NFL: Texans look to shake off defeat
Associated PressHOUSTON ó Devastating. Terrible. Unbelievable.
A day removed from perhaps the worst collapse in their short history, the winless Texans had many ways to describe their stunning loss to the Indianapolis Colts. None offered any solace.
“It was like reliving a nightmare,” tight end Owen Daniels said after watching game tape. “It was tough to watch, tough to watch it slip away like that.”
That nightmare was seeing the Colts take advantage of a pair of fumbles by backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels to score 21 points in 2:10, erase a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit and get a 31-27 victory.
As painful as it was to see it again, Daniels said he won’t shy away from watching it repeatedly this week.
“Maybe that will make it easier to get over it, to see it as many times as we can,” he said.
They’ll have to get over it quickly as they prepare for the surprising Miami Dolphins and look to avoid their first 0-5 start since they lost their first six games in 2005 en route to a 2-14 finish.
Players often say they give themselves a day or so to deal with a defeat before moving on. A loss this emotional, in Houston’s first home game and its return to Reliant Stadium after Hurricane Ike, could be different. A whole lot different.
“I think a loss like this kind of hangs around because you’re trying to figure how it happened and why it happened,” Andre Johnson said. “But the only thing you can try to do is just put it behind you and that’s it. It’ll probably be hard.”
This loss came a week after a 30-27 overtime defeat at Jacksonville and left Houston in its usual spot in last place in the AFC South, already 41/2 games behind first-place Tennessee.
At times like these, coach Gary Kubiak said it’s a challenge to keep the team positive.
“That’s very difficult,” he said. “It is because it’s only human nature to get frustrated, get negative and those type of things. That’s the way it is. That’s life.”
Despite their struggles this season, he’s encouraged by the attitude of his team.
“The way I see these guys battling and talking and going about their jobs, I expect them to pull out of it,” he said. “They expect themselves to pull out of it. Believe it or not, they’re in a good frame of mind today and I expect them to be the same way this week.”
Mario Williams said he’d never seen anything like Sunday’s collapse. It was particularly difficult because it negated how well Houston played against the Colts for the first 55 minutes. The Texans had a season-high 156 yards rushing, Johnson had 131 yards receiving and Williams had a pair of sacks, his first since Week 1.
“It’s like you’re doing stuff so right and then it goes so wrong,” he said.