Texans want to improve on 3rd down against Colts

Texans want to improve on 3rd down against Colts
December 13, 2012, 4:30 pm
Share This Post

By KRISTIE RIEKEN
, AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) -- Despite gaining plenty of yards, Houston's offense has had trouble finishing drives in the past few quarters.

Coach Gary Kubiak knows a big part of the problem is the group's inability to convert third downs and he's looking for ways to fix the problem.

"It's always a focus," he said. "If you're making third downs, you're staying on the field. You've got possession time. You're helping your defense, all those things. We've been pretty good at it for about nine weeks ... and we have not been very good at that the last three or four weeks. You've got to make those plays."

The Texans converted just four of 14 third down tries in Monday night's 42-14 loss to the Patriots. But it wasn't the first time they'd struggled in that area.

They converted just four of 17 third down chances a week earlier, but used a dominant defensive performance to get a 24-10 win over Tennessee.

Quarterback Matt Schaub said better execution will help them get back on track when they host the Colts on Sunday with the AFC South title on the line.

"We've got to be on top of every situation ... and be able to make adjustments in the game," Schaub said. "We just need to handle those situations because at such critical points in the game we have to be at our best."

Left tackle Duane Brown believes some of the trouble on third down comes from inconsistency in the running game.

"We left a lot of yards out there Monday night," he said. "We had some big runs that broke, but in this league you have to be consistent. You can't have a 15-yard run and then two negative plays. You have to be able to get five here and eight there ... to set up the rest of your offense."

Kubiak has been disappointed in his running game recently. He attributes some of the struggles to tackle Derek Newton and tight end Garrett Graham missing time recently with injuries. But that certainly isn't the only problem.

"It's not good enough right now across the board," he said. "It's something we got to get back to, something we got to do better. It's everybody, but it has not been good enough."

Kubiak was encouraged by the improvement of running back Ben Tate on Monday night in his second game back after missing four games with a hamstring injury.

Houston used him as a complement to Arian Foster before his injury, and Justin Forsett has filled that role recently. But Kubiak said Tate could return to being Houston's second back soon if his conditioning improves.

"He has taken steps forward the last two weeks and I would say he's very close to being ready to go back in there for Arian and maybe carry the ball 15 times, that type of thing," Kubiak said. "We'll see how he works this week, but he's taken positive steps."

Although they've had trouble in a couple of areas recently, the Texans are still averaging the sixth-most yards in the NFL (384.5) and are fourth in scoring (28.1).

But they know that they'll have to get these problems cleared up if they hope to finish out the regular season strong and make a push in the playoffs.

Receiver Andre Johnson thinks Monday's loss will help them clean things up and be better in the future. He isn't concerned about the defeat lingering into this week's game.

"I think you learn from any loss that you have," he said. "I'm sure what happened Monday night there is a lot to learn from. I'm not worried. I'm fine. I can't speak for everybody else. You'll have to ask them. I'll be ready to go on Sunday. That's pretty much it."

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards, one touchdown, and zero... Fitzpatrick was pretty bad for most of the day, begging to be picked off, but the Texans rode Arian Foster's legs to victory. Fitzpatrick's lone touchdown went to Foster on...
Oct 26 3:45PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-16, Week 8... Foster managed just 36 yards on his first 10 carries, but broke a 34-yard touchdown and had no trouble finding holes in the Tennessee defense from there on. Foster caught a...
Oct 26 3:21PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Titans. Clowney will play on a "pitch count," likely in pass-rushing and third-down situations. Good luck with Clowney and J.J. Watt, Zach Mettenberger. Inactive for the...
Oct 26 10:34AM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is likely to play against the Titans, but will be on a... "I thought what he did what he had to do this week," coach Bill O’Brien said. "I think he’s got a good shot to play on Sunday." Clowney has been...
Oct 25 9:13AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 8. Johnson practiced in full Friday after being limited early in the week. He'll continue to play through his ankle injury. Johnson is a mid-range WR2 for Sunday's game...
Oct 24 5:19PM Read More
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

More Team Talk