This was the year everything was supposed to be different. This year the Texans weren't going to lose games like this. This is the season that the team wins the games it's supposed to win.
Apparently, that memo never arrived to Reliant Stadium this weekend.
In a game that the Raiders continually let the Texans stay in, Houston blew their chance for a miraculous comeback in the game's final seconds and dropped to 3-2 on the season while headed to probably their toughest game on the schedule this season at Baltimore.
There are a lot of things we learned today about this team, but let me narrow it down to five things that I find alarming going forward.
It isn't like this one is a big secret. Losing arguably the best wide receiver in the game is going to effect your offense. But it also limits Gary Kubiak's play calling.
The Raiders, who had the league's worst run defense headed into the game, didn't give up much to Arian Foster today. Other than his first run, he was getting nowhere between the tackles all afternoon. With teams committing their safety to stop him now, the game plan needs to be adjusted.
Andre says he will be back in a couple of weeks and all of Houston has to be praying that he is correct. Because this is the worst the offense has looked since 2007. Jacoby Jones brings nothing to this offense and I'm still blaming the game ending interception on him.
Last week I talked about how I thought that believing in a culture of losing was asinine. But after seeing the team lose a game today in the exact same way that they've lost close games countless times the past two years, I'm already considering a back track on that statement.
Everyone wants to blame Matt Schaub, and it'd be hard to argue against, but this entire team played poorly today. There was zero intensity and the offense looked like they weren't even interested until the last two drives in the fourth quarter.
I'm not sure if this falls on the coaching or if the players are just suffering a mental thing, but it is obvious that they still do not know how to win a close game in the closing seconds.
When Mario Williams got his fifth sack of the season in the first quarter today, I was fully convinced that his transition to outside linebacker was well on its way to being a smashing success.
Then what happens? He is seen being escorted to the locker room with a pectoral injury.
Rookie Brooks Reed subbed in for him after it was decided that Mario would not return and it isn't that Brooks played bad. He just isn't Mario.
That is probably as unfair to him as it is to Ben Tate when people say he isn't Arian Foster, but my point is that the Texans pass rush never looked the same after Mario left the game and if his injury is as bad as is being speculated, the defense could fall off real fast.
The game plan of just letting Arian Foster be your workhorse and riding him to success took as big of a blow when Andre Johnson went out as it did for the passing game.
With teams focusing on stopping the explosive Foster and forcing Matt Schaub to beat them with a receiving duo of Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones, you're going to see a lot of what you saw this afternoon.
Schaub is decent enough and in a good scheme that he'll still put up some of the numbers that he did this afternoon, but with absolutely no play action or bootleg's and the offensive line not playing up to its level, you're going to see a lot of days like today.
If Schaub is given time, he can shred a defense. But if you're getting consistent pressure on him and he starts getting happy feet, he's worse than Tony Romo.
If the bootleg isn't brought back against the Ravens in a big way next week, you could be looking at another .500 Texans team.
Ugh. Let me count the ways of how bad the Texans special teams played today.
Allowing big returns on kickoffs and punts, having a punt blocked, a missed field goal, allowing a fake punt...you get the picture.
The offense played poorly today, that's no big secret. But the game was lost in the special teams poor play.
Unfortunately, I don't see a quick fix for this problem and we probably won't until the draft and free agency next year. Sure, you won't have a blocked punt very often, but that combined with the Rackers miss was the difference in the scoring.
This team has a lot more holes than we thought they did and it doesn't get any easier next week facing a rested Baltimore team.