Rivers is on pace to break Dan Marino’s passing yards record from 1984
On a morning that began with Texans’ fans tailgating for Bing’s National Tailgating Championship and reports of the Chargers’ playmakers inactive status, the Texans were set for a good game. However, the Chargers’ number one offense wasn’t just ready to slow down for the Texans’ last place defense. And even with the Texans totaling 397 yards of total offense, the, now 4-5, Chargers’ 367 total net yards were enough to staple the Texans’ to a .500 record.
The Houston Texans first half offense was effective on the ground. Although Matt Schaub only had to passes completed through the first quarter, it was Arian Foster who was making up for the Texans offense. Foster finished the game with 27 carries for 127 yards and two touchdowns and 4 receptions for 70 yards. Yet, Foster’s outstanding numbers were completely out shadowed by the Chargers’ quarterback, Philip Rivers.
Philip Rivers was the star of Sunday’s AFC Texans-Chargers match up. Rivers threw 17/23 for 295 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. The interception went to Kareem Jackson, who also was beyond burnt on Chargers’ long bombs by rookie Seyi Ajirotutu. Also having a big game was sturdy veteran tight end, Randy MchMichael. McMichael was good for two early Chargers touchdowns. In all, Rivers spread the ball around to eight different receivers; compare that to Schaub’s passing to only five players (only two of which were receivers: Johnson and Jones).
The Texans’ passing game was kept in check, especially after the Texans lost control of the play clock after drilling the Chargers for three quarters with Arian Foster. Schaub’s 266 passing yards and one interception was definitely forgettable, especially with Joel Dreessen and James Casey being the second and third leading receivers behind the Foster. Disappointingly, Foster’s endzone catch and possession was declared an incomplete pass because Foster stuttered and fell with the ball breaking his fall, disqualifying the touchdown. The early fourth quarter play forced the Texans to kick a field goal, like many other red zone opportunities.
Overall, the Texans were unable to capitalize on a great start. Foster controlled the clock while the Texans’ passing game struggled for three quarters before Kubiak abandoned the run for the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter. And even when blocking a punt, intercepting and recovering turnovers, and a sound running game, the Texans’ weren’t able to stop Philip Rivers’ Chargers pass assault. The Chargers totaled only 19 first downs compared to the Texans 25, but a stellar 100% red zone efficiency was a difference maker against the Texans’ season worst 2/6, 33% efficiency. Additionally, the Chargers’ painfully totaled 62 penalty yards against the Texans 31. The Texans clearly aren’t ready to compete in the AFC; let alone a playoff birth. The Texans’ secondary proved ineffective yet again, the coaching failed to run a consistent, four-quarter game, and Matt Schaub’s not the same quarterback from last year. Expect the Texans to have their opportunity to regain footing in the AFC South against Jacksonville, whom are coming off their bye week, on Sunday.