NFL are professionals, and all teams have good players. Great teams find a way to make their players play together and most importantly win.