By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610By Paul Gallant

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – During yesterday’s broadcast of Texans – Bills on CBS, play by play announcer Spero Dedes and color analyst Solomon Wilcots brought up this alarming nugget: that the Texans lead the NFL in dropped passes.

By nature, it’s difficult to determine what constitutes a drop and what doesn’t. Yes, some are obvious. Just watch Carolina Panthers receiver Ted Ginn every Sunday. But sometimes the quarterback throws a little behind or ahead of a wide receiver. Other times, a pass might get deflected by a defender. Sometimes a receiver will make a freak athletic play and get his hands on a pass he had no business getting near, but might not complete the play. And of course, we all know that the NFL’s catch rule is embarrassingly inconsistent.

Due to all of those factors – and because it’s not an official NFL statistic – it’s tough to keep an accurate record of dropped passes. Still, some websites – like SportingCharts.Com – attempt to keep track. Lo and behold: the Texans topped the chart with 27 dropped passes entering week 13. Today I asked Texans wide receiver Nate Washington if the receivers have talked about all those drops as a group.

“No. Not at all,” said Washington. “We have some drops here throughout the season. But I mean, you have a team that leads in drops, but you have players that lead [in getting] targets. If you’re going to compare one end you have to compare the other. I think the media is definitely blowing out of proportion when it comes to those things. We are definitely one of the most passing teams in the league so it’d be expected. We have a lot more opportunities than other guys have to have those situations occur.”

To Washington’s credit, they have had a lot of opportunities. SportingCharts.Com shows that Texans receivers have had 496 targets this season – the 3rd highest total in the NFL behind the Patriots (504) and Chargers (497). Still, their drop percentage (5.4%) is the league’s highest.

I get that Washington was a bit defensive here. The Texans were roasted over the coals earlier this year before their four game winning streak last month. With that in mind, it seems Washington doesn’t want to hear any of “the media’s” outside noise.

“It doesn’t matter what they say,” continued Washington. “This is a team that has been hearing all types of things . . . whether it be media, to naysayers, to people that don’t want us to succeed. We’re here in this position and we love it.”

Need another example? See Washington’s answer when told by a reporter “it’s nice to know that even before you watched the film . . . you know some of the mistakes that were made out there.”

“Oh yeah definitely,” continued Washington. “But a holding penalty can be a technical problem. It’s not just ‘oh he was faster than you’. Your head may be on the wrong side of a person. I know a lot of the fans and media don’t understand those things. But I understand. We do understand that penalties and missed opportunities hurt us yesterday.”

Back to those drops. After asking Washington about the Texans’ high number, I asked the veteran receiver about how to move on after letting a pass slip away.

“It’s unfortunate when it happens and it bothers you,” said Washington. “These type of plays happen. I know the fans and the media may think that we’re super heroes because we’re in the NFL. But at the end of the day we’re just human. We do go out there and we make mistakes. We miss assignments. We drop passes. Those type of things occur. But the most important thing is to continue to believe in ourself. To continue to believe in our head coach. And to continue to believe in our process.”

Paul Gallant co-hosts the “B-Straw and Pauly G” show – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM – on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or at his facebook page: Paul Gallant: SportsRadio610.

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