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Old 11-22-2006   #1
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Default Chronic: Texans take on bugaboo - stupid mistakes

Mistakes seen as culprit
Texans point out errors on offense that cost victories


By MEGAN MANFULL
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Quote:
With San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson having scored 22 touchdowns this season, the Texans' total of 19 seems to pale in comparison.

Tomlinson's numbers aren't a trend throughout the NFL, though. Seventeen teams in the league enter Week 12 with fewer touchdowns than him.

So much company doesn't exactly comfort the Texans. Their last three losses were decided by an average of four points, and their offense is aware that one more score each game might mean a different season.

"Just Sunday I can think of two situations where we took points off the board," quarterback David Carr said. "If you take away all the plays in the entire game, and you look at those two plays, it took at least six points off the board, maybe 14. It's a different football game then."

One of those mistakes was Jameel Cook's fumble at Buffalo's 6-yard line in the second quarter. A second was a fourth-quarter holding penalty on Chester Pitts that erased a 16-yard run up the middle by Carr that would have left the offense on Buffalo's 11-yard line.

Similar mistakes have been made in the other losses, and the players said that must change if they want to win another game this season.

"We have to limit the mistakes," wide receiver Eric Moulds said. "We have to be more consistent in what we're doing and be smarter football players. We have to know that you're not going to play a perfect football game. But if you can limit the mistakes we're making and the silly mistakes that are keeping us from winning games, it'll improve our football team drastically."
Quote:
The Texans have made strides this season offensively, especially where the red zone is concerned. At this time last season, the Texans were practically strangers to the red zone, making a league-low 17 appearances inside the opposition's 20.

This season, the Texans are in the middle of the pack with 29 trips to the red zone. They've come away with 15 touchdowns (a 51.7 percent success rate) and seven field goals.
Quote:
"We still have a lot of confidence," Carr said. "But the breaks haven't gone our way. We've had some close games in the past month. Some games we thought we should have won, and we thought that we were the better football team, but it didn't happen that way.

"It's been tough. It's tested our character. But the one thing we haven't done is question our leadership or (coach Gary) Kubiak's system. We've bought into it. We just have to make it work for us."
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