Bijani: Texans close losses not taking toll, yet


(SportsRadio 610) - After three straight disastrous fourth quarters and an overtime period, resulting in the 0-2-1 mark to start the season, the Texans remain resilient.

The Texans, as an organization both on and off the field, have certainly had their share of adversities in recent years.

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While this season isn’t about wins and losses alone, finding out who can emerge as key contributors the franchise can build around through next years draft and free agency is a priority.

However, despite what the organization's plans may be, players just want to win.

It’s clear after nearly a month into the season, players are well bought into Lovie Smith and his message, and he doesn’t plan on changing that anytime soon.

“The first time something doesn’t go right, you change what you believe that quick, well there’s no belief in anything if you do that,” Smith said. “The answer is no, no, no and no. We’re going to keep doing the things that we believe in and we’re going to do those better. That’s where we are, three games into this 17-game regular season.”

Despite the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s that have accompanied their first three games without a win, veteran offensive lineman AJ Cann said having opportunities to win games late in each of the first three weeks to open the season let’s them know they’re in a position to take another step.

"As a team it gives us that hope, that we are a good team," Cann said. "We’ve just got to finish ya know, once again. We are a good team, and as you guys have seen, we’ve lost all these games that are close so, the fact that we’re here, we’re battling, that let’s us know that we’re a good team, we’ve just got to find out a way to win.”

Believing you can win is a major part of the battle, whether the Texans have the players to pull games out or not, is inconclusive at this stage for a number of reasons.

The latest sample, the Texans not having one of their best players on the field with the game on the line, is hard to excuse.

Rookie Dameon Pierce is looking like he could be a productive running back in the league for the foreseeable future, but following his second fumble of the game Sunday against the the Bears, he never saw the field again.

Pierce fumbled on a first-and-10 to begin the Texans' second to last drive.

Nine plays and just 4:56 later, Davis Mills targeted Rex Burkhead, but was intercepted for the second time in the game, effectively ending it for the Texans.

Pierce finished the game with his best performance as a Texan yet, with 80 yards on 20 carries, including his first career rushing touchdown.

Texans nickel cornerback Desmond King said his teammates are handling the adversity that goes along with losing with a different frame of mind than last season.

“I wouldn’t describe this year as last year. Totally different team, different mentality," King said. "I think we have the mentality to go out there and do what we have to do to win. We just got to figure out that plan."

By that same token, Texans coaches, including offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, may have to drastically alter their plans to include having their best players on the field when it matters most.

Shaun Bijani has spent the last 16 years covering the Houston sports scene for SportsRadio 610. Follow him on Twitter @ShaunBijani.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports