Sunday, December 15, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Houston Texans
By Tania Ganguli
INDIANAPOLIS -- A few thoughts on the Houston Texans' 25-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts:
What it means: Despite changes to the head coach, special-teams coordinator and the structure of practice, as well as the addition of Big 12 officials during the week, nothing changed. The Texans remained winless in Indianapolis, 0-for-12, and strengthened their case for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Every phase of the game struggled. Houston's defense played well late, but it was not in time to change things for the Texans given how their offense was playing.
Stock watch: Both Case Keenum and head coach Wade Phillips' stocks took a hit on Sunday. Before Sunday's game, the Texans had set an NFL record with seven consecutive games lost by seven or fewer points. This one was never that close. It was the Texans' first blowout loss since an Oct. 13 loss to the St. Louis Rams that ushered in the Keenum era. The Colts led 20-3 at halftime, and the Keenum-led offense didn't notch a first down in the third quarter. The Texans' fourth-quarter numbers were slightly better, especially on a late drive that ended just before the two-minute warning. But even that didn't lead to points.
Penalties again: The Texans set a franchise record with 14 penalties for 177 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14. They quickly set out to match that feat against the Colts. The difference between this week's and last week's penalties is that last week the Texans might have won had it not been for penalties. This week's penalties, while still costly, can't be blamed for the loss.
What's next? The Texans face the Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos in Houston. Manning is coming off a loss and a lot of time to prepare with playoff positioning at stake.