The Rundown: Unlucky Number 5 (Chiefs Edition)
Five games in a row, the Houston Texans have left the field with a loss and this time it was by one point to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans gave second year quarterback Case Keenum a shot to right the ship and he almost did, but a big defensive showing from the Chiefs in the 4th quarter quickly shut the Texans’ hopes of winning.
The Texans injuries are mounting and the overall play of the team is not leaving much to be desired on the football field. The bye week has arrived and it will give a much needed break of the game of football to Texans fans everywhere.
Case Keenum Impressed
The second year quarterback put on a display and showed what the offense can be with a semi-mobile player. Keenum showed he can throw the deep ball, provide big plays and avoid the rush and create off script. He still has some to learn, especially when the blitz game increases from the opponent. Keenum finished the evening 15/21 for 271 yards and 1 touchdown. His completion rate was at 60% and his passes averaged 10.8 yards an attempt.
Keenum did enough in our eyes to warrant him another start against the Indianapolis Colts in two weeks, but that is no guarantee with Matt Schaub healing from an ankle and leg injury. Where the Texans go with the quarterback situation is up to Kubiak and the staff, but sitting Keenum would not be a good thing for a struggling team that needs help.
Brian Cushing Out For the Season
For the second year in a row, the Texans defense will have to do it without their captain who sustained a nasty leg injury on a block from Jamaal Charles. Cushing’s injury comes as a big blow to a defense that has been struggling all season, and losing one of their best defenders does not help out the cause.
The Texans have lost Owen Daniels, Danieal Manning and now Cushing to the injured reserve. The injuries are mounting up and it couldn’t have happened to a more important group than this one, core players that were depended on.
Losing Cushing just put salt on the wound and, after this one point loss, it only makes a bad situation worse for the Texans.
DeAndre Hopkins Can Do Things if Thrown the Ball
He only had three catches but he showed a side of his game that hasn’t been seen, and that is going vertical. Hopkins had a great catch from a deep ball from Keenum that covered 35 yards and a touchdown. It was a good sign for an offense that has not been able to produce big plays. Today they did, despite losing the game. Hopkins is a good player and finally seeing him contribute is a positive sign.
Texans Core Players Not Playing Well
Players that the Texans are depending on have been struggling all season. Duane Brown, Matt Schaub, Antonio Smith, Wade Smith and Ed Reed were considered top pieces of the team coming into the season. All of them have been under performing and have been big reasons for the Texans’ struggles. These veterans were players that the team was counting on to make a difference and they have been anything but that this season. To make matters worse, Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, Derek Newton, Brice McCain, Bryan Braman and Jared Crick were all hand picked players by the Texans who were expected to make a jump in progression this year as players, and they have been nothing but disappointments too. The progression of the team has been a lateral move and no one has really been a difference maker for the team.
Running Back Situation
It is not often when third string running back Cierre Wood would get so much attention being inactive. A hamstring injury to Arian Foster after the first drive and an undisclosed injury to Ben Tate left the Texans to depend on fullback Greg Jones to help out in the running game. It was a recipe for disaster because a decent running game helped keep the Chiefs’ defense on their heels and gave Keenum some time to work. With Foster dealing with a hamstring issue earlier in the week and not having a healthy option came back and bit the Texans and Kubiak and set them up for failure in the second half when they needed a running game the most.
Where to Now?
There is no way that anyone could have predicted this melt down these past five games. The Texans have found every way to lose. They won the turnover battle but still couldn’t pull out the win. To make matters worse, the Texans’ defense did not help causes out with another long drive for 98 yards. The offensive line couldn’t pick up the blitzes the Chiefs sent at them, and set up for a heart breaking loss for the Texans. Red zone issues from the one yard line that resulted in a field goal did not help, so it is not just one thing for the Texans team.
It is hard to put a finger on the issues: coaching, offense, defense and special teams have all be sub par this season for Houston. Even with decent quarterback play, there are too many holes in this Texans team at the moment to correct. The bye week comes at a good time for the team, and getting them off the field could be a good thing at this moment. Will there be changes? Probably not, especially with the Texans not mathematically out of the hunt for the playoffs. The Texans are trying to get their team to hit a stretch of good football but it is not happening.