Are Texans pressing too hard for a win?

Are Texans pressing too hard for a win?
December 4, 2013, 10:45 am
Share This Post

Whitney Mercilus was the 26th overall pick in the 2012 draft.

(USA Today Images)

How did the Jaguars start winning this season? They stopped trying to win.

OK, maybe they didn’t stop trying but they at least stopped putting all their focus and effort into getting a win. Instead, they tried to play better. And it worked.

“I think we tried to keep the focus, I know this is unique, away from winning,” Jaguars first-year head coach Gus Bradley said in a conference call with Houston reporters on Tuesday. “We really just tried to challenge our guys on getting better. But not to be naïve, without a doubt, when you have some victories that go along with it, that validates it. And I think the players feed off of that. The challenge for me, as a coach, is just to stay true to our convictions and what we’re all about, and keep them in that mindset so that we continually get better.”

The Jaguars have won three of their last four games and are one of the hotter teams in the league after starting the year with eight straight losses.

Meanwhile, the Texans won their first two games and haven’t won since, rattling off a franchise-record 10 losses in a row. And with every loss, the pressure to end the losing streak continues to mount.

Could the Texans learn something from the Jaguars? Is there too much pressure on the Texans to get a win instead of just playing their best football?

“It could be. I can’t say for sure,” said linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who admitted to pressing too much earlier this season. “We’re doing all that we can. We’re out there at practice trying to get every play perfect. Whether we mess up, we do plays over again. We beat each other up. Shoot, we’ve kept our bodies fresh some weeks. There’s no answer.”

Rookie D.J. Swearinger said he’s seen some players on the team try to make extra plays but says everyone has played within the system and those attempts to make big game-changing plays haven’t hurt the team.

Linebacker Brooks Reed said he didn’t think there was too much emphasis on winning. He just thinks playing better football and winning go hand in hand.

“If anything, I think it’s kept us going, it’s kept us driving to, does it mean your mean you’re pressing at sometimes? I don’t know,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “I think it’s human that you do when you get in some of those situations. But we need to press a little bit. We need to stay on the grind and find a way to get it done. I think they’ve done that. I think they’ve worked extremely hard, but we’ve just got to make the plays.”

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Johnson doesn't need full practices at this stage of his career. He's a solid WR2 for Sunday's game against the Titans.
Oct 23 4:37PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) said he'd be surprised if he doesn't play in Sunday's game... Clowney hasn't played since tearing his meniscus in Week 1. He says he plans to "push through" the soreness that's still in his knee. If the training staff lets...
Oct 23 11:41AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Ryan Fitzpatrick admitted he "didn't get it to Andre [Johnson] nearly enough early"... Johnson finished with 5-77-0 on nine targets, but had just one catch for four yards through the first three quarters. After the game, coach Bill O'Brien said that Johnson...
Oct 23 8:03AM Read More
Brian Cushing - LB
Texans ILB Brian Cushing will miss at least one week with a knee injury. It's a blow to an already vulnerable Houston run defense, and a nice upgrade to Bishop Sankey's Week 8 matchup. Justin Tuggle and Mike Mohamed figure to start at inside...
Oct 22 8:32PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps coming off Monday night's loss. He'll remain a WR2 for Week 8 against the Titans.
Oct 22 5:22PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans listed Foster as "not injury related," but he missed practice time last week with a groin issue. Foster has a matchup with the Titans' No. 22 ranked run...
Oct 22 5:15PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
According to, there's a "decent chance" Jadeveon Clowney (knee)... "He feels good," coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Well see how it goes this week in practice. We'll be able to make a determination pretty soon about whether...
Oct 21 3:58PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins (hand) is probable for Week 7. The Texans listed Hopkins on the injury report, but his status was never in doubt. He'll be a WR3 for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 18 2:54PM Read More

More Team Talk