Coach Kubiak (Getty Images)
Winning in the NFL seems pretty simple. Win the one-on-one battles, protect the football, and don’t make silly mistakes. Teams that win the turnover battle win better than 80% of games across the league, and that stat certainly proves true regarding this Texans team.
In Sunday’s game, the Texans offensive line didn’t win their individual battles, the team committed five penalties, and Houston quarterbacks had two very costly interceptions as the team was on the verge of scoring. Those plays made a huge difference in a narrow loss by the Texans.
“We turned the ball over twice inside the 10-yard line,” said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. I think, you’re right. Three in total. When you go on the road and play a fine football team like that, those things are going to bite you.”
Looking at the game in a glass half full type of mindset, this type of performance showed how far the Texans have progressed. In years past, a game in which the team committed that many crucial turnovers the Texans would’ve lost by 14 or 21 points. This narrow loss shows that the talent level in Houston is on par with that of the better teams in the league.
“Our effort was tremendous,” Kubiak said. Our guys played hard. They were ready to play; played for 60 minutes across the board. But eventually they got dinged by a couple of mistakes and turnovers, which has hurt this football team before”
Still, if the Texans are going to prove themselves to be legitimate playoff contenders they must take better care of the football, regardless of who is the quarterback. Against a team like Minnesota, especially on the road, a similar effort that was put forth against Detroit will simply not get the job done.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak seemed to be frustrated after the game with the quarterbacks throwing interceptions, “Obviously, I’ve got to do something else. I’ve got to find a way to get them to quit turning the ball over.”
Part of the reason for the quarterbacks making mistakes was the play of the offensive line. The Texans line didn’t fare well against the Pro Bowlers that Minnesota suits up including defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, and defensive end Jared Allen.
“We put them in a tough situation, me as a coach,” Kubiak said. “We threw the heck out of the ball. We threw it a lot, and in that environment – we played in noise – it makes it very difficult. You are going to come out of the game with five sacks. But in all honestly, two of them were the last two plays of the game. But that’s tough. It’s tough for them, and it’s just something that you’ve got to be able to do to try to find a way to win late.”
Backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels had a good day on the stat sheet, completing 21 of his 29 pass attempts for 224 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Unfortunately, his one interception could’ve easily had been the difference between a happy plane ride home and the quiet one that transpired.
“I made a couple of mistakes and obviously the big glaring mistake was the interception,” Rosenfels said. “Kevin Walter had a step on his guy and I just under threw him by a couple of feet, and the corner made a heck of a play.
“The frustrating part is that we know that when we execute how good we are and how good we can be. We throw up well over 300, 350, 400 yards every week. If can just eliminate those mistakes, we’re as good as any offense, any team in this league. Yeah, it definitely is bothersome, but it’s not because guys aren’t trying to make plays. Every mistake we make gets magnified and it usually ends up being a turnover.”
Houston knows how close it was to evening its record, and what they need to do better next week.
“Yeah, we thought we were pretty equal with this team,” Rosenfels said. “We thought we’re a good team, they’re a good team. If you want to get to where we want to go, you’ve got to be able to beat the teams that are the same as you and worse than you and a couple that are a little bit better than you. We thought this was a team that we could play four quarters of football with. We did that, but they made the plays and we made the mistakes.”
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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