Texans face challenges in December

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December woes can hurt a contender’s January playoff seeding. Such was the case for the 2012 Texans. Losses in three of their final five games knocked Houston down to the No. 3 spot in the AFC and left the Texans to travel to New England in the divisional round.

That did not end well for Houston.

December struggles are nothing new for the Texans, who are 4-9 in the month since 2010. And a first look at Houston’s 2013 December slate suggests the Texans will have to be on their game late in the campaign to avoid another seeding slide — or worse.

The Texans begin December by hosting the Patriots, who beat them twice a season ago. Perhaps drawing New England at Reliant Stadium will make a difference for Houston, but no matter the result, the Texans quickly have to shake it off, for a game at Jacksonville looms four days later on December 5.

The Thursday-night meeting with the Jaguars is one of three road games Houston will play in the final month. All three contests are against division opponents, with games at Indianapolis on December 15 and at Tennessee on December 29 in the regular-season finale sandwiching the Texans’ final regular-season home game — a meeting with Denver on December 22.

In short, it’s a demanding December slate for the Texans. The Patriots, Broncos and Colts all made the postseason in 2012. Moreover, the potential difficulty of road trips to Jacksonville and Tennessee can’t be overlooked. Both teams know Houston well.

A team’s December play can have little bearing on how it fares once the playoffs begin in January. The last four Super Bowl winners all lost multiple games in December, with Ravens losing 4-of-5 in the final month of calendar year 2012.

Of course, those teams had built up the necessary cushion of wins to endure December setbacks. So did the Texans en route to wins in the wild-card round in each of the last two seasons. (In 2011, they secured the division with third-string quarterback T.J. Yates with three games left in the season — a feat that must be considered when weighing their losing streak late in the campaign.)

Still, if the Texans want to earn a postseason bye for the first time in their history, a stronger closing kick would be a big help.

15 responses to “Texans face challenges in December

  1. Seriously? Seriously??? I’m pretty sure the 3 game stretch towards the beginning of the season is a TAD more challenging.

    Week 3 – @ Baltimore Ravens
    Week 4 – Seattle Seahawks (Home)
    Week 5 – @ San Fransisco 49ers

    Jacksonville is a practice squad. They’ll be in line for JaDaveon Clowney or Johnny Football, whoever they want really. And I’m not too worried about the Colts. They’ll put up a fight, but its the Texans turn to start running the division year in and year out. You had your time with Peyton, Indy. Now it’s our time. Get ready to hate life like we had to.

  2. Houston SHOULD be able to run this division this year. Another 5-1 division record should lock it up. we should sweep the Jags, and Titans. Go 1-1 against colts. The games that the Texans have in doubt are: SF(Loss) Seattle(Toss-up) They are very suspect away from Seattle,NE(Toss-up at Home) and Denver(We should be able to hang with them at are house). The Baltimore game is one i think we should win.

  3. Yea lets be real here. Start of the season is the big hurdle. Ravens, Hawks, 49ers, Rams. Honestly if they make it to week 7 at 3-3 i’ll be happy. I see them being 4-2 though and i’m not too worried about the rest of the season either.

    Things that really need to be watched are redzone off % for td’s and the defense should be able to handle itself. When healthy the Texans biggest issue is scoring in the redzone and has been for years. Andre Johnson has never had double digit td’s… Why? Kubiak needs to figure this out this year or he will be somewhere else next year I bet. This single stat is one of the biggest reasons the Texans can’t go against good teams.

  4. One other quick thing — I’m not saying the 49ers are clear Super Bowl favorites. I’m saying they are capable of playing well enough to be the clear perceived favorites next January. Their best play in the 2012 playoffs (GB, ATL, BAL) was wonderful.

  5. Texans lucked out when the NFL incorrectly placed the Seahawks/Texans game in Houston as opposed to Seattle. Competitive balance has been compromised.

  6. Can anyone really put a finger on what happened to the Texans? I mean I just don’t buy the “Cushing injury deflating the momentum” theory.

    Did people just figure out how to contain the run game and remain disciplined against the pass game built off of it?

  7. To be honest. With those 5 oppenents in December, not sure we could have gotten a better situation. The two teams that are obviously the Superbowl contenders in the AFC we get to play at home. Tennessee and Jacksonville, while not cream puffs, are hardly teams I’m scared of. We’ve never beaten Indy in Indy, so obviously that game’s a bit scary.

    We have the 5th easist schedule in the NFL… I don’t think I’m going to complain.

  8. Headline should read “Texans face challenges with Schaub” They will never win anything with him at QB. He will either get hurt of sh!t the bed somehow. He also seems to lose arm strength every year.

  9. This should be the last season in Houston for Matt Schaub and Gary Kubiak if the Texans do not reach the NFC championship game.
    Either achieve more or be relieved.

  10. Dalucks, you are a moron. You hate on the Texans so much, and now the truth be known, you don’t even know the conference that they play in. They will never reach the NFC conference championship game because they play in the AFC! Get a new screen name and come back again, you been served!

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