The Houston Texans may have pulled off an incredible comeback to beat the San Diego Chargers 31-28 on Monday Night Football, but some Twitter users noticed that the win wasn’t as impressive as it might seem.
There’s no doubting the fact that Matt Schaub and the Texans’ defense pulled off something incredible against San Diego.
The Chargers took a commanding 28-7 lead in the third quarter thanks to four Phillip Rivers touchdown passes, but Houston clawed back into the game.
Schaub threw a pair of touchdown passes within five minutes of each other before Brian Cushing took an interception in for a touchdown to tie the game.
The Chargers couldn’t find a way to respond on offense, and Schaub was able to put the team in position for a 41-yard game-winning field goal that sealed the impressive comeback.
But while a lot of reactions to the win were overwhelmingly positive, some observers noted that the Texans’ win wasn’t all that impressive after all and claimed that the team has some lingering issues left to resolve.
The offensive line was a big reason the team got out to a slow start and could be a problem going forward.
Texans offensive line has been getting abused. Arian Foster just dropped his 2nd pass on third down.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 10, 2013
The unit allowed two sacks and six quarterback hits on the night, and Schaub didn’t really find success until the team started using a fast-paced offense to keep San Diego off balance.
The running game was similarly troublesome.
Will we have a running back controversy? Ben Tate was better than Arian Foster in the Texans Monday night win... http://t.co/8E1wl22MS5— Chris Stipes (@CStipesFox26) September 10, 2013
The team was able to run for 120 yards, but many of the yards came thanks to the threat of the Texans’ passing game, and the Arian Foster-Ben Tate combination should be one to watch.
The most-troubling factor for Houston should be the strength of the opponent they were facing.
ESPN Stats and Info noted moments before that, Rivers has the 3rd most turnovers in the league since becoming Chargers starter. #Texans— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) September 10, 2013
Rivers was incredibly lucky early in the game thanks to some long receptions, and the team as a whole likely overachieved in the first half, seriously helping the Texans’ case.
That’s the biggest takeaway from this game; although the Texans got the win, they were seriously helped out by a weak Chargers team and have plenty of issues of their own.
The Texans’ secondary was certainly disappointing at times, but it’s not every game that the Chargers will have two different receivers average 24.5 and 47 yards a catch respectively.
That just speaks to pure chance.
Similarly, Rivers’ excellence just isn’t something that seems likely to continue.
Not only did the long catches help his numbers out, but he only completed 14-of-29 passes on the night.
Four of those 14 completions happened to go for touchdowns, showing exactly how isolated this performance likely was.
The Chargers are clearly a team with deep-seated problems that got exceptionally lucky, yet the Texans needed absolutely every minute of the game to best them.
Moreover, Schaub didn’t seem comfortable playing behind the line all night.
Some of that was due to San Diego’s pass rush, but the O-line largely didn’t seem in sync all night in pass protection.
Additionally, the brewing controversy in the running game could be a real issue.
Arian Foster is largely considered the team’s feature back, and is paid accordingly, so if Ben Tate starts stealing more and more carries, that could ruffle feathers in the locker room.
In general, the win might have been exciting for the Texans, but it was ultimately a product of San Diego’s poor play and Houston’s own ineptitude.
There was no reason the Texans had to scratch and claw to come back against this mediocre team, and thankfully, many took notice.