The 1-8 Houston Texans have reached half-time in their 2021 NFL season after yet another loss, and to say it's been a tough ride so far would be an understatement.
Heading into a Week 10 bye, the Texans now have time to recover and reflect on the trials and tribulations they've faced so far. Doing just that, safety Justin Reid calls the season so far: "It's been a rollercoaster.
"There's been games where the defense hasn't been at its best, there's been games where the offense hasn't been at its best," Reid said. "So, the biggest thing is we have to play a complete game and we haven't done that yet. And we have a lot of ball left still to play this season, a lot of pride to play for [and] to play that complete game."
Given that the Texans have scored the fewest points (128) and allowed the most (258) in the NFL so far this season, it's fair to say that they've yet to achieve any level of 'completion' in any of their games.
What has held them back from achieving? Reid keyed in on their lack of "consistency."
"Some of it is we've got personnel changes every week, guys going down, guys coming back, getting back into the groove of things," Reid said. "Other thing is just trying to find out groove. I mean this is still the first time that we've had all these guys play together on the same team, so a lot of it is chemistry-related, guys moving around on rotation on the starting lineup too, kind of slows down the chemistry a bit too, but that's just part of the growth process of us building a new team."
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All in all, the Texans have fielded 63 players in total in 2021 - only 23 of that were on the roster last year. Three have recently left either via trade or release.
With this and all of Reid's other points in mind, finding any rhythm or building chemistry is an uphill battle.
Perhaps this is where the bye week can come in handy.
This can be a week to analyze the tape, identify areas for improvement in their own game, learn more about one another's habits and tendencies on the field, and follow it all with a solid week of practice.
That being said, there's no reason to believe the Texans are done rotating their lineup given the lack of consistency from the vast majority of their players. As such, this rollercoaster of a season may well hit a few more kinks in the rail during the second half of the season before the rebuild kicks off in earnest next year.