Throughout this season, the Houston Texans have lived a pretty charmed existence with missed field goals, questionable play calling from the opposition, facing backup quarterbacks and an overall weak schedule helping them to a 10-win season — their first under head coach Bill O’Brien.
And Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia it looked like the Texans were going to pull one more proverbial rabbit out of their collective hat when they rallied from down 13 points with less than 5 minutes in the game to take a 30-29 lead.
But, although the Texans were facing a backup quarterback for sixth time this season, the Eagles’ Super Bowl hero Nick Foles proved why he’s no ordinary backup, leading the game-winning drive for the 32-30 win.
It would be a bit much to expect the Texans to continue to have such great fortune. Are they still a quality team? Sure, although it looks like they may have already peaked with consecutive great performances in weeks 12 and 13. And has the Texans’ late-game magic run out? That might very well be the case.
The chief of the Texans’ concerns, though, should be the growing list of key injuries on both offense and defense.
At running back, starter Lamar Miller was inactive and Texas City alum D’Onta Foreman saw his first game action of the entire season after recovering from an Achilles injury. At receiver, Will Fuller V tore his ACL in Week 8, his replacement and midseason acquisition Demaryius Thomas tore his Achilles on Sunday and rookie Keke Coutee has missed several games with an ailing hamstring.
In the defensive secondary, cornerback Kevin Johnson was placed on injured reserve after Week 1, cornerback/safety Kareem Jackson got knocked out of Sunday’s game with a knee injury, cornerback Shareece Wright was inactive Sunday, and his replacement Kayvon Webster exited the game with a thigh injury.
There have been even more injuries that are currently affecting the Texans, but you get the picture.
The fact that the Texans offense was even able to rally and make Sunday’s contest competitive was a minor miracle considering all the downed skill players, not to mention an offensive line that continues to struggle mightily when it comes to protecting quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Look no further than the two players who made the Texans’ final two touchdown receptions. The aforementioned Foreman hauled in a 20-yard TD for his first significant play of the season, and undrafted receiver Vyncint Smith made a beauty of a TD grab for a 35-yard gain. It was his first career TD and only his second reception this season.
How the Texans move forward now should be interesting to watch.