NFL

Winless Texans comeback attempt fails in loss to Chargers

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 10/2/22

“This league comes down to close games,” Cooks said. “Great teams find a way to go out and finish and we haven’t been able to do that. Today we just didn’t start fast. These past four weeks have been frustrating as a competitor, but we’ll continue to get better.”

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NFL

Winless Texans comeback attempt fails in loss to Chargers

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The Houston Texans just can’t get over the hump.

In the first three games of the season, the Texans held second half leads, but ultimately came away with a tie and two losses, and in the fourth game of the season, the Texans found themselves in a winnable situation again.

After falling behind by 21 points in the first half to the Chargers, the Texans clawed all the way back to make things a one-possession game, but once again, the Texans found a way to lose, falling 34-24 to the Los Angeles.

“First time you say, ‘hey, we’ll get this right,’” said Texans head coach Lovie Smith. “but after four games, we can’t talk about how close we are anymore. We had opportunities today and in each game, but at this point, we just aren’t a good football team yet. Good football teams find a ay to win at the end, and we haven’t been able to get over that hurdle.”

The first half was all Chargers. Davis Mills threw an interception on the first drive of the game and Los Angeles came straight down and scored on an 18 yard pass from Justin Herbert to Gerald Everrett to take the lead. After Houston failed to answer back and missed a field goal, the Chargers made Houston pay, going 64 yards in nine plays before Austin Ekeler made things a two-score game with a ten yard touchdown run.

And the Chargers weren’t done, with Ekeler scoring again on a 20-yard run early in the second quarter before the Texans finally responded with a 75-yard touchdown run from Dameon Pierce to make things 21-7. But the Chargers were able to pull away again, adding two field goals before the end of the second quarter.

But the Texans came out with a different mentality in the second half. The defense held the Chargers to punts twice out of halftime and the offense finally got things together, going on an eight play, 87-yard drive that was capped off by an eight-yard pass from Davis Mills to Rex Burkhead, and then trimming things to 27-21 deficit on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Mills to Brandin Cooks.

“We can’t just turn it on when we feel like we have to and turn it off at different points,” Mills said. We struggled in that first half and then we turned it on there in the second half and went down and scored. We have to be at that level for the whole game and continue to find ways to get the ball to guys out in space and let them make plays.”

A field goal from the Texans made things a three-point game, but the Chargers offense came to life in the most important spot of the game, as Los Angeles went on a 12-play 84 drive, converting on two third downs and a fourth down before Herbert and Ekeler connected on a 14-yard pass to seal the game with two and a half minutes left in the game.

“We just allowed too much, we had pre snap penalties, we allowed big plays and they converted on third down a bunch of times,” Smith said. “We got ourselves in powition there late, but we could have done a lot more.”

While Mills had a terrible first half, he was much improved in the second half and showed why the Texans have a belief in him. Mills finished the day with 246 yards passing and two touchdowns but also threw two interceptions. Dameon Pierce continued his strong play, rushing 14 times for 131 yards and a score, but defense was the Texans undoing. Justin Herbert ended the day with 340 yards passing and two touchdowns, while Austin Ekeler had 60 yards rushing and 49 yards receiving and Mike Williams never faced a challenge from the Texans, catching seven passes for 120 yards.

The loss keeps the Texans winless on the season, and Houston knows there will have to be improvements on both sides of the ball going forward. Houston will travel to Jacksonville next week to take on the Jaguars in another AFC South matchup, as the Texans are still in search of their first win of the season.

“This league comes down to close games,” Cooks said. “Great teams find a way to go out and finish and we haven’t been able to do that. Today we just didn’t start fast. These past four weeks have been frustrating as a competitor, but we’ll continue to get better.”

Houston Texans, NFL, sports, football, Los Angeles Chargers

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