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Monday, December 16, 2013
Texans set a different penalty record

By Tania Ganguli

HOUSTON -- What disappointed Texans interim head coach Wade Phillips about Houston's penalties this weekend in Indianapolis was that they were some of the same penalties he saw in practice last week.

"Not everything is taken care of in one week," Phillips said. "We have a whole offseason, a whole training camp to put a team together and then to say well, in one week all of the sudden you’re going to change everything. That’s not really realistic. I was hoping that we would do better."

The Texans' back-to-back 14-penalty games mark the first time since they came into existence in 2002 that any team has committed 14 penalties in back-to-back games, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Penalties had been an issue early in the season, the Texans  committed 14 penalties in Week 3 against Baltimore, tying a franchise record accomplished once before in the team's history. The issue disappeared in Weeks 12 and 13 and then returned with gusto in Week 14 in Jacksonville. That Thursday night Houston committed 14 penalties again. They lost 177 yards from those.

So last week the Texans invited Big 12 officials to a few practice. Phillips said when a player committed a penalty, he'd be pulled out for something like a "time out" in order to embarrass him a little so he wouldn't do it again.

It didn't seem to work.

On Sunday the Texans matched their franchise record with 14 more penalties. At least one was false -- an official apologized to left tackle Duane Brown for calling a taunting penalty on him. Another is one Phillips would like an explanation from the league about -- a pass interference called on Darryl Sharpton that led to a Colts touchdown. On the other hand, the Colts declined a couple penalties.

Since 2002, only one team has had more games with at least 14 penalties than the Texans. The Oakland Raiders have done it 11 times in the past 12 seasons. Directly below them are the Texans and Eagles, both of whom have committed 14 in four games in their franchise's history.

It speaks to the way 2013 has gone in Houston that three of the Texans' four 14-penalty games came this season.