Texans look to fix mistakes after 0-3 start
HOUSTON (AP) — After losing three close games to fall to 0-3 for the first time since 2008, the Houston Texans are pondering all the little things they did wrong that contributed to the defeats.
They've had a few turnovers but possibly more detrimental to their success than that has been the constant smaller mistakes that have kept the team from running the way it should.
As usual, coach Bill O'Brien shouldered the blame for their latest loss, a 27-22 defeat to the Giants which gave them their first win this season.
Though he said it was his fault, he refused to go into details about what he's trying to do better.
"There's a lot of things," he said. "Like I always say to you guys when things don't go well — and they haven't gone well lately — it starts with me. So, I just think there's a lot of different things that I can do to be better. I'm not going to list them all."
Though he took the blame for Houston's failure on Sunday, there are certainly plenty of other factors that have kept the Texans out of the win column. The first and most glaring has been the play of the offensive line.
The unit has allowed quarterback Deshaun Watson to be sacked 10 times and hit many more. The group has also committed an inordinate amount of penalties in the first three games. Though several different players have been penalized, right tackle Julien Davenport has struggled the most in this area and had five penalties on Sunday alone.
He was called for three false start penalties and flagged two other times for holding.
"He's struggling, and we have to work with him to keep getting better, but we're definitely looking at that position," O'Brien said. "He's a good guy. He's going to work hard to get better, but he needs to improve, no doubt."
O'Brien isn't sure what he can do in practice to help his team eliminate these penalties, but said Monday that he's working to figure out something.
Houston is also intent on improving its red zone efficiency after scoring touchdowns on just two of five trips inside the 20 on Sunday. O'Brien said the penalties have contributed to the problems in that area, but there are also other factors.
"Statistics tell you that when you have a negative play in the red area, you really have no chance of scoring a touchdown," O'Brien said.
"So, I think on all of the drives where we've had to settle for a field goal, we've had a negative play. We have to figure out how to stop doing that."
"It's not good, and that's been one of our main issues on offense," he continued. "When you have a lot of yards, it doesn't matter when you're not scoring touchdowns."
Though the Texans are certainly disappointed that their season has gotten off to such a dreadful start, O'Brien believes that his players will work hard to try and turn things around. Houston will try again for its first win on Sunday in a visit to AFC South foe Indianapolis.
"We have a bunch of good guys in there that are very much together," O'Brien said. "We've only played one divisional game. We've got a big one this week. So, we just have to keep grinding. There's no other way out of it. There's no choice."