(SportsRadio 610) - Another week, another Texans non-victory.
With Sunday's 34-24 loss at home to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Texans fall to 0-3-1 on the season.
These are some observations from the game:
1. The Texans were already thin at tight end and Sunday had to go without Pharaoh Brown and Brevin Jordan. While Brown is one of the team’s most complete tight ends, Jordan might not be a better player than Jordan Akins at this point and I wonder if he’d been active even if healthy.
Texans are very light at the position, which isn’t a huge surprise.
2. The Texans played the Minnesota vs New Orleans game in London on the big screen before the game. I thought this was a nice decision. Enjoyed it. If I could watch an 8:30 a.m. game every Sunday then my life would be even better than it already is during football season.
3. The effort is there by the staff and they’re doing what needs to be done, but the attendance just isn’t there. It was at least half empty when it came to butts in seats.
4. That Davis Mills interception on the first drive was the worst of the season. Nico Collins was open, Cooks motioned into the slot and Pep Hamilton called a good play. I don’t think Lovie Smith or Mills will be able to play the “it was tipped” card on that one, just an awful toss.
5. I feel like I’m constantly reminded of Bill O’Brien and Jack Easterby’s incompetence on the reg. I wish that weren’t the case, but I am. On Sunday, it was when I’d see former Texans WR DeAndre Carter, one of BOB’s faves, returning punts. BOB LOVED him.
6. The throw Mills made to Cooks in the first quarter between defenders was elite. Unfortunately it didn’t count because of a Kenyon Green hold, but you can’t throw a ball better than Mills did on that.
7. Cecil Shorts becoming an elite GameDay MC is something I didn’t anticipate happening, but he’s damn good at it and that ain’t easy to do. When the Texans get good and NRG is popping again Cecil is going to thrive.
8. Pep Hamilton ran a shovel pass to Rex Burkhead on 3rd and 10. Sheesh. Right afterwards Ka’imi Fairbairn missed a field goal and the boo birds came out at NRG.
9. I hate it for him because he’s a good dude, has maximized his God-given potential during his career and has a role in some capacity in the league (maybe), but Rex Burkhead has become the most polarizing guy on this roster.
10. What an awful job Nick Caserio did this offseason with the running back depth. Just really bad. This team needs backs BAD. Dameon Pierce is solid, but they need more and backs that can do multiple things.
I feel like Mike Jones repeating myself on this point, but it will be appropriate to mention multiple more times as the season goes on.
11. Fortunately for Caserio there are a TON of running backs in this upcoming draft. A TON. The most impressive group of RBs we’ve seen in a long time.
12. The pass Mills floated over the head of Nico Collins early in the second was even worse than the INT. The route by Collins was good, the play call by Pep was worthy of a third down conversion, but the QB just threw an awful ball.
The crowd let Mills know how they felt about it as Mills trotted to the sidelines.
13. I’ve made some decisions in my life I’d love to have back, but when the Chargers went up 21-0 in the second quarter I found myself disgustingly shaking my head wondering why in the hell I didn’t bet my savings and maybe even take out a loan to bet on the Chargers -5.
14. Pierce is a beast. The Texans needed that 75-yard TD run in the worst way. Unfortunately, the Texans defense was unable to capitalize on the momentum, allowing a FG. Regardless Pierce is a keeper, a chess piece and someone who will help this team for years to come. Getting a couple of good, multi-skilled backs to use along with Pierce would be an attainable and massive step in building this offense.
15. One of the best things about the Pierce run was Mills, who was erratic up to that point, didn’t have to throw. Getting points without Mills having to do anything was a chance for him to breathe and maybe settle down a little bit.
16. On 4th and 1, Pep ran a fake handoff to Burkhead and appeared to be targeting him in the flat. This thing is getting painful.
17. Pep Hamilton was the most popular topic at halftime. I don’t think he’s been awesome calling plays four games into the season, but I also think Mills hasn’t done him many favors and there are clear personnel holes.
18. Third Quarter Thought: If Lovie Smith is going to do what he’s done multiple Mondays this year and look at things from a glass half-full POV and focus on the positives, what is he going to say tomorrow? Serious question.
19. Maybe Lovie could mention how well Akins has played since returning. Akins has been solid.
20. Burkhead found the end zone in the third quarter and they’d never admit it, but I’d bet a lot of money some of the Texans staff loved nothing more than that moment.
21. Fourth Quarter Thought: The Texans had a chance to win in the fourth, a 13-point game with 12:55 remaining in the 4th and the ball. How was this so?
22. Mills calmed down after the long Pierce run and dropped dimes to Collins and Cooks on the Texans’ first 4th quarter points of the season to cut the lead to six, 27-21 LA.
23. DeJa F’n Vu. DeAndre Carter fumbled on the kickoff return. The former Texan hasn’t missed a beat since he left us.
24. The Pierce run clearly calmed Mills down. From the Pierce run to when Mills hit Cooks for a 4th quarter TD, Mills was 16-18 with 202 yards and 2 TD. Before that run he was 10-14 for 44 yards and an interception.
25. Mills finished 16-21 with 202 yards, 2 TD and an INT post-Pierce 75-yard run.
26. Lovie having to burn a timeout after the Chargers burned a timeout before their 4th and 1 conversion in the fourth is the type of thing that is so big in close games like these. HUGE.
27. How in the hell does Austin Ekeler get that wide open on two pivotal plays like he did when the Chargers iced the game?
28. Lovie calling the timeout at the end seemed kinda like bit coaching. Then they handed the ball to Pierce on a meaningless carry. Why?
29. The finish by Mills and effort to make this a game will be what the Texans sell. Will the people buy it is the question?