The final game of the best season in Texans history showed why this group is so special.
They Texans had a fifth-round rookie at quarterback. They lost the turnover battle 4-0. They only recovered one of four fumbles on the afternoon.
And yet they still stood toe-to-toe with the Ravens in Baltimore until the final gun sounded, losing 20-13.
The Texans and their fans will surely take pride in Saturday’s effort. They had the better running game. They had the better defense. They won the battle on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. They were tougher than the Baltimore Ravens.
Beyond that pride, Houston fans have to wonder: What if Matt Schaub didn’t get hurt?
“With Schaub and those guys it would have been a totally different ball game,” Ravens safety Ed Reed admitted after the game.
Injuries are part of football and T.J. Yates did a more-than-credible job during his run as a starting quarterback. But the reality is Yates averaged 5.3 yards-per-attempt on Sunday and was picked off three times. The lack of a consistent passing game was too much for the Texans to overcome, especially on day that special teams gave away seven points.
The Texans have every right to feel like the AFC was there for the taking this year. They may have had the most balanced team in the conference.
This season marked a huge step forward for the Texans franchise, but we can’t help but wonder how much further this Texans team might have gone with their starting quarterback.