The Texans grinded out a 19-9 win over the lowly Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday. It was a win, but it was also a victory over perhaps the easiest team on their schedule. It wasn’t easy for the Texans, either.
If you are a Texans fan, enjoy the win. But there are so many reasons to be concerned about the rest of the season:
1) The offense struggled most of the game. Ryan Mallett missed a lot of passes. The receivers dropped a lot of passes. In essence, they survived. That’s important, but they were life and death with a bad team.
2) Randy Bullock, the fat Aggie kicker, was once again a disaster. He was bailed out because Tampa’s kicker was worse. That could haunt them down the road.
3) Teams are triple teaming J.J. Watt and daring everyone else to beat them. It’s working — for the other teams.
4) Mallett still misses too many passes. He only threw one pick on a tip, but he still looks like the bastard child of Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf. He did look better than he did in Week 2, and can still improve, but he needs to for this team to be competitive against better opposition.
5) The defense only forced one turnover against a bad rookie quarterback. The group that was so opportunistic last year is struggling to make plays this year. They also did not register a sack and missed some tackles. They did get better as the season progressed last year, and need similar improvement this year.
So what does it mean? To quote Pulp Fiction, let’s not start sucking each other’s (bleeps), gentlemen. It was a win. But it was a win at home against perhaps the worst team on their schedule.
The Texans have not shown us they have the potential to be a good team. They have to beat someone better than them to do that. Perhaps that comes next week, but it’s unlikely. A 1-3 record entering the Colts game would be a huge disappointment. If the Texans are truly a playoff contender, they find a way to upset Atlanta.
The positives? Alfred Blue can play. The Texans have refused to lock in on an RB, which is a mistake. With Arian Foster out, Blue should be their guy, although hopefully Foster is back on the field next week.
The defense forced a turnover. That’s been rare for them. There should have been more against a rookie QB, but they at least did that.
The offensive line, a dumpster fire weeks 1 and 2, showed great improvement and were dominant late in the game when the Texans were running the ball at will.
Jonathan Joseph, torched badly in the loss to the Panthers, looked much better this week.
And, oh yes, they won. It was much needed. But the questions still remain.
So yes, the Texans have a victory and are tied for the division lead at 1-2. But you can’t feel good about what they have shown us so far. There is still a lot of football to be played, and they can get better.
From what we have seen so far, they need to get considerably better, and it needs to happen soon.