It seems that the Houston Texans are trying to earn a new nickname to start the 2013 season. The team I’ve affectionately dubbed “Heart Attack Houston” is still undefeated through two games, but each of the past two games they’ve needed to score on the final play of the game to come out with a victory. The next opponent for the Texans presents a little more of a challenge, so the Texans really need to work on consistency.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Texans are the first team since the merger in 1970 to win each of their first two games of a season on the final play of the game. They kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired in Week 1 against the San Diego Chargers and then they won in overtime on a game-winning touchdown this week against the Tennessee Titans.
The members of the coaching staff have given the typical answer when asked about their comeback wins, saying that it shows the team has great character and spunk, etc.
“It’s just great character for us to find a way to win two weeks in a row like that,” head coach Gary Kubiak said.
But there is also some concern on the team that there isn’t much consistency.
“I don’t know why (the inconsistency) is happening because it’s so early in the season,” Brian Cushing said. “We’re showing glimpses of greatness but also glimpses of not-so-good football. We need to figure out how we’re playing well when we’re playing well and do that all the time.”
Consistency is needed most on the defense, which has struggled mightily at times (the Titans had 80 and 99-yard touchdown drives) and played like the best defense in the league in other instances (the Texans forced a Titans safety and held Jake Locker to just 148 yards passing and Chris Johnson to just over 90 yards rushing).
Another large eyesore for the Texans is the major inconsistency in the kicking game. Randy Bullock has missed all three of his attempts at field goals of 50 yards or more and has only hit one field goal out of his total five attempts. The Texans are paying him to be at least a bit more accurate than this, as he was the highest-drafted kicker in the 2012 draft class (which featured guys like Blair Walsh and Greg Zuerlein).
Texans punter and special teams extraordinaire Shane Lechler is a little concerned about Bullock’s current state of mind, but he’s not too worried that Bullock will eventually find success. After all, his longtime teammate Sebastian Janikowski missed three of his first four field goal attempts, and he could make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day.
“A very, very tough thing to do, is to turn the page,” Lechler told ESPN’s Tania Ganguli. “I mean I know. I deal with it. I don’t know of a professional athlete that’s not hard on himself, that doesn’t deal with it. It’s kind of like a book, man. Turn the page. Can’t read the same one. Don’t let that one mess up your next kick. And I have all the confidence in the world with him. I hold with him. He kicks all the time in practice. He’s money all the time. And he just had a rough go. And that’s part of this game. That’s part of the situation. That’s part of being a little bit young, and that’s part of it.”
Bullock was drafted because he has enough leg strength and good enough accuracy to make these 50+ yard attempts. Though the Texans still have confidence in him (three of his five attempts have been over 50 yards, and all five have been over 40 yards), they can’t wait too long to get a mental turnaround here.
The Texans really need more consistency soon, because the next opponent they face is a very good team that has historically had the Texans’ number.
The Baltimore Ravens hold the all-time series edge 6-1 over the Texans, but the Texans won their most recent meeting (October 21, 2012) 43-13. The Ravens are currently 1-1 and have allowed the eighth-most passing yards and the most passing touchdowns in the league so far this season. But their rushing defense is doing well, allowing just 130 yards over two games and no touchdowns. Even if the Texans can play more consistently, this is a tough team for them to beat. Final score: 17-14 Texans.
Cooper Welch is a Houston Texans writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @cooperwelch1991, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also listen to his Locker Room podcast on iTunes.