Inability To Stop Colts On 3rd Downs Will Haunt Texans

How can they be better on 3rd downs in 2019?

The Bull Rush
January 06, 2019 - 7:25 pm

© Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) - After the Texans lost to the Colts in the Wild Card round of the playoffs Saturday, there was one common theme amongst the defensive players that seemed to show up in every interview…

Inability to get off the field in 3rd down. It will be a stat that will haunt the 2018 Houston Texans defense forever.

Veteran defensive backs Jonathan Joseph and Tyran Mathieu were both quick to point out their inability to stop Andrew Luck and the Colts on third downs, "There was a couple of times there early in the game in the first quarter where there was a couple of plays where we felt like we could get off the field on third down, but we didn't. It was 7 for 7, someone told me, to start the game? That's tough," said Joseph. Mathieu continued later one, "I think any time you're able to run for 200 yards you're pretty much able to do whatever you want... we had them where we wanted them a lot of times on third and longs and we just couldn't get off of the field," Mathieu said.

The Indianapolis Colts converted 100% of their third downs in the first half of the game on Saturday and went 9 for 14 on 3rd downs throughout the entire game.

The Colts weren't the first team to find consistent third down success against the Texans defense either, as the Texans allowed their opponents to convert 40% of the time, which ranked 20th in the NFL for opponent third down conversions.

"Anytime you get to third down, and as a defense throughout the week it's what you work for to get teams to third downs and to execute. You've got to give those guys credit. They executed their gameplan better than we executed ours today. Whether he was throwing for first downs on third down or him kinda scrambling for third downs. Like I said man, they're a good team, he's a great quarterback. That's what good quarterbacks do," Kareem Jackson said Saturday after the game when asked what the defenses biggest mistake was.

The Texans will need to look to shore up the secondary and the defense this off-season to help fix their third down woes.