Bill O’Brien likes to talk about complimentary football, where all three phases work in concert. He got exactly that on Sunday — the Texans sucked on offense and defense, and had no real impact on special teams. It was complimentary football, all right.
Bad complimentary football.
Brock Osweiler threw three interceptions — two were critical — and the Texans continued their slow dive to mediocrity, losing their first home game of the season to the San Diego Chargers 21-13.
As they have been all season, the Texans were bad on offense. Defensively, they had no answer for Philip Rivers, and committed one costly penalty after another. For the second week in a row, they were terrible in the fourth quarter and could not stop the Chargers.
The end result was a critical loss that left them at 6-5, a half game ahead of Tennessee and a game ahead of Indianapolis in the AFC South. It was a bad setback that dropped them to 1-3 against the AFC West.
With a victory, they would have been in a very good position, needing to win just two games the rest of the year — at Indy and at Tennessee — to guarantee a playoff spot. Now they would need to win both and get help, or win another game. None of that seems likely if they play the way the did Sunday.
Instead they are staring 6-7 straight in the face, with road games at Green Bay and Indy over the next two weeks. Neither of those teams is playing good football, but neither are the Texans. Houston could easily lose both and be in position to miss the playoffs.
The Texans were once again plagued by bad play calls on offense, especially when they had a first and goal at the 6 late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. They ran two hopeless running plays, then threw the ball short of the goal line on third and goal from the 9. They had to settle for a field goal that cut the lead to 14-10. San Diego drove right down the field after that and essentially put the game away.
The Texans repeatedly ran the ball into stacked lines on first down. It rarely worked. The one time it did, Lamar Miller fumbled the football. Bill O’Brien’s playcalling continues to be a serious weakness for this team. Down 21-10 with six minutes left, they showed little urgency on offense, wasting critical seconds.
Defensively, Rivers carved up the Texans. He was sacked only one time. He completed 22 of 30 for 242 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
His counterpart continued to be a huge negative for Houston. Osweiler threw the three interceptions, but one was a game-ending Hail Mary. His first two were awful, and he badly missed an open receiver on his second. He had very little impact throughout, and his mistakes were killers. His accuracy was off all game. He completed 22 of 37 for 246 yards, a good chunk in garbage time. He had no touchdowns and did nothing to help the Texans improve the league’s worst passing offense.
He simply has not progressed this season, and is showing no signs that he will. He is not being helped by a basic 1-2-3 offense that repeatedly would run the ball, run the ball, pass on third down. In the end, the Texans were outcoached and outplayed in this one. They showed none of the heart and fire they played with in the Monday night loss to the Raiders.
It was a bad performance all the way around.
But at least it was complimentary.