HOUSTON — Whether it was the inefficient run defense that gave up nearly 300 yards or Davis Mills throwing a late-game interception, several factors played a role in the Houston Texans' 23-20 defeat to the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
But at Soldier Field stadium during their Week 3 defeat, the Texans' inabilities to convert on third downs plagued the team just as much as their run defense and Mills' interception.
The Texans converted three out of 12 third-downs against the Bears, which exposed a significant problem that has tormented Houston en route to their 0-2-1 start to the 2022 campaign.
“I won’t go back to those games," coach Lovie Smith said. "But, this game, one was late. Third-and-1, two-minute situation, we’re trying to complete a pass there. On the goal line, there was a third-and-1, which was a big one. We let one of the linebackers run through an A gap.
"That shouldn’t happen. Those are the things that can be cleaned up though, from my point of view. You want to get in those situations.”
Houston has converted a league-low 25 percent on third down conversions through the first three games.
The Texans' best game at third down efficiency took place during their Week 1 tie against the Indianapolis Colts. Houston converted five out of a possible 15 third downs before their offensive collapse during the fourth quarter and overtime.
Heading into their Week 4 match against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Texans have put together a subpar performance on the offensive side of the ball by averaging 303.7 total yards and 16.3 points.
Smith has expressed his desire to enhance Houston's offensive woes to turn their disappointing season around. And improving the Texans' third-down struggles will be a step in the right direction.
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