Houston Texans team analyst John Harris shares his notes from the Texans’ Week 3 game in Chicago.
Well, it didn’t quite go the way we wanted, part three. Here are some weird numbers/stats for the Texans’ first three games of the 2022 season.
- The Texans were outscored by just ten total points in three games of the 2022 season.
- The Texans didn’t trail until the fourth quarter in any of the three games.
- Still, the Texans don’t have a win to show for their efforts.
After another brutal loss, this time to the Chicago Bears 23-20, the Texans are 0-2-1 this season. Here are my Harris Hits from a frustrating afternoon in Chicago.
I’ll start with Texans DB Jalen Pitre. This is the only starting point after the performance of the Baylor rookie. This guy is on a different level three games into his career. He had two interceptions, the first rookie to do so since Dunta Robinson did it in 2004. He had a key sack in the game, just playing his technique he was taught to do. I’ve broken down three of these key games here.
The Texans coaching staff knew exactly what they had with Pitre from week one in the OTAs, but he may be even better than that. Pitre will tell you that’s not good enough since the Texans haven’t won yet. That said, he’s going to be a cornerstone of that defense for a long time.
Three years ago, this very week, TE Jordan Akins scored two touchdowns in Los Angeles in a win over the Chargers. On Sunday, Akins notched his first touchdown of the season after returning to Houston at the end of training camp. He finished with three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown, making key catches throughout the day. TEs struggled to stay healthy, so Akins stepped in from the practice squad to show he still had it. He seemed to have a great synergy with Davis Mills and that’s a good starting point moving forward.
The run defense needs to improve. We’ve been saying this for three weeks, but it’s going to be a long year if the Texans don’t make those improvements on all three levels soon. Khalil Herbert’s 52-yard run was an unfortunate and perfect example of not working/adjusting/playing together/team defense.
The four-game drive that resulted in Dameon Pierce’s first TD in his career is the one that should be set up in the Run Game Louvre. Four games. Four Races by Dameon Pierce. Two of those four points were on a play the Texans hadn’t run, if I remember correctly, in the first two weeks of the season. But, they ran him in training camp, and I was waiting for the Texans to let him go. They did, and the Bears struggled; I just hoped the Texans could have done that for 60 minutes. It happens and there’s more to the running game than 3.8 yards per carry.
It’s easy to see why Texas fans love Pierce. He runs so hard with great vision. It’s just such a joy. He needs to take better care of football though, and when he does, he will be a mainstay in this attack for a long time, as will Pitre on the defensive side of the ball.
There were a few wrinkles in the Texans’ passing game that took advantage of the running game. QB Davis Mills threw a dart at Nico Collins down the slant route in a different kind of game action than the Texans had shown thus far. It was one of his best shots of the day which resulted in a big play from Nico down the middle.
Man, I’ll just say it – I was hoping Bears LB star Roquan Smith wasn’t going to play. Now you know why, if you haven’t already. He was everywhere and, of course, he made the key play at the end with the interception. But, man, he really is one of the best in the league at LB. Standard.
The Texans gave up some yards to Matt Ryan in Game 1, but pissed him off for the first three and a half quarters. They really, REALLY frustrated Russell Wilson in the Denver loss. On Sunday, they beat Bears QB Justin Fields you-know-what on Sunday. They finished with five sacks from Fields and there were several times Fields got up injured or, in some cases, barely got up. I’ll give him credit; he’s a tough and TOUGH guy. But, the Texans had him on the ropes with their passing rush and coverage. But, they couldn’t quite land the final blow to claim victory.
The Texans found themselves inside the Bears’ seven-yard line four times. They scored two touchdowns and scored a field goal, but it was the one in which they scored zero points that cost dearly. I was standing in the end zone and had a great view, right in line with Mills’ throw to Brandin Cooks. I could see the Kindle Vildor/Brandin Cooks duo appear and I had a bad feeling. Mills whipped one through a mosh pit of bears and texas on the way to Cooks and I don’t know how it got to Cooks in the first place. Then the football tragedy. Vildor’s lack of good hands made it an interception as he tried to catch the ball with his body. Thus, by diving, he threw his body into the ball, instead of the ball hitting his hands and falling to the ground. The ball then hit Vildor’s shoulder pad and went straight into Jackson’s arms. Major turning point in this game. It was the only trip inside the Bears 10-yard line that didn’t yield a score…and it was a killer.
Okay, that was tough, but better days are ahead, and hopefully full brightness is on track for Sunday against the Chargers. See you soon, everyone!