The Houston Texans lose to the New York Jets, 21-14

When the Houston Texans turned the Tennessee Titans five times last week, just as they had done to the Miami Dolphins the week before, we could overlook the fact that the Texans’ last six drives of the game were a total of just 18 games on a total of 7 yards. The Texans won after all.

Well, we found out this Sunday, in this return home to NRG Stadium, exactly what it looks like for the Texans when they are not forcing massive amounts of revenue. Even a statistically poor defense like the one from the New York Jets can help steal a win on the road. In the second half of Sunday’s 21-14 loss to the Jets, the Texans had five drives, 19 games and generated just 45 yards. It’s anemic, it’s awful, and it’s unacceptable.

On Sunday there were winners and losers in addition to the scoreboard, here are a few of them:

WINNERS

click to enlarge Rookie Nico Collins getting some goals was a welcome sight.  - PHOTO: JACK GORMAN

Rookie Nico Collins getting some goals was a welcome sight.

Photo by Jack Gorman

4. Rookies on attack

As the season ends, it becomes more and more important for the Texans to find out what they have with some of the young players in the building. On the offensive, I find it encouraging that rookies WR Nico Collins and TE Brevin Jordan get more and more snaps and goals at crucial times during the match. Jordan had his second touchdown of his career early in the second quarter, and Collins had a couple of catches in the first half before the attack went into quicksand in the second half. Those are the little things at this stage of a lost season, but I’m optimistic about Collins and Jordan.

3. Tytus Howard’s pull back to tackle
The team was again terribly offensive on Sunday, so without having replayed the match yet, it’s hard to imagine anyone playing super well on the offensive, especially along the offensive line. However, the fact that Howard was moved from left guard to left tackle is positive for his career path. He had spent the last two seasons as the team’s starter tackle and was usable enough. His move to guard has been a disaster. Maybe Howard will get snaps worth six games, as left tackling will get him back on track, and definitely make him more worthy of his fifth year option being exercised.

click to enlarge Kevin Coleman led the Jets with 16 carries for 67 yards.  - PHOTO: JACK GORMAN

Kevin Coleman led the Jets with 16 carries for 67 yards.

Photo by Jack Gorman

2. Jets run games

Credit to Mike Lafleur, Jets’ offensive coordinator. Early in the game, a rusty Zach Wilson really struggled, so LaFleur began to lean on the Jets ‘running play, repeatedly beating the edges of the Texans’ defense with Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson and Austin Walter. “WHO?!?” you might say. EXACTLY. The Jets were without their stud rookie RB Michael Carter and it did not matter. The Jets had great success running football, and it took some of the heat from Wilson. The Jets’ running backs finished with 31 carries for 147 yards. For what it’s worth, the Texans’ running backs finished with 22 carries for 66 yards. Puf.

1. Robert Saleh
When the Texans were looking for a head coach in January, it was widely hoped among Texan fans that Saleh, the 49ers’ defensive coordinator the last few seasons and a former Texan assistant during the Kubiak era, would be among the highly acclaimed candidates. not only was he not heavily considered, he did not even get an interview. Although I guess Saleh is not a big nagholder (he seems very well-adjusted to a lifelong football), it must have felt good to train circles around this Texan staff when the Jets trailed 14-3.

TABERE

4. Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone
The Alabama Crimson Tide were incredibly lucky to come out victorious over Auburn this weekend in the Iton Bowl. In 59 minutes and change, the Bama offense had been kept out of the end zone, but they were able to put together a 97-yard drive in under two minutes to force overtime, then won by a final of 24-22 after four overtime . periods. So maybe the victory for Tide hides the extreme hatred for O’Brien (the team’s IOC) and Marrone (the team’s offensive line coach and best friend of O’Brien), but boy it was hard most of the day on social media for both coaches :

O’Brien’s name has been mentioned for some prominent university openings, including LSU. However, if that’s how O’Brien handles an NRG Stadium crowd, I do not think he would do well in Death Valley:

3. Justin Reid

It seems like every week there’s a “HOLY BLEEP” name on the Texans’ inactive list. (Ironically, the most newsworthy name on that list each week is Deshaun Watson, but we know the deal with it.) This week it was safety Justin Reid, who has been one of the team’s more powerful players this season, and whose benching entirely certainly was not because of the quality of his play. This was confirmed by Aaron Wilson with this report before the match on Sunday:

Shortly after, Mark Berman from FOX 26 actually spoke with Reid, and here was his side of the story:

I’m not sure what to make of all this, except I’m guessing Justin Reid is leaving here in free agency after the season, for sure.

2. Tim Kelly
The Texans have been abysmal in the offensive all season. They have been particularly abysmal in the offensive in the second half of the matches. Here is driving in the second half over the last two games:

TENNESSEE
13 games / 40 yards (points)
3 games / 5 yards (TD)
3 games / -2 yards (points)
3 games / 9 yards (points)
3 games / 1 yard (points)
3 games / 9 yards (points)
3 games / -4 yards (FG)
3 games / -6 yards (points)

NEW YORK JETS
7 games / 19 yards (points)
3 games / 7 yards (points)
3 games / 0 yards (missed FG)
3 games / 8 yards (downs)
3 games / 11 yards (end of game)

That’s a total of 53 games on 97 yards. It is embarrassing. There is a lot wrong with this team offensively, but it falls at the feet of Tim Kelly. He is responsible for the offense. He must be held accountable.

1. Ross Blacklock
Perhaps the best thing that can happen to Blacklock is the presence of David Johnson, who is widely regarded as the angry face of the horrific DeAndre Hopkins trade. Johnson’s lackluster running skills (and believe me, I’m kind in that description) make many Texans forget that the second round, which came back for Hopkins, was used to pick Blacklock, who could not get on the field as a rookie last time out. season, and who had a penalty kick with back to back in the 3rd quarter – a leverage error on a Jets made field goal that gave them another chance at a touchdown, then an offside penalty on the 1st and goal on a game where the Texans fired Zach Wilson . This came after a match last week in which Blacklock lined up in the neutral zone twice in the victory over the Titans. Blacklock improves as a player, but not to the point where he is worth these stupid penalties.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 06:00 to 10.00 on weekdays. Also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

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