Texans look to regroup after embarrassing loss to Patriots
Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien shouts from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans won't dwell on their 27-0 loss to the New England Patriots.
Sure, it was embarrassing and unexpected to get dominated like they were. But they know they'll have to get over it quickly to avoid it carrying over into their next game .
''We've got Tennessee, a division game, coming up, so we've got to get our head screwed on right,'' said Houston nose tackle and former Patriot Vince Wilfork. ''We want to win every game. Unfortunately that doesn't happen a lot, so you move forward. That is what we have to do now.''
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Coach Bill O'Brien isn't worried about his team bouncing back from the shutout .
''We have a resilient bunch of guys,'' he said. ''They know that it's only the third game of the season and they're going to work very, very hard to correct the mistakes, and they're going to work very hard on Tennessee.''
Although he doesn't want his team to wallow in what happened against the Patriots, O'Brien and his coaching staff will study film to try and figure out how things went so wrong.
''You have to think about how you're going to correct your mistakes, the players' mistakes, and learn from it and then move on,'' he said. ''You can't just bury the tape and then move on to Tennessee.''
The Texans (2-1) were done in by a number of things Thursday night, none more glaring than turnovers on special teams. Houston lost two fumbles on kickoffs, which led to 14 points by the Patriots. One of the fumbles was by Charles James and the other came from primary kick returner rookie Tyler Ervin. O'Brien said Ervin will continue to get the bulk of the returns despite his miscue.
''He's a rookie and he's had some decent returns for us,'' O'Brien said. ''He'll learn from it. He'll get better from it and we'll really work with him to improve on it.''
Of course he and James were far from the only players who made mistakes against the Patriots. Brock Osweiler threw an interception and failed to get Houston's offense on New England's side of the field until late in the third quarter after looking solid in the first two games. O'Brien was quick to point out that the struggles of the offense weren't all on Osweiler.
''I do not think he took a step back,'' O'Brien said. ''I think he obviously has to limit the turnovers, but I think overall, I thought that he hung in there pretty well. I think it's the rhythm of the offense, everybody doing their job, the protection, the running game, the route running, catching the football.''
O'Brien is looking for improvements in his running game after Houston was outgained 185-109 on Thursday night. New running back Lamar Miller had 80 yards rushing behind a line still without veteran left tackle Duane Brown. O'Brien saw some progress by the group through the first two games, but that didn't carry over into Thursday night's game.
''It has to be more consistent,'' he said. ''I thought it was more consistent against Kansas City than it was against New England and … with an extra day of preparation, we'll work very hard to improve that.''
The unit could get a boost soon with Brown, who has been out since quadriceps surgery in January, inching closer to a return.
''I don't think he will play against Tennessee, but I know that there's a shot for the next game,'' O'Brien said.
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