The Texans have never made the playoffs before last week. They acted like it Sunday, suffering a classic letdown game loss to the Panthers 28-13. Here’s what we learned:
1. The Texans defense can be pushed around on occasion. After cutting the score to 21-13 early in the fourth quarter, Cam Newton led the Panthers on a big boy drive.
Carolina stayed aggressive with their playcalling early in the drive and DeAngelo Williams ran one right up the gut to put the Panthers up two scores.
2. After Yates threw his second interception, the Panthers got the ball back with over seven minutes left. They proceeded to run out the clock by stuffing it down the Texans’ throats. 13 plays, 12 runs, game over.
It was very surprising to see Houston pushed around like that.
3. The Texans pulled off a nice comeback last week, but this isn’t a team built to play from behind. They can’t ask Yates to do too much. He actually made a number of nice plays Sunday, but the two interceptions were killer rookie mistakes.
4. With Andre Johnson out, the Texans just don’t have enough weapons out in the passing game. They ran well Sunday, but couldn’t control the tempo of the game. If they can’t score big on the Panthers, they aren’t going to score big with Yates at quarterback.
Houston needs their defense and running game to carry them. The defense didn’t play well Sunday.
5. Very efficient game by Cam Newton. He threw for 149 yards and two scores on only 23 attempts. He rushed for another 55 yards, including a number of first downs.
6. If you haven’t seen the Panthers’ incredible fumblerooski-type touchdown yet, here goes. Bravo.
7. The Texans now need two win the next two weeks and get some help for a playoff bye. It’s harder to see them as Super Bowl contenders if they need to win two playoff games on the road to get there.