2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Mistakes have put Texans on 4-game skid

    2013-10-17 02:32

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans are allowing the fewest yards in the NFL and gaining the seventh most.

So why are they 2-4? Simple. Houston has the second-worst turnover margin in the NFL and has the most penalty yards.

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is at a loss to explain why the team is struggling so much in the two areas this season.

''We can beat our head against the wall because that's what we're doing right now,'' he said of the coaching staff. ''Mistakes are really driving us nuts. We emphasize it every week; we're doing more to emphasize it.''

Coach Gary Kubiak is searching for ways to get his team to clean up its play before Sunday's trip to undefeated Kansas City. He added a couple of new drills in practice this week in an attempt to solve the turnover problem.

''We're just talking about some different things we think can help us play some mistake-free football for a change,'' Kubiak said. ''You don't stay the same. If it continues, you've got to continue to search for something each week. That's what we're trying to do this week by changing things up and trying to get it to go away.''

Houston has 12 more turnovers than its opponents and 46 penalties for 459 yards this season.

Veteran left tackle Duane Brown, who has been virtually penalty-free in the past, has contributed to the problem this season. He knows the Texans have to eliminate their mistakes if they hope to beat the Chiefs.

''Everyone just needs to focus on themselves and doing their job and being accountable,'' he said.

Quarterback Matt Schaub said it hasn't just been the penalties that have been frustrating, but when the team is committing them.

Houston had a third-and-4 at the St. Louis 4 on Sunday when right tackle Derek Newton was flagged for a false start. Schaub's pass on third down was 2 yards short and the Texans had to settle for a field goal.

''Those things hurt you, especially when you have a manageable situation to begin with,'' Schaub said.

Houston had four turnovers in Sunday's loss, and could have to face Kansas City with an inexperienced quarterback. The Chiefs lead the NFL with a plus-12 turnover margin.

Schaub injured his right ankle and foot and missed practice on Wednesday. Schaub has swelling and his status for Sunday's game won't be determined until late in the week. If he can't play, Kubiak will have to decide between backups T.J. Yates and Case Keenum.

The two split time with the first team on Wednesday and will continue to do so until Schaub comes back.

''I believe in both of them,'' Kubiak said. ''I think they both move (well). They both understand our offense. I've got to see what I think is best for our football team.''

Yates led Houston to its first playoff win two years ago when Schaub was hurt, but struggled after Schaub was hurt on Sunday. He threw two interceptions, and the first one was returned 98 yards for a touchdown.

Keenum had a record-setting career at the University of Houston before spending last season on the practice squad. He has never been active for an NFL game.

Receiver Andre Johnson said the Texans have to figure out a way to get back on track regardless of who plays quarterback on Sunday. The good news, he says, is that everyone seems focused and optimistic.

''Everybody is just talking about getting out of this funk. That's a great thing,'' he said. ''Guys are still able to keep positive energy around here. Even at practice (Wednesday) the energy was very positive ... guys were just talking about what we need to do to get things back right.''

Despite their recent slump, the Texans know that negative thinking won't help anything.

''I don't even want to talk about what will happen if we lose this game,'' Brown said. ''Us winning this game will mean everything.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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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

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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.

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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

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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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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

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DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

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