Houston raced out to a 21-0 halftime lead and held back a fierce fourth quarter comeback attempt by the Niners to preserve the three point win. The victory ties Houston best start at 4-3 nearing the mid-season point. The loss leaves San Francisco at 3-3.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak was asked about his team almost losing the game at the end after building a three touchdown lead after one half of play. “They’re a great football team. I mean obviously, first half went pretty much our way, but when the game is on the line, we have to find a way to make plays. You know, it’s a big win. I’m proud of our guys, the way they played. They played very hard. We got ourselves a little trouble with the turnover (Steve Slayton fumble). Other than that, like I said, big win.”
Despite the win, Kubiak has two major concerns about his team heading into next Sunday’s road trip to Buffalo. Without a doubt, the bigger concern of the two is the health of Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson, who left the game in the second half with a chest injury. Kubiak was asked how his all world receiver was doing after leaving the game.
“Well, we’re concerned. He’s got what they’re telling me is a chest contusion right now. We have him down at the hospital; we’ll get him looked at, but obviously, he could not go there in the end. There’s concern until we see.”
The other concern is running back Steve Slayton. Slayton had a great year last year, but has struggled at times to get going this year, and has major problems holding onto the ball, creating major concerns for the coaching staff. It was obvious his head coach is getting tired of all the turnovers by Slaton this season.
“Yeah, it’s very concerning. I think what happens in this league too, when you get a little bit of a reputation, put a few balls on the ground for a couple of weeks, and it’s almost like these guys start getting more, a lot tougher as far as holding you up. You know, that’s where he is at right now. I mean people smell blood because he’s put some balls on the ground. They’re really getting after him right now. I told him when I walked in with him after the game, “”We’re going to go as far as you take us, and you got to figure out a way to protect the football. We’re gonna work with you throughout the week, but you just got to have the ability somehow to hang onto that football.”” Steve’s our guy and I have a lot of confidence in him, and it’s our job to help him find a way to hold onto the ball.”
One thing is certain. Unless Slayton can secure the ball like he did last year, sooner or later he’s going to cost his team a couple of wins that just may be the difference in making the playoffs at the end of the season. Hopefully, he can find the cure before that happens.