Texans Simply Cannot Get Out of Their Own Way


Penalties and turnovers: the two worst statistical categories to “lead” the NFL in. While they’re not quite at the top of the list for the most penalized team in the NFL, they do have the absolute worst turnover differential thus far.

Simply put: The Texans need to get out of their own way.

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How can a team that thrived on creating havoc on defense by causing turnovers, and having an extreme awareness and discipline to not be penalized much, end up like the 2015 squad that Houston has fielded? It’s not like they reshuffled the deck here, if anything, most believed that the Texans had upgraded in a few key areas.

The difference isn’t really that hard to decipher. Once you look at just how bad the offense has been at moving the ball, you can see how easily the defense can crumble due to lack of rest. Houston currently ranks 24th overall in total time of possession, amassing barely 29 minutes per game. They also rank 19th in the league on 3rd down conversions.

If Houston has any hope to turn it around, they need to start by maintaining possession of the football in all aspects.

If the offense for a football team can’t maintain drives and keep their defense on the sidelines, it’s only natural that a defense would tire more easily, and create more chances for the opposition to get scoring opportunities.

Now, that isn’t to say the defense is without fault. I’ve been consistently writing each week’s game recap, and it seems like each and every time there are at least 4 or 5 bone headed mistakes that end up hurting the Texans. They can’t get out of their own way.

Numerous times there has been a third down stop, only to have the drive extended by a horrible penalty.

Another situation unfolded last week against Indianapolis, where free safety Rahim Moore made a beautiful interception in the end zone, only to have it negated by a defensive holding penalty. Well, on that drive late in the game the Colts would take the lead 27-20 and seal Houston’s fate. Without that penalty, the entire landscape of the game would have been different.

Watch for some of these mistakes to be corrected this week. I can’t imagine that Bill O’Brien and J.J. Watt being on the defense’s rear all week will have minimal effect in righting the ship.

The Texans are sitting at 1-4, and head into three “cupcake” weeks on paper. If they can find a way to win against Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Miami they will be sitting pretty at 4-4 headed into their bye week. This is even more crucial as Indianapolis holds the division lead, but heads into a gauntlet. They have to face the Patriots, Broncos, Panthers and Falcons over the next 5 weeks.

Now is the time for Houston to turn things around and make it known they aren’t to be counted out yet.

Next: POLL: Is There Still Hope for 2015 Texans?