Three Is The Loneliest Number
November 9, 2009, 10:21 PM
Filed under: NFL

Kris Brown

Kris Brown after missing a 42-yard field goal to tie the game.

(This column also appears for The Sun Newspapers and can be seen at HCN Online.)

By Jerry Coon

I really do hate that Texans’ kicker Kris Brown is getting criticism for this loss, but I will get to that in a minute.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves with these “moral victories.” We aren’t playing for the YMCA. This is the NFL. The truth of the matter is this team honestly COULD be 8-1 right now, as sickening as that is to think about.

They had a goal line opportunity against Jacksonville to send it into overtime. A goal line opportunity against Arizona to send it into overtime. And now, a field goal opportunity to send it into overtime.

All opportunities missed.

That’s three of your four losses right there. The fourth loss coming at the beginning of the season in a blow-out against the the New York Jets.

And if all of these things fall into place, and of course if the Texans pulled it out in overtime on each occasion, we would be talking about a completely different scenario.

However, the reality is that your inconsistent Texans keep underachieving. Before the haunting 42-yard miss, there were a variety of mistakes.

Running back Ryan Moats’ fumble as he was inching his way into the end zone could have been the difference. The 13 penalties for 103 yards could have been a reason as well.

Then, there was the chance to tie. Before the first half ended, Brown nailed an almost improbable 56-yard field goal to give the Texans some momentum going into the locker room. After coming back by allowing the Colts to only score once in the second half, the Texans had two chances to make something happen. One drive ended with Matt Schaub’s deflected pass being intercepted. The next ended with Brown missing what should have been an automatic 42-yard field goal.

It’s very easy to get onto a kicker. Their only job is to kick. So when a miss loses the game for a team, heavy criticism will follow.

We can’t get onto Brown for this, however, because truth be told he is one of the best there is. Brown has had 11 game-winning field goals, eight coming with the Texans. He has connected on 78.6 percent of his career field goal attempts.

So sweeping all of that under the rug, look at the big picture: The Texans are still contending for a playoff spot.

If you look at Texans’ final seven games after the bye week, the Texans should be favored to win four of them. The remaining three games are against the undefeated Colts, the 6-2 Patriots and at the 3-5 Miami Dolphins. If one victory can be pulled out of those three games, and the Texans win the games they are favored to win, is a 10-6 record good enough to make the postseason?

I said at the beginning of the season that it would be and I still feel that way, even after a 42-yard field goal miss made me want to lick a rusty razor.

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