Texans fall to Broncos, lose 13th straight

Texans fall to Broncos, lose 13th straight
December 22, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Phillips: 'We had our opportunities'

(Troy Taormina - USA Today Sports Images)

The Texans came pretty close to a major upset but instead lost their 13th straight game on Sunday in a blowout.

After cutting the lead to three points in the second half, the Broncos went on to win big, delivering a 37-13 loss to the Texans at Reliant Stadium.

Matt Schaub tried to force a pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the beginning of the fourth quarter. The ball was intercepted and Peyton Manning threw a touchdown pass two plays later to put the Broncos up by two scores and then kept piling on.

But for a while in the second half, the Texans made it a game.

The Texans cut the lead to three when Matt Schaub found Keshawn Martin in the back of the end zone in the third quarter.

The Broncos took a 16-6 lead into the locker room at halftime. After the Texans failed to get anything going really late, the Broncos drove down the field in 26 seconds to kick a field goal to go up two scores.

The biggest play of the first half came on a deep touchdown pass from Manning to Demaryius Thomas, who split Kareem Jackson and D.J. Swearinger. That was the only touchdown of the first half.

The turning point
With the Texans down three early in the fourth quarter, Schaub threw a forced pass to Hopkins. It was picked off by Mike Adams along the sideline and the Broncos scored two plays later.

Key stat
Manning threw four touchdown passes. He broke Tom Brady’s single season record. Manning has 51 with one game remaining. His fourth came with under five minutes remaining in the game.

What it means
The Texans will have one more opportunity to get a win this season. If they don’t, they’ll earn the top spot in the draft. Because the Redskins lost, the battle for the top pick will come down to Week 17.
 
Offensive hero
No Texan really had a great game on offense. Martin caught a touchdown pass.

Manning, aside from some intermediate struggles, was really good for the Broncos. His touchdown pass to Eric Decker in the fourth quarter was incredible and he did set an NFL record.
 
Offensive zero
Dennis Johnson made his first NFL start but didn’t have much of an impact. Schaub’s first interception changed the game.
 
Defensive hero
J.J. Watt was a terror again. He caused a lot of the pressure that forced Manning to struggle for a little while in the second half. 

Defensive zero
Kareem Jackson seemed scared to give up a big play and gave up a bunch of medium ones. He was also beat by Demaryius Thomas on a first-half touchdown on an inside out move. Brice McCain struggled in coverage too.

Did you know?
When Andre Johnson caught his first pass on Sunday in the first quarter, he surpassed 100 catches for the fifth time in his career. He joined Wes Welker as the only players in NFL history to have five 100-catch seasons.

Who's next?
The Texans have one more game. They’re in Tennessee to face the Titans next week to finish off an incredibly disappointing 2013 season.

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