Last Sunday, the Houston Texans swept their AFC South rival, the Indianapolis Colts, for the first time in franchise history by clawing away with a 22-17 victory. However, this game was a lot closer than it needed to be, as Houston’s offense was only able to score one touchdown in five trips to the red zone.
“No doubt going 1 for 5 in the red zone offensively is unacceptable, period,” Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler said. “It’s just unacceptable. We had an opportunity to give our team a little bit of a cushion early. The first person is myself, who needs to clean that up. There’s nobody who’s going to study the tape harder than me to figure out what went wrong and how we can fix that and what we can do different in the future.”
Against the Colts, the Texans’ defense was able to force three turnovers, two of which put their offense in the red zone before they stepped foot on the field. Both of those drives ended Nick Novak field goals. Houston’s only touchdown in the red zone, and on the day, was scored by running back Lamar Miller, who racked up 107 yards on 21 carries.
“There’s just some things as a team and an offense that we have to do better and everybody is involved,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “It’s 11 guys and the coaching staff, whether it’s the scheme or the execution whatever it is, we all have to do a better job. We have to improve in that area if we really want to be where we want to end up being. We can’t be 1 for 5 in the red area.”
Houston may have been able to get away with kicking field goals against Indianapolis, but their continued ineffectiveness in the red zone will result in an early playoff exit – if they can even qualify. Whether the Texans can fix this problem or not remains to been seen, but Houston’s offense has had trouble in the red zone all season, and will need to get back to the drawing board to figure out how to finish drives with seven points instead of three.
“Give Nick a lot of credit,” O’Brien said. “He did a great job bailing us out with his kicks, but we have to score touchdowns. We’re going to really work hard on this week and hopefully it’ll be improved.”