Pretty much everyone had to expect that what was left of the injury-decimated Houston Texans would be bad now that star quarterback Deshaun Watson became the latest team standout to suffer a season-ending injury. But that was really bad.
“Our defense kept us in the game. They did a good job. Special teams did a good job. But, it just was just not very good offensively,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said.
In Sunday’s 20-14 loss to Indianapolis, the Texans offense (once again helmed by quarterback Tom Savage) struggled mightily against a Colts defense that was ranked second-to-last in the NFL heading into the game.
Savage (who fans will remember actually was named the Week 1 starter in one of the biggest jokes made by a franchise full of them) finished the game 19-for-44 with 219 yards and a touchdown. And before a late push in the Texans final two drives in the fourth quarter, Savage’s numbers were even more putrid (9-for-29, 96 yards), as accuracy and decision making (repeatedly throwing into double coverage or worse) were issues throughout the game.
“It’s probably the most frustrating game of my life,” Savage said. “It’s just one of those deals that I just wasn’t making the throws and guys were open. I’m not going to give you the politically correct answer and say like, ‘blah blah blah we can get better.’ No, I have to make the throws. I played like crap. That’s what it is.”
As bad as the offensive performance was, though, the Texans still had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, as Savage seemed to shake off some rust in the second half of the fourth quarter.
Trailing 20-7 (with the Texans’ first touchdown coming by way of a sack and forced fumble by Eddie Pleasant that was scooped up by Lamar Houston, who dashed 34 yards to the end zone) at the 9:12 mark of the fourth quarter, Savage led a six-play, 75-yard TD drive (which included the four-year pro’s first career TD pass, a 34-yarder to DeAndre Hopkins) to cut the score to 20-14.
Then, Savage drove the offense down to the Colts’ 7-yard line, but after shaking one of his biggest flaws all day, Savage’s tendency to hold onto the ball too long reared its ugly head on the final play of the game with a strip sack ending the contest at NRG Stadium.
“I could probably do a better job of stepping up in the pocket instead of taking a strip sack,” Savage said. “Ultimately, I was going to 10 (Hopkins). It’s just frustrating.”
Moving forward, Texans fans will hold onto hope that Savage’s decent performance at the end of Sunday’s game will be a sign of better things to come, but realistically, it’s going to be a very long rest of the season without Watson, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus — and there’s still eight games left.
Up next for the rotting corpse of the 2017 Texans (now 3-5 on the season) is a road game against an L.A. Rams team that just put up 51 points on the New York Giants.