Houston, here is your problem

By Os Davis  |   Tuesday, October 07, 2008  |  Comments( 2 )

Houston Texans
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There it was, and if it wasn’t staring down at them from the Jumbotron or Funkitron or whatever the hell they call the big screens in Reliant Stadium, the Houston Texans' defense surely later heard of the one eye-popping, team-damning statistic responsible for the team’s current malaise.

As Joseph Addai pounded it in for the touchdown in the first quarter, it marked the 11th TD on 12 trips into the red zone. By the time a debacle had unfolded and the Indianapolis Colts had twice more scored from inside the red, the Texans had given up 13 touchdowns on 14 trips into the red zone. For the record (Houston fans, look away), that’s five surrendered to Pittsburgh, three to Tennessee, two to Jacksonville (including both in the second half) and three to Indy (including two in that record-setting final 5 minutes).

That’s an approximately 92.9 percent chance you’ll score seven points against Houston if you can just get the ball to the 20 yard-line. To put further perspective on this appalling bit of non-football (Texans fans, again, skip to the next paragraph), the Kansas City Chiefs – one of the bottom three NFL defenses by any standard or measure – have allowed “only” nine scores in 18 trips to the red zone. The lowly Detroit Lions have given up a score on 11 of 17 such occasions in 2008, and they’ve been outscored 147-66 this year.

To define Houston (blood) red-zone ineptitude in terms of the only statistic that matters, wins (sorry, Texans backers, this bit isn’t for you, either, and maybe you should just check out the Oakland Raiders page instead), its soft defense has directly produced two last-minute losses, both against division rivals. The ‘D’ holds just once, Jacksonville doesn’t get to tie it up at all; same for the Indianapolis game and as much as the pundits want to give props to Peyton Manning or blame Sage Rosenfels, this red-zone defense means that any team’s QB statistically morphs into a Tom Brady once inside the red.

Win both games, you’re in the driver’s seat for second in the AFC South and on the early playoff bubble in a wacky conference. Lose either, ouch. Lose both and .. well, you’re another edition of a team that’s never produced a winning record.

Almost nothing in football is simple. But the secret of the 0-4 Houston Texans is indeed this simple.

Gee, maybe it wasn’t the offensive line all along ...

Fan Pulse: Over at TexansTalk, user J-Russ has posted a brilliant “demotivational poster” illustrating just how far in the wrong place Rosenfels’ head was on Sunday.
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About Os Davis

Os Davis has taken a twisted route to get to RealFootball365.com in his nearly 17 years in professional writing, working in any number of capacities in the sportswriting, news reporting and film criticism worlds. In print media, Os has served as editor at a few publications, including Albuquerque's...
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