Are the Houston Texans’ playoff hopes already gone?

Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports /

To say the Houston Texans aren’t off to the start they had hoped for is an understatement. The team is the only remaining NFL franchise without a win this season. Currently sitting with an uninspiring record of 0-3-1, any hope at a potential playoff berth for Houston may be gone.

So what has gone wrong? Well, as a winless team, that list could be extensive, but let’s start with the offense, or you could say lack thereof.

Outside of rookie running back Dameon Pierce, the Texans’ offense has been lackluster at best. While Pierce, who currently sits at 10th in the NFL in rushing, has been a bright spot, the rest of Houston has yet to follow suit.

Quarterback Davis Mills has been up and down, throwing five touchdowns and four interceptions thus far. The offensive line remains a work in progress, checking in at 29th, according to Sharp Football Analysis. And finally, the receivers haven’t offered much, as no Houston pass catcher ranks in the top 40 in terms of receiving yards.

Offense isn’t the only issue, either. Houston’s inability to close out games can’t go unmentioned. There’s a legitimate argument to be made that the Texans could be sitting today with three wins. Instead, they’re winless.

The Texans have held a second half lead in 3 of their 4 games in 2022

Against the Indianapolis Colts the Texans were up 14 points in the fourth quarter and tied. Against the Denver Broncos, Houston entered the fourth quarter with the lead and lost. Then against the Chicago Bears, the Texans led in the second half, were tied for much of the fourth quarter, yet still lost.

See the pattern?

Even against the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday, the Texans weren’t out of it, trailing by just three points in the fourth quarter, but being close doesn’t get you in the win column in the NFL.

Now, still winless entering week five, is there any shot the Texans can make the playoffs? It’s not a great chance, but it’s a chance, and this is for one reason: they are in the AFC South.

Houston’s division isn’t necessarily a powerhouse. The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts have been somewhat disappointing this season, and while the Jacksonville Jaguars seems to be improved, they only sit with one fewer loss than Houston at the moment. This is what gives the Texans hope.

If Houston can win this Sunday against the Jags, the Texans are right back in the thick of things in the division. Their tie could also prove to be beneficial win percentage-wise as a tiebreaker late in the season could make things interesting. This may be their last chance, so if Houston seriously wants to make a push, it has to start this week.

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