The Houston Texans free fall to close the 2017 season continued on Christmas Day as they fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-6 in a game that didn’t even feel that close. It was the same formula that has plagued Houston over the last several weeks of the season: bad defense, offense failing to get anything going and the list goes on.
With one game remaining, the Texans will look to enter the offseason on some sort of positive note. Taking a look back at what happened, it wasn’t pretty on Christmas Day.
Passing Game Grounded
Whether it was T.J. Yates or Taylor Heinicke, the Texans simply did not have any sort of answer in the passing game. The offensive line had a hard time blocking anyone (especially Mike Hilton) and the game only further validated an issue that’s been apparent since Deshaun Watson went down with a torn ACL.
At halftime, the Texans had -8 passing yards. It was ugly and there will be a lot of questions that have to be answered in the offseason.
Defense Has No Answers
All the Steelers had to do was take care of business to get the win. Even without Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger and company did whatever they wanted on the offensive side of the ball. Le’Veon Bell ran an efficient game (19 carries, 97 yards and a touchdown). Even Justin Hunter caught a touchdown pass.
Yes, there have been lots of injuries on the Texans defense, but even then, general manager Rick Smith and crew will have a lot to figure out in the offseason on that side of the ball.
In what has been a disappointing season, there were two highlights that stood out. The first was DeAndre Hopkins and his ability to do superhuman things. Hopkins made an incredible touchdown catch where he deflected the ball off his right hand and caught it with his left for a great touchdown. By the time that happened, the game was already well in hand.
— NFL (@NFL) December 25, 2017
Meanwhile, offensive lineman David Quessenberry made his long-awaited NFL debut on Monday afternoon. The sixth round pick from 2013 had battled non-Hodgkin T-lymphomablastic lymphoma for the past three seasons and vowed that he would be back out on the field.
On Monday, he made those words come true and it’s great to see him back out on the field.
The Texans have now lost seven of their last eight games and will take on the Indianapolis Colts in a game where both teams are simply playing for pride. Others may be battling for a roster spot for next season. Either way, the Texans have a chance to at least end the year on a positive note and will look forward to getting back healthy and ready for the 2018 season.
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