Patriots-Texans Epilogue: How to Lose a Game in 10 Plays
It's often said the difference between a 6-10 and 10-6 team in the NFL is a small handful of plays. Sitting at 2-10 on the season, the Houston Texans' problems certainly transcend more than just a play here and a play there. That much is obvious.
Photo by Groovehouse Gary Kubiak made some rough calls on Sunday.
But at 2-7 in games decided by one score or less, the Texans are probably closer to respectability than your usual 2-10 outfit (well, closer to what constitutes "respectability" in the AFC in 2013, where about half the conference is 5-7 or 6-6). Perhaps this explains, in part, why even at 2-10, the Texans are still a three-point favorite in Jacksonville (a sterling 3-9, if you need them) on Thursday night.
Sunday's Texans game against the Patriots was a perfect illustration of what ails this team when winning time rolls around. Tied 31-31 with a little over seven minutes to go, after Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked the first of his two 53-yard field goals to tie the game up, the Texans took over at their own 20 yard line.
This is the point where good teams (like the Texans from Week 7 of 2011 through Week 13 of 2012) would line up, run the football, burn clock and go get points.
Unfortunately, the 2013 Texans are not a good team and what transpired once the score was tied at 31 apiece was a barrage of physical and mental errors that make up the polar opposite of the description of the Texans' team in the previous paragraph.
If you're wanting to learn more about football futility, observe "How To Lose A Game In Ten Plays," by the 2013 Houston Texans.
Here are the ten plays (or decisions) that turned a 31-31 opportunity into a 34-31 heartbreaker (although admittedly, my heart is getting less and less breakable with each passing week):