- Created on Sunday, 19 December 2010 01:18
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
When the NFL season ended in 2009 the Houston Texans were riding an absolute high. After getting off to a 5-3 start they dropped four in a row, but then managed to win their last four to finish the season with a 9-7 record. It was the first winning record for the young franchise since it started playing in 2002.
However, with success, all be it minor, came expectations. Houston had one of the best offenses in the league powered by a passing game that averaged close to 300 yards a game in ’09. They believed they had the running back they sorely needed in Arian Foster, and with an okay defense that spelled post season.
Fast forward to week 15 of the 2010 season and the team is 5-8 and will have to win their last three games none of which are going to be easy. The Tennessee Titans have the ability to produce with one of the best running backs in the league in the backfield; Denver’s fifth ranked passing game will be tough for Houston’s 32nd ranked pass defense to handle; and Jacksonville is locked in a battle for the division title with the Indianapolis Colts.
Rather than be playing for a playoff spot, they will have to be satisfied with playing in order to keep from having a losing season. With everything pointing towards this season being the one for Houston, there are some questions that have to be asked. What went wrong? And who is to blame?
The logical answer has to point at things going wrong at the top with head coach Gary Kubiak. Houston has had more success under Kubiak than they ever did under Capers. That success has only brought the team up from the bottom of the barrel to about the middle of the pack. While Kubiak has managed to get the team to play well, he seems to have trouble getting the team to finish games and win.
A dubious record that the Texans set last Monday night when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens is a perfect example as to what is wrong with the Texans defense. The Ravens game was the fourth time this season that Houston had overcome a 14+point lead in the fourth quarter to take a lead or tie the game only to lose the game in the end.
The Baltimore loss was the sixth in seven games for the Texans and all but eliminated them from playoff contention. As easy as it would be to blame the head coach for the teams’ woes, owner Bob McNair, does not appear inclined to do so.
Following the winter meetings on Wednesday, McNair spoke to the team on Thursday and told them about all the positive comments and votes of support he got from other owners in regards to the heartbreaking Baltimore loss on Monday night.
“I was shocked,” McNair said. “They said [Monday night's game] was one of the most impressive comebacks they’d ever seen. Frankly, they were all pulling for us after the way we came back. They were heartbroken because they knew how upset I was. You don’t see it happening with other teams. I was amazed by it.”
All the pats he receives on the back still don’t change that the team is 5-8. As impressive as the comebacks are, the larger question could very well be why the always seem to fall so far behind. Why are the comebacks always necessary? Any why have so many of them failed? The answer can be only one thing—head coach Gary Kubiak.