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What Now For 10-Loss Texans?

Texans mathematically eliminated from AFC Playoff race

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans won't admit it, but the 2021 season was always a rebuilding year. That statement rung true when the clock struck zero Sunday to begin December play. 

With a 31-0 shutout loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Texans will finish back-to-back seasons with double-digit losses. With the loss at home, Houston officially have become the first team this season to be eliminated from postseason play. 

Houston also suffered its first regular season shutout loss at NRG Stadium in franchise history. Sunday marked the second game in which they were shut out this season, and the fifth where the offense failed to find the end zone. 

When it rains, it pours. The Texans are reaching new lows. 

Houston QB Tyrod Taylor tossed an interception on the opening drive that would lead to a 1-yard touchdown run by Colts' running back Jonathan Taylor. Taylor, selected one pick after Houston's took defensive tackle Ross Blacklock, continues to put the finishing touches on his special season. 

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Taylor finished with 132 yards and two touchdowns off 32 carries. He helped Indianapolis eat up over 40 minutes off the clock. The Colts also went 7 of 13 on third down conversions. Houston went 3 of 12 and 0 of 3 when going for it on fourth down. 

"They completely outplayed us," Texans coach David Culley said postgame. "That's a good football team. We got outcoached and outplayed." 

Houston has five games to figure out the future direction of the organization. The next two games -- Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars -- are probably the best bets for wins.

The Detroit Lions improved to 1-10-1 after its victory over the Minnesota Vikings, meaning Houston (2-10) has inched closer to possibly netting the No. 1 pick. 

Houston's offense ranks 32nd in the league and the defense is 28th. There needs to be an infusion of talent of on both sides.

That's where the draft comes in. For a team that saw its playoff aspirations disappear long before being officially eliminated, there's not much else to look forward to in Houston.