Given how well the Texans otherwise played in their 13-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in yesterday's AFC Divisional playoff game, you can't help but think that, if the Texans had a healthy Matt Schaub at quarterback (instead of rookie T. J. Yates, who threw three interceptions) and didn't have bumbling moron Jacoby Jones at punt returner (his fumble of a punt early in the game set up an easy Baltimore score that proved to be the difference in the score), they might have actually won this game.
The Texans' defense was stout: they allowed only 11 first downs and 227 total yards to the Ravens, sacked Ravens QB Joe Flacco five times, and came up with a heroic goal-line stand that kept the score from getting out of hand. Running back Arian Foster, meanwhile, lit up the Ravens' run defense for 132 yards on 27 carries. But the four turnovers provided by Jones and Yates proved to be Houston's undoing. The Ravens go on to battle the New England Patriots in next week's AFC Championship game, with the winner going to the Superbowl. The Texans go home, their season over.
That being said, the long-suffering Texans franchise has a lot to be proud of this season. The team won their division and made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in spite of season-ending injuries to the likes of Schaub and lineman Mario Williams and extended spells without Foster or wide receiver Andre Johnson, and a week ago they defeated Cincinnati to win their very first playoff game. That sets the team up for what could be an even more promising season in 2012.
Provided they stay healthy. And find somebody else to handle punt returns.