Texans slump to 5-7 record with four-game skid

The Houston Texans lost their fourth straight game and are

likely out of the playoff hunt for the eighth season in a row after

another close loss to Jacksonville this weekend.

Now this long-suffering team has to figure out a way to salvage

something positive out of the season with four games to go.

“We need something good to happen to us,” coach Gary Kubiak

said. “Nobody’s feeling very good right now … you’ve got to play

back the confidence, you’ve got to go out and make the plays to get

your confidence back as a football team and we’re going to do

that.”

Houston’s latest loss dropped the team to 5-7 and instead of

talking about a playoff run, Kubiak was left to answer questions

about his job security and play-calling on Monday. He brushed aside

personal concerns about his status with the team.

“I’ve got so many people to worry about, I’ve got players,

coaches and everyone in this building,” he said. “It would be

very selfish for me to worry about myself. I’m very disappointed. I

think everybody is right now, but I don’t worry about myself. I’ve

got a lot of people that I’ve got to get a smile back on their face

and I’ll keep working to do that.”

Kubiak went over his decision to call a halfback pass on first

down from the 5-yard line midway through the fourth quarter of

Sunday’s loss. Chris Brown’s throw as he was getting hit was

intercepted by Jacksonville and may have cost Houston the win.

Kubiak said the Texans worked on the play all week and executed

it well in practice.

“If it works it sure looks good, but it didn’t work,” he said.

“It’s disappointing and with the outcome would I like to have it

back? You bet. But we just didn’t get it done. It doesn’t matter

why we didn’t get it done or what happened, the bottom line is we

didn’t get it done.”

That play was one of three interceptions against the Texans on

Sunday. Matt Schaub threw one and Rex Grossman had the other while

filling in for Schaub early in the game. The Texans also had three

turnovers in last week’s loss to the Colts and lost their previous

two games after missed field goals by Kris Brown that would have

forced overtime.

“The reason we’re losing some close football games is because

we’re the team that’s making some of the big mistakes at crucial

times,” Kubiak said. “It’s hard enough to win in this league when

you’re doing things right and when you’re adding these types of

issues to the game it makes it even more difficult. For us to get

back going in the right direction, these things have got to get

cleaned up.”

The Texans have also been dealing with injuries that could

extend into Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. Schaub dislocated

his non-throwing shoulder on Houston’s first offensive play and

when he returned midway through the second quarter the Texans were

down by 17 points.

They were already without running back Steve Slaton, who is

struggling with a right shoulder and neck problem that has caused

numbness in his thumb. Kubiak said Schaub has a “good chance” of

playing this week, but Slaton is listed as day to day and will

visit a specialist on Tuesday to evaluate his injury.

The next two weeks look good for the Texans to get back on track

with a trip to St. Louis (1-11) following this week’s game against

Seattle (5-7). Even if the Texans can win those two games, it will

be difficult for Houston to finish with its first winning season

since Miami and New England round out the schedule.

“I think our football team can win every week,” Kubiak said.

“There is not a game I go into right now that I don’t think we can

win. Obviously, we’re not playing clean enough to win. But we’ve

got to find a way as a group … to play cleaner football and

better football in crunch situations if we want to take the next

step as a franchise.”