Texans start 0-2: Time to hit the “panic button”?


We are at the beginning of yet another slow start to the season after the Texans failed to leave with a victory against the Carolina Panthers. It’s officially time that we start to hear about what happens when you lose your first two games. Statistically speaking, it’s really, really hard on teams that start 0-2 to make the playoffs.  Since 2009, 45 teams have had such a start and only two have played in the postseason.

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This week’s loss will probably open the floodgates for superstitions about why the team has started the season with consecutive losses. Sports chat groups will be overrun by the sports fan “experts” who will write lengthy, direction-less posts ranging from theories about the ghost of Bud Adams appearing on field and causing turnovers, to the “Hard Knocks curse” and Blue Bell executives stealing signals to give to opponents as revenge against Texans sponsor HEB for their ice cream products dominating the local market in their absence due to their shutdown.

The Texans will not and don’t need to sign Ray Rice, Randy Moss, Brett Favre, Vince Young, Jake the State Farm Guy, Isaac from “The Love Boat”, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or any other imaginary character or player that is perceived to be the solution to all of the team’s woes for the past two games, but these suggestions will be made anyway.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of current NFL quality talent is already on a roster or practice squad. The guys that are at home are either guys that can no longer compete on a NFL roster or they are a “never had been” kind of guy like myself who tried but simply wasn’t good enough to play NFL football. The Texans are not going to make trigger happy moves in free agency to appease the nerves of fans, I’m sorry to be so blunt but that’s just reality, it simply isn’t practical to do so.

A phone call to a solid veteran guy like the recently retired former Texans center Chris Myers would be a logical addition that would immediately bring veteran leadership and familiarity with the organizational culture and structure. But again, let’s not panic here.

Let’s instead ignore the mob of panic-ridden individuals and focus on what is still possible this season, shall we? Let’s start with next weeks’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs went to New Orleans and defeated the Saints Sunday, and that actually could  be more of a blessing than it appears on the surface.

Instead of going into battle against another team with its season literally hanging on by a thread, the Texans will be the team with the greater sense of urgency, and although that will never show up on a stats sheet or in a playbook, there’s nothing like a team that has a “wounded animal” mentality and are convinced that they are fighting for their lives.

To put things in perspective, even with a loss to Tampa (something that I do not think will happen), The Texans still have plenty of playoff life left in their lungs, here’s why:

  1. The Texans have played none of their division games – sweeping the division or having similar success to last year’s division record of (4-2) puts the team at .500 (if you include the two current losses), with 8 more games to play.
  2. Thank goodness for the NFC South!: Of course it’s always going to depend on what actually happens on the field to determine who goes home victorious, but having the struggling Saints, inconsistent Bucs and the mysterious Falcons on the schedule are all games that based on “matchups” should be favorable to he Texans.
  3. The Calvary is on the way: According to many reports, Arian Foster is on target to return against the Indianapolis Colts. It may not seem as if one guy can make such a difference, but in this case it’s absolutely true. The Texans are clearly a much less effective offense without him.

Yes the oddsmakers will stack the deck but keep these points in perspective. If the Texans split their non-division games, and repeat last year’s 4-2 clip in the division that puts them at 9-7 to close out the season. Last year 9 wins wasn’t enough to get into the playoffs. This year the division is much more competitive and 9 wins may be enough to take the AFC South.

Ignore the paranoia. (The best way to do so is to use Toro Times as your sole source of information in regards to Texans football. Yes I realize what I did there and I have no shame in promoting the absolute best Texans based site on the web) In the meanwhile, take the batteries out of your panic buttons. This season is far from over.

Next: Silver Linings from Sunday