Texans' offense struggled in 1st loss of season
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans scored at least 27 points in each of their first four games, all impressive victories.
The offense hasn't operated quite as smoothly in the last two games, and looked sloppy in Sunday night's 42-24 loss to Green Bay.
Matt Schaub was sacked three times and threw two interceptions, Arian Foster was held to 29 yards rushing and the Texans (5-1) mustered only 321 yards overall.
"It was just overall frustration that we really didn't get anything going," Schaub said. "We played a good team, and we didn't play up to our standard and our level of expectation that we have for ourselves in this building. We've got to go out there this week and get back to what we do best."
Next up is Baltimore (5-1), which stifled Houston's offense in two wins last season. Schaub was sacked four times in a 29-14 loss to the Ravens during the regular season, and Baltimore intercepted three passes in a 20-13 victory in the playoffs.
"We've played each other a lot over the past couple of years," Schaub said. "There's some familiarity there. You've got to execute the plan, and execute the plays against what they're doing."
Schaub, Foster and Andre Johnson were back healthy at the start of the season, and the offense got rolling again. The running game had some early issues, but seemed fine when Foster rushed for 152 yards in a 23-17 win over the New York Jets on Oct. 8.
The Texans then finished with only 90 yards rushing against Green Bay. Houston still ranks sixth in rushing (134.2 yards per game) and leads the NFL in average possession time (34 minutes, 54 seconds).
Baltimore's banged-up defense may offer the perfect remedy — the Ravens rank 26th against the run (136.5 yards per game) and in total defense (396.7 yards per game).
"Well, certainly we need to do things better," offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. "Nobody's in panic mode at this point. Our running game will be fine."
Houston was forced to throw after the Packers jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and a 21-10 lead at halftime.
"We can do better up front," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We can run better, all of those things, call it better. We got ourselves caught in a different type of football game than we want to play. The end result is we're not running the ball very good at all. It's not going to change how we believe and what we think we have to do to win. We've just got to look really hard at it and hopefully change it this week."
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