Texans show signs of life but fall to Rams

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 10/31/21

“To be able to finish the way we did, that gives us hope,” Cooks said. “There’s no moral victories but it shows us we can do this. We just have to be more consistent, more disciplined and be better early.”

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Texans show signs of life but fall to Rams

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The Texans offense finally showed signs of life on Sunday, it was just much too late to make a difference.

Houston (1-7) allowed 38 straight points to start the game against the Rams (7-1) before scoring 22 in the fourth quarter to break a streak of 12 quarters, three full games, without scoring a touchdown, falling to the Rams 38-22.

“We have to have short memories, win or lose,” said Texans head coach David Culley. “The only thing that matters is the next game. In our case, we’ve gone seven straight games now without a win and so we are going to come back tomorrow, correct it and then move on to Miami and never look back at this. We have to try and get that next win.”

Matthew Stafford continued his brilliant start to the season, throwing for 305 yards and three touchdowns in only three quarters, before the Rams backups came in. Cooper Kupp had 115 yards receiving and a touchdown on seven catches and the Texans were unable to stop the run game as well, Darrell Henderson Jr. rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

The Rams methodically drove down the field to open the game, going on an 11 play, 75-yard drive before Henderson caught a pass from Stafford for a score.

The Rams would add a field goal before again driving the field to get a touchdown twice more in the first as the Texans defense had no answers for the Rams.

The Texans secondary looked lost on the day and still hasn’t adjusted to defensive coordinator Lovie Smith’s Tampa two scheme, despite being eight weeks into the season.

“It’s the same thing that’s happened before, there’s miscommunication and guys aren’t where they should be,” Culley said. “We have to keep coaching that and we haven’t done a good job of preventing that from happening. It doesn’t matter who’s back there when we’re making those mistakes.”

Tampa scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter, off an 11-yard pass from Stafford to Kupp and a 16-yard run from Robert Woods and the Texans offense continued to have no answer, punting seven times in the first three quarters.

The Texans finally found their footing in the fourth quarter with backups in.

Rex Burkhead broke the Texans streak of 12 quarters without a touchdown with a 1-yard run in the fourth and Davis Mills threw touchdown passes of 45-yards to Brandin Cooks and 9-yards to Brevin Jordan and Mills also ran in a two-point conversion as he had a very strong quarter.

The touchdown catch was Jordan’s first in his career and the staff likes what they’ve seen out of the tight end.

Mills finished the day 29 of 38 for 310 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw an interception in the first half.

“The thing that impresses me most about Davis is that he’s so even keel,” Burkhead said. “It doesn’t matter if we are down a ton or not converting or being successful, he’s always the same quarterback and the same person throughout the game. For a rookie to have that mindset, even in practice is super impressive to me. I really haven’t seen that from a lot of younger guys, but he does that well and takes command of the huddle.”

He also led the team on a 10 play and six play drive in the fourth quarter. Showing promise with the way he was able to control the offense late, but the Texans continued to struggle in the run game, rushing for just 44 yards as a team.

“To be able to finish the way we did, that gives us hope,” Cooks said. “There’s no moral victories but it shows us we can do this. We just have to be more consistent, more disciplined and be better early.”

Despite this being the Texans seventh straight loss, the coaches and players are choosing to focus on the positives and continue to try the make the most out of the season.

“I’m disappointed and I’m frustrated, but I’m not discouraged with this football team,” Culley said. “I saw at the end there that they aren’t going to quit. We just have to play better. We have to coach better, we have to play better and we have to know what that process is, we know what we have to do. We’re just not there yet. We’re going to keep coaching.”

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