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Texans – Contenders Or Pretenders?

By JOB TENNANT, SportsRadio 610
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(credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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The Houston Texans took control of first place in the AFC South, something they have never done this deep into the season.  They absolutely dismantled their only competition in the division by beating the Titans 41-7 in Tennessee.  This moves them to 2-0 in the division while putting the Titans at 0-2 in the division. 

They achieved all of this without Arian Foster for the first three games or Andre Johnson for the last three games.  They also have missed Mario Williams for the last two games and will miss him for the rest of the season.  Despite all that they have accomplished and the obstacles that they have overcome this team still leaves something to be desired. 

The Texans have have lost three games to opponents whose combined record is 13-6 (with Baltimore likely to win tonight against Jacksonville).  The Texans have four wins against teams 8-18.  This will be true for most teams to some extent but the Texans have two of their wins against the Colts and Dolphins who are a combined 0-13. 

The Steelers game is the only game that the Texans can hang their hat on, and they should.  However, there are still real questions that this team must address when they face elite competition.  The Texans had a lead in the second half in all three of their loses.  Is that bad luck or is there something fundamentally missing from the team in either their personnel or their mentality? 

I don’t believe that there is any reason why the 53 players on the roster can’t win big games.  However, I think that there is a question mark about the leadership for this team.  Kubiak deserves credit for a very good offensive scheme but he has plenty of area to work on the rest of being a head coach.  He has an abysmal record on his challenges and while he hasn’t be burned too badly by it thus far this year his clock management at the end of games is poor.  However, more importantly it seems like there are far too many games where the Texans play only half of the game and I believe that falls on the coach. 

It seems like the Texans are in very good position to win the division and make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.  However, if they Texans are going to do more than make an appearance in the playoffs Kubiak will have to find a way to beat the best teams in the NFL and not just clean up on the worst teams in the league.

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