HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans entered Sunday’s match-up with the San Diego Chargers 4th in pass defense and were hoping to use that strength to neutralize Charger quarterback Philip Rivers.
Rivers didn’t put up gaudy numbers but, threw for a solid 242 yards with three touchdowns through the air to help San Diego sneak past Houston 21-17 at NRG Stadium.
“They’re tough,” Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said of the Charger offense. “There were times we were back there on (Rivers) a lot. I felt like we were hitting him a lot, getting to him. We should’ve kept coming with a lot more pressure out there, but the game got away from us.”
The Texans were the team that took the first lead early in the second quarter, but Rivers and the Chargers responded with a big play as he found Dontrelle Inman for a 52 yard score.
“I gotta play it better,” Texans safety Quintin Demps said about his mistake on the Inman touchdown. “They played a good ball game. Phil has been around for awhile for a reason. Good quarterback.”
From the Chargers perspective the Texans gave them the looks they expected and they took advantage of them.
“The three touchdown passes all came up exactly how you draw them up,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “They gave us the coverage we wanted on the play. You put them in for those reasons. That’s how you get touchdowns. It’s nice when they come up like you want them to and they execute, that is gratifying.”
Head Coach Bill O’Brien didn’t see anything from the Charger offense that he wasn’t expecting.
“What’d they have, 300 yards? I don’t know. No,” O’Brien said. “They had a good game plan and we battled but made too many mistakes and lost the game.”
Cornerback Kareem Jackson echoed O’Brien’s comments.
““For the most part, no,” Jackson said when asked about anything that the Chargers offense did that may have been new to them. “They pretty much did everything we saw on film.”
The Texans felt the wrath of the officiating again on Sunday, but it wasn’t ball placement and replay reviews that were the cause of the issues. The Texans were penalized nine times for 58 yards.
“A lot of defensive holding calls and then obviously we got probably two or three or four defensive offsides so that’s not good,” Bill O’Brien said.
The Texans will have to bounce back and travel again and face another top flight quarterback in Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. The theme after the Charger game is that they need to quickly move on from this loss and look ahead. They would not admit that they are regressing as a team.
“I wouldn’t really say we are falling back,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day we want to come out and we want to win, you know and it didn’t happen today, watch the film, make corrections and move on to the next game”