The Houston Texans weren’t able to follow up their first-ever playoff victory with their second on Sunday. Early turnovers and struggles at the finish doomed them in a 20-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but the loss further showed that the future is likely bright for the organization.
Young running back Arian Foster very nearly took over the entire game at one point. A pair of rookies, including last week’s hero J.J. Watt, combined to rack up five sacks. And receiver Andre Johnson played like Andre Johnson. Add to all of that that the Texans were playing their third-string quarterback, and it seems pretty clear the team is set up well going forward.
Gary Kubiak joined KILT in Houston with Rich Lord to discuss how turnovers impacted the game, the play of quarterback T.J. Yates, the stars leaving everything on the field, the team’s attitude in bouncing back, the bright future and the best season in franchise history.
On the first-quarter turnovers and how they impacted the game:
“We spotted them 10 points. You just can’t do that. But, boy, did we play like champions and we came back and had ourselves in excellent position as a football team. Seventeen-13, we miss a kick. We had a play right before the missed kick that could’ve been a touchdown. And then in the fourth quarter we had ourselves in position twice to possibly take the lead and made mistakes with the ball. It’s disappointing that we turned it over. Proud of the fact that we got ourselves back in position to win, we just didn’t close.”
Did T.J. Yates’ lack of experience catch up with him?:
“Playing against those guys, it caught up with him a little bit. The thing with T.J., his mistakes, we’ve been able to correct. They haven’t been turnovers. He’s protected the ball pretty darn good. [Sunday's] mistakes ended up being turnovers and hurt us. … What a young man. He’s got a bright future. He’s going to be a much better player because of what he had to go through this year.”
It appeared your two offensive stars, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, seemed to leave everything out there:
“They made their plays. They were excellent in the game. I thought up front we played darn good. We gave our quarterback a chance, our run game a chance. We needed to find one or two more players to be the difference in the game and we couldn’t find them. But you can always count on those two guys.”
On the team’s attitude when falling behind early and the defense seeming to use that as fuel to the fire:
“When we came in at halftime, our football team, it was great. We were convinced that this was our football game to go win. Bottom line, we went out there … playing a 3-0 game in the second half. We felt great coming into halftime after all we’d been through that we were right there.”
How about your two rookies, J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed, racking up sacks?:
“They’re special. They did not play like rookies. They played their best football the last five weeks of the season. What a bright future we have because of all these great young players. This burns today, but boy do we have something to look forward to.”
What are your thoughts overall on the best season in franchise history?:
“Obviously we took a step forward and we had another big step we could’ve taken [Sunday], but we didn’t do that. The key is, as an organization, does it fuel our fire to move even further. I know with … this football team that’s the process right now.”