As I began to think about plays that shaped the Texans season, I noticed a trend: the vast majority of them were interceptions. Turnovers defined the Texans' season, their propensity for them on offense as well as their lack of creating them on defense. Interceptions became a connecting thread all year long.
Sure there were other pivotal plays. The sack-fumble Case Keenum took in the fourth quarter against Kansas City, when he had a chance to lead a game-winning drive. D.J. Swearinger's costly penalties against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which contributed to a loss that preceded Gary Kubiak's firing. The block that ended Brian Cushing's season. The incomplete pass Matt Schaub threw to Andre Johnson in the end zone against the Raiders, which preceded Schaub yelling at Johnson, Johnson yelling back and then walking off the field. At that moment, there were several members of the Texans organization who felt the team has crossed a woebegone threshold. Essentially, the season was over.
But at its heart (and also quite literally) this season began and ended with interceptions.
So during the next two weeks, we'll count down the 10 interceptions that defined the Texans' season.
10. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph keeps the Patriots close
The Texans' defense struggled to create turnovers, but when they did Joseph was often involved. He caught three interceptions during the 2013 season, one of them against the New England Patriots.
The Texans' offense could only muster a field goal after Joseph's pick, it only gained six more yards after Joseph returned his pick to the Patriots' 31-yard line. The ensuing field goal gave the Texans a 10-0 lead. A 14-0 lead might have provided a much more significant psychological advantage in a game Houston went on to lose by three points.