Houston Texans: Week 3 grades following loss to Panthers

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /


Head Coach David Culley laid out a solid game plan for the Houston Texans in their primetime matchup. What became the deciding factor was the inability of the offensive and defensive coordinators to adapt to the situations in the game and trust their personnel to make plays on the field.

Lovie Smith was unable to capitalize on the McCaffrey injury and produce consistent pressure for the Panthers offense. This also was the first game this season that the Texans were unable to produce a turnover. That is a direct impact on the lack of pressure that was produced by the defensive unit for the Texans.

Tim Kelly’s offensive unit seemed slow and unwilling to make big plays down the field. With a rookie quarterback behind center, it is understandable to get him into a rhythm by throwing short passes to help him gain confidence.

Where the offense failed was down the stretch. The inability to get creative in the fourth quarter was ultimately the deciding factor in this game. The fact that the Houston Texans could only muster up nine points against the Panthers is a troubling statistic.

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The run game was non-existent and with the lack of confidence in Davis Mills to make plays down the field, it is easy to wonder if this offense can be potent without Tyrod Taylor as the quarterback.