For the second straight year the Houston Texans made it to the NFL Divisional Round of the playoffs. For the second straight year they walked away scratching their heads on what went wrong. The only difference from this year is that they had their number one quarterback Matt Schaub and not a rookie third string quarterback. It did not look good early on for Houston as they fell behind early 17-3 with 3:38 left to go in the half. At that point in the game it was all but over for Houston. In the final 1:15 of the first half they were able to rattle off 10 points to close the deficit to four points and that would be their lone bright spot of the evening.
You can’t point to part of the team and say they are the ones who were to blame for Houston losing. The defense run by 2nd year defensive coordinator Wade Phillips gave up scoring drives of 65, 65, 80, 69, 63, 33 and 27 yards. The defense was unable to get a key stop when the offense really needed it. J.J. Watt was unable to be the disruptive force he usually is allowing Tom Brady to execute the Patriots game plan to perfection. This offseason the Texans may want to find a compliment to Watt so that when they are in this situation in the future teams won’t be able to minimize his play.
Schaub had a difficult night with sustaining drives against this New England defense that gave up 20.7 points per game which was 9th in the NFL. They also gave up 290 yards a game through the air which was 29th in the league. Houston should have been able to take advantage in the passing game with Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Andre Johnson. Even though Houston was able to score on their first drive the offense struggled getting on 3 yards after Danieal Manning took the opening kickoff to the New England 12 yard line. Houston only accumulated 121 yards on their first five drives, unable to put the ball in the endzone. With Arian Foster, the Texans were unable to establish a running game to help Schaub in the passing game. This offseason with free agency and the draft it’s time to start looking for some offensive help to couple with Foster and Johnson.