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Sunday, October 13, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Houston Texans

By Tania Ganguli


HOUSTON -- A few thoughts on the Houston Texans38-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams:

What it means: You could explain away losses to the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and even Baltimore Ravens as coming against strong and talented opponents. But a sloppy blowout loss to the Rams showed the Texans aren't anywhere close to the team many, including myself, expected them to be when the season began. Can't pin this one on embattled quarterback Matt Schaub, either. The Texans weren't good enough in any phase of the game.

Stock watch: Backup quarterback T.J. Yates' stock rose sharply as Schaub struggled into dubious history with his trend of pick-sixes. But against the Rams, the Texans had to insert Yates when Schaub went out with an ankle injury after a sack and the result wasn't better. At the time the Texans trailed 31-6, which didn't exactly give Yates much to work with. Still, he threw a 98-yard pick-six to end one drive and then threw another interception in the end zone on the next drive.

Sloppiness invades: The Texans' turnover ratio continued to take a hit on Sunday as they fumbled twice. First, on a first-quarter drive when rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins was stripped as he hit the ground. Then in the third quarter, second-year receiver Keshawn Martin was stripped as he returned a kickoff. The ball popped out and into the arms of linebacker Daren Bates who ran it in for a score. The Texans also committed seven penalties for 95 yards in the first half alone.

One thing worked: Running back Arian Foster ran hard and smart throughout the game. He gained 141 yards on 20 carries and crossed the 5,000-yard threshold for his career. At halftime, Foster had gained 98 of those yards on just 10 carries.

What's next: The Texans have a lot of mistakes to fix. They'll play the Chiefs in Kansas City next weekend.