The Texans dropped their third straight game of the 2006 season 31-15 to the formerly winless Washington Redskins. Redskins QB Mark Brunell finally found his touch and put up impressive numbers, including a new NFL record for consecutive passes in a single game, against the embarrassing Texans defense (or lack of).
The Texans offense showed some early life with a TD pass to TE Mark Bruener on the Texans' first drive, but the offense couldn't find the scoreboard again until the 4th quarter. Texans RB Ron Dayne made his first start in a Texans uniform this week. Dayne rushed for 58 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. The only other runningback to see the field was Samkon Gado, who rushed only once and made no progress. RB Wali Lundy carried 2 kickoff returns, but this was the only time he saw action against the Redskins.
Texans QB David Carr threw 19 completions for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carr also threw his first interception of the season late in the 4th quarter as the Texans approached the endzone, ending any last hopes of a Texans comeback.
The patched offensive line only allowed 1 sack on Carr this week, which is somewhat impressive when you consider that the Texans were missing two starting linemen this week, including veteran center Mike Flanagan.
The Redskins' offensive line punished the Texans defensive front seven, pushing them whichever way the offense wanted them to go. Washington RB Clinton Portis had a great game against the weak Texans D after sitting out during the Redskins loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Portis rushed for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns on 16 carries. Even Redskins 2nd string RB Ladell Betts had over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown against the Texans.
In the 4th quarter, the Texans Defense actually looked like a real defense when DT Seth Payne and SS Glen Earl put the hammer down on Washington RB Rock Cartwright who fumbled the ball. LB Shantee Orr picked up the ball and returned it for a Texans touchdown, only to have the play called back due to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty committed by DT Thomas Johnson. Sadly, this was the most alive the defense looked all day.
The Texans defense did not show up to play at all this Sunday. Fans now have to ask the big question; Is it lack of talent on the field, or is it the fault of Texans Defensive Coordinator Richard Smith? Either way, it looks like Texans fans will have to wait through another punishing season and hope for the best next year.
Perhaps fans are expecting too much from the Texans this year. After finishing last in the 2005 season with a 2-14 record, the Texans front office went through some major changes, as did the roster and coaching staff. Regardless, the Houston Texans appear to not be in any place to be competitive in the NFL again this year.