Heading into Sunday’s road game against a very good L.A. Rams team, even the most diehard Houston Texans fan had to know in their heart of hearts that a win was not in the cards.

But, for a good chunk of the game, the Texans actually gave fans hope that they were capable of pulling off what would have been a monumental upset.

A 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Savage to receiver Bruce Ellington gave the Texans a 7-6 lead midway through the second quarter, and, meanwhile, the Texans defense was playing lights out (including holding the Rams’ No. 1-ranked offense to just 6 total yards in the first quarter).

In spurts, it looked like the Texans offense under the backup QB Savage was improving, but Savage slipped back into his mistake-prone ways at crucial times to halt any momentum the Texans might have built.

With the Texans still leading, 7-6, an interception on a putrid throw by Savage toward the end of first half halted a potential touchdown drive and helped the Rams end the second quarter with a 50-yard field goal to take a 9-7 lead into the halftime break.

A strip sack of Savage led to the Rams’ first field goal of the game, two more Savage turnovers in the second half occurred as the game became completely unravelled en route to a 33-7 Rams win. A pick-6 was also called back on a borderline defensive holding penalty.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff eventually had a career-high 355 passing yards as L.A.’s offense did what was expected for a result that was expected, and gave the franchise its best start in 16 years.

But there was still an extended period of hope in the game, just like there have been moments of hope during the four-season tenure of head coach Bill O’Brien. It’s one of the most frustrating things about following the team in recent years.

Just like even a diehard fan would’ve been hard-pressed to predict a win Sunday, it’s a stretch for any fan to think a Super Bowl is possible with Week 1 starting quarterbacks like Savage, Brock Osweiler, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

During every one of those seasons, the Texans offered moments of hope that they could do something special — whether it was through a spectacular defense or, as was the case this season, the incredible play of quarterback Deshaun Watson (now lost for the season, like a handful of other star players, with an injury).

Every one of those seasons were brought to their logical conclusions, short of the ultimate prize. Ravaged by injury this year and off to their worst start under O’Brien (3-6), the logical conclusion to this season for the Texans looks to be double-digit losses and no playoff trip.

But, if Sunday’s game is any evidence, don’t expect the Texans to lie down and leave fans completely hopeless.

James LaCombe: 409-683-5242, james.lacombe@galvnews.com or on Twitter @JamesAtGalvNews

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