Texans Unsatisfied at Bye
Coach Gary Kubiak (Getty Images)
Coach Gary Kubiak (Getty Images)

Posted Nov 10, 2009

The Texans enter their bye week with a 5-4 record that could be so much better if they hadn't blown chances to force overtime on their last possession in three games.

The Texans lost at 20-17 at Indianapolis when Kris Brown missed a 42-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. They lost 31-24 to Jacksonville when running back Chris Brown fumbled at the 2-yard line on their last play. They lost 28-21 at Arizona, where they failed to score on three attempts from the Cardinals 1-yard line.

After their bye week, the Texans host Tennessee in a Monday night game, then they play the Colts again. This time, they entertain Indianapolis at Reliant Stadium. Their last three defeats to Indianapolis have been by four, six and three points.

The AFC South games against the Titans and Colts on back-to-back weekends at Reliant Stadium should determine if the Texans will be legitimate playoff contenders over the last five games.

The Texans are 1-14 against the Colts, including 0-8 at Indianapolis. Their last two games at Lucas Oil Stadium have been close - a 33-27 loss last year and the three-point defeat this season.

It's a long way off, of course, but the bye week is as good a time as any to look ahead. If the Texans can beat the Titans and Colts in Houston to be 7-4, they travel to Jacksonville before playing Seattle and St. Louis.

After their heartbreaking defeat at Indianapolis, the Texans are eager to put that game behind them and focus on the next one, another division game against the Titans, who have two consecutive victories.

Slowly but surely, the Texans coaches are starting to trust one of their most exciting players, receiver Jacoby Jones. Coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan are starting to utilize Jones more in the passing game and not just the return game.

Jones, 6-foot-2 and 206 pounds, has shown big-play capability ever since he came to Houston as a third-round pick in 2007. He developed a fumble problem on punt returns, but he's held onto the ball this season and made several big plays.

In last week's 31-10 victory at Buffalo, he had a 36-yard catch and a 17-yard run; his 70-yard punt return was called back. He had a 68-yard punt return called back the week before in a victory over San Francisco. In Sunday's 20-17 loss at Indianapolis, Jones had four catches for 67 yards, including a 45-yard reception over the middle.

Jones isn't a secret weapon. Opponents know how dangerous he is.

He's still the fourth receiver on the team behind Andre Johnson (54 catches, 800 yards, four touchdowns), Kevin Walter (27 catches, 328 yards, one TD) and David Anderson (18 catches, 180 yards). Jones has 13 catches for 238 yards and three touchdowns. His 18.3-yard average per catch is the best on the team by far. Because quarterback Matt Schaub throws so much, expect Jones to get more playing time over the second half of the season.

10 - Catches by WR Andre Johnson on Sunday, for 103 yards.

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