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Late-season collapse leaves Texans without a bye

    2012-12-31 18:11

(Eds: Adds details, quotes. With AP Photos.)
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans should have been spending this week enjoying a bye.

Instead, a late-season collapse where they lost three of their last four games has left them with a short week to fix many mistakes before hosting Cincinnati in a wild card game Saturday.

Houston had two chances to secure a bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Consecutive losses to the Vikings and Colts to end the regular season kept the Texans from getting either.

Coach Gary Kubiak believes his team will turn things around this week.

``We didn't handle the end of the season the way we wanted to handle it, but that doesn't mean that we can't handle these playoffs the way we want to handle it,'' he said. ``We understand how we have to play.''

Kubiak said he's most concerned with inconsistencies in several different areas. He's unhappy that the Texans haven't been able to run the ball successfully throughout games recently. Houston had 102 yards rushing in Sunday's 28-16 loss to the Colts, but only 25 yards came before halftime.

``We have to have a consistent day where we get out there and run the ball 30 times like we're accustomed to doing and what we do best, and that hasn't happened,'' he said.

The problems in the running game have contributed to Houston's recent trouble on third down. The Texans have converted just 15 of 49 third-down attempts in their last four games.

But the problems aren't only in the running game. Matt Schaub has struggled in this stretch, throwing three interceptions and just one touchdown pass in the last four games. However, Kubiak, himself a former quarterback, was quick to point out that many factors are to blame when the quarterback is having problems.

``There are a lot of plays to get a quarterback going and make it look a lot better from the standpoint at the end of the game statistically that could help him,'' Kubiak said. ``But at the same time he's got to do things better. And I'm up there searching all I can to put him in a better situation to be successful.''

Kubiak has also been left scratching his head as to why the Texans have been committing so many penalties in the last six games after doing well in that area through the first 10 games of the season. Houston had nine for 64 yards on Sunday.

``It's driving me crazy to be honest with you,'' Kubiak said. ``It's a lot of things going on right now, and that's at the top of the list. We had nine yesterday, and I think probably four of them were giving people first downs. ... It's a problem. We're addressing it, we're working on it. But it's got to get solved.''

When Kubiak was asked whether the penalties meant that his team was undisciplined or unfocused he first simply replied, ``that hurts,'' before continuing.

``When you're having too many penalties that's a discipline issue and that's on me, the coach,'' he said. ``I take full responsibility for that and I've got to get it fixed.''

The Texans also had trouble on defense Sunday. Like the offense, the defense has also struggled on third down. Andrew Luck threw a 70-yard touchdown pass on third-and-23 in the fourth quarter Sunday to put the game out of reach.

``We've given up some plays in situations that we shouldn't,'' Kubiak said. ``Getting off the field has been a problem defensively.''

Kubiak is looking for more pressure up front this week to help make things easier for his young secondary.

Despite the recent disappointment, the Texans (12-4) finished with their best regular-season record in franchise history. Now Kubiak says they're refocused and ready to move forward.

``We've got to go out there and make the plays to get all that mojo going back in the right direction,'' he said. ``The only people that can get it done are the coaches and the players. We're back at it and looking forward to getting started (Tuesday).''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

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Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

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T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

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DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

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Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

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Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

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New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

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