The disastrous season for the Houston Texans is now finally over. With a 22-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on New Year’s Eve, the Texans fall to 4-12 on the season. A season that had so much promise ended in complete disappointment. The performance in the season finale for Houston was entirely underwhelming.
Quarterback T.J. Yates completed only 14 of 24 passes for 137 yards and one interception. The recurring theme of the Texans being unable to protect their quarterback continued. Yates was sacked twice and hit six times in the contest. The continued inability to block sufficiently remains the calling card for the Texans offensive line. Pass blocking is not the only area of concern for Houston.
Alfred Blue struggled to find running lanes as he rushed for 39 yards on 18 carries while adding one touchdown. This performance is a drastically different than the outstanding showing last week. Averaging 2.2 yards per carry compared to the 6.8 average yards per carry last week is not a good look. This production is due to the offensive line’s poor performance in the game. As a result Blue had difficulty finding room to run.
DeAndre Hopkins was absent in Sunday’s game, the first game he has missed in his entire career. Lacking a top pass catching target in Hopkins had a catastrophic effect on the Texans offense. The passing game never truly developed and Hopkins’ absence can be attributed to this. In addition to not having Hopkins, Will Fuller left the contest and did not return. This only further lessened the impact of the Houston passing game.
Without Hopkins and Fuller, the top receiving target was Chris Thompson. Thompson caught three passes for 54 yards on the day. This is not exactly the production needed from the leading receiver. In fact this is the type of production expected from a team who ends up losing the game. Well that is exactly what happened as the Texans lost their 11th and final game of the season.
The Colts ground game was extremely effective as they ran right through the Texans defense. Frank Gore rushed 24 times for 100 yards. Marlon Mack added 28 yards on seven carries and one touchdown. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett even got in on the action as he rushed five times for 18 yards. Indianapolis took advantage of a Texans defense missing key players up front and had themselves a day.
The loss in the season finale was not a surprise. Houston simply did not have enough quality players to compete and give themselves a chance to win. There is the possibility that if Hopkins was healthy and playing that the end result would have been different. However that is pure speculation. The good news for the Texans is that they will get key players J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Deshaun Watson back to start next season. At least then the team will truly have a chance to make some noise in the AFC South. Until then it is the waiting game for the Houston Texans.