Texans in trouble after 3rd consecutive loss

By DAN GREENSPAN - ASSOCIATED PRESS
Nov. 12, 2017 at 9:57 p.m.

Houston Texans tight end Stephen Anderson, left, is tackled by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson during Sunday's game in Los Angeles.

Houston Texans tight end Stephen Anderson, left, is tackled by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson during Sunday's game in Los Angeles.   AP for The Victoria Advocate

LOS ANGELES - Although the Houston Texans said the right things after a 33-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, their words belied the frustration of a team that sees its season slipping away.

Linebacker Brennan Scarlett said the locker room would never point fingers. Quarterback Tom Savage took the rap for the offense's struggles. Coach Bill O'Brien assigned the blame entirely to himself.

"I haven't done a good job coaching this team this year, and that was my message to the team," O'Brien said. "I have to figure out how to coach this team better and try to get them to play better."

No matter the culprit, there was a clear delineation between how the Texans (3-6) played in the first half compared to the second. Houston held the NFL's top-scoring offense out of the end zone in the first half before allowing three touchdown passes by Jared Goff in the third quarter.

The Texans actually outgained the Rams in the first half, even outrushing Todd Gurley's Rams by 46 yards. But they also turned the ball over twice, including a red-zone interception with 1:35 left in the half that allowed the Rams to drive for a 9-7 lead on Greg Zuerlein's 50-yard field goal.

Savage threw the ball up into a crowd where there were two Texans and three Rams, including linebacker Mark Barron, who made the pick.

"Maybe should have run it there," O'Brien said. "I don't know, just kick the field goal and try to go in 10-6, but thought we had a good pass call there and just threw an interception."

Over the final 31:35, the Rams had 355 yards to the Texans' 96 and scored on five of their final eight possessions.

O'Brien was even blunter in his assessment of why the defense imploded from that point on.

"We weren't doing anything offensively," O'Brien said. "It's a team game. If you're not doing anything offensively, it's hard to be on the field all that time."

Scarlett and Savage were both confident that despite their coach's acknowledgement of the divide between offense and defense, it would not spill over into the locker room.


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