Sam Bradford (above) carved up the Texans, going 22 of 30 for 271 yards and two TDs. He was sacked twice but did not turn the ball over and finished with a rating of 123.1.
This post is brought to you by alcohol. Specifically, Whitmeyer’s Single Barrel. Because road Texans drive you to drink.
Once again, they took on a tough opponent on the road. Once again, they failed to show up in any phase. The Minnesota Vikings had their way with the Texans, winning easily 31-13. The Texans were in a 24-0 hole before they knew what hit them. It was eerily reminiscent of the 27-0 loss at New England in their only other road start.
Getting in that big of a hole was a recipe for disaster. You can count the teams in the NFL on one or two fingers that are playing defense as well as the Vikings. Give them a big lead and it is going to be a long day. And boy, was it ever for the Texans.
Bad special teams. Ineffective defense. Hapless offense. Predictable coaching decisions. An overmatched offensive line. Jadeveon Clowney penalties. And it all happened in the first half, which made the second half meaningless.
At the outset, anything the Vikings tried against the Texans defense worked. The first time they had the ball, they went 84 yards in eight plays for a 7-0 lead. After a predictable Texans three and out, they went 55 yards in eight plays.
Meanwhile, the Texans ran a total of 13 plays on their first four possessions. Three three-and-outs and a four and out. DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller combined for zero first half catches. Brock Osweiler, under pressure almost every snap, was 7 of 20 for 54 yards in the half.
The special teams were miserable, too. Nick Novak missed a field goal. They gave up a long punt return for a touchdown. They used a linebacker to kick off.
The result was a 24-6 deficit that seemed much worse. The Texans coaching staff is not as good as Minnesota’s. But against a superior group, they once again got their pants pulled down and looked completely unprepared.
The Texans now find themselves with a must-win game at home next week against the Indianapolis Colts, because a week later they go to Denver, where one of the other defenses that would be on the list we mentioned earlier resides. It is impossible to imagine that game going much different than this one. Lose next week, and suddenly the Texans are staring 3-4 squarely in the face.
The final numbers were not good. They were outgained 351-214, with most of the Texans yards coming in garbage time. Osweiler finished 19 of 42 for 184 yards. He had one garbage time touchdown and one pick and remains upside down on TDs to interceptions. He was sacked four times and fumbled. It is too early to call him a bust. But we have yet to see anything to indicate he might become the answer. And worse, he appears to have regressed over the last three weeks.
Lamar Miller, when the game was on the line, ran for a whopping 20 yards on eight carries. It was a blowout in every sense of the word.
Great teams can get blown out on occasion. It happened to Pittsburgh in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago. It happened to New England against Kansas City in the last Patriots Super Bowl run.But great teams — even good ones — do not get blown out in three of their last six games and shut out twice. It makes the 3-2 record look very much like an illusion.
There is still time to turn things around. But as of now, when they hit the road, break out the bottle. If you watched the UH game Saturday and Texans on Sunday, you probably stayed drunk the whole time wasting six hours of your life on bad football.
Hopefully, like me, you at least were drinking the good stuff.