Does Houston Have a Problem?
By Julie Voigt
Special to Pro Football Guru
The Houston Texans were not able to pull off a win in Week 3 against the New York Giants. A 27-22 home loss means Bill O’Brien’s club, along with the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals, are the league’s lone winless clubs.
The Texans are off to one of their worst start since opening 0-4 in 2008. This despite having star players such as defensive end J.J. Watt, outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus and quarterback Deshaun Watson healthy once again. Keep in mind that there have only been five occasions in NFL history in which a team opened the season 0-3 and still reached the playoffs – the last club being the 1998 Buffalo Bills.
Wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins said it best (via Drew Dougherty of HoustonTexans.com). “We’ve got a long season ahead of us. We’ve got good guys in this locker room. We’ve got to pay better attention to detail. It hurt us big today. So we’ll just come out this week at practice and lock in.”
In Week 4, the Texans will face their second AFC South opponent of the season in the 1-2 Indianapolis Colts (1-2). Houston is 7-25 in 32 meetings vs. the Colts. Indianapolis is also trying to find their way back as a contender after being defeated by the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (20-16). Like the Texans, the Colts were also 4-12 last season and like Bill O’Brien’s club, also had to deal with their share of injuries – most notably the season-long absence of quarterback Andrew Luck. But this season the club seems a little bit better on defense thanks to head coach Frank Reich and coordinator Matt Eberflus. Indianapolis is only one game behind both the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) and Tennessee Titans (2-1) in the AFC South.
For both teams, injuries have been a factor. On Wednesday, Houston placed wide receiver Bruce Ellington on injured reserve. The Colts are also dealing with some issues to key players including Luck’s go-to tight end Jack Doyle. But on Thursday, both left tackle Anthony Castonzo and safety Malik Hooker returned to practice. Although limited, their return could help the Colts.
This game is huge for both teams. Do the Colts have what it takes to pull all the pieces together and win? Can Houston finally break into the victory column? Indianapolis has not been kind to the Texans (2-14 lifetime dating back to 2002).
Julie Voigt, a former contributor for NFL Female (now OurTurf Football) is a freelance NFL writer. You can find her on Twitter (@SwhrtColtsFan13), Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.