Despite an overall improved performance compared to last week's capitulation at the Buffalo Bills, the Houston Texans lost their fourth consecutive game Sunday against the New England Patriots. And special teams deserve to take much of the blame.
One major factor was the performance of kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn.
In just his second game back from injury, Fairbairn went 1 of 2 on field-goal attempts and just 1 of 3 on extra points, costing the Texans a total of five points.
Throw in his first kickoff of the game went out of bounds, giving the Patriots great starting position on their own 40-yard line on their way to a touchdown, and it was a day to forget for the veteran kicker.
Don't be surprised if the Texans work out a kicker or two this week.
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However, Fairbairn wasn't the only specialist to falter.
Up 22-9 in the third quarter, punter Cam Johnston, who has been excellent this year, had a punt blocked at Houston's 36-yard line. Whether the blame for this lies on his shoulders or an unnecessary trick play called by Frank Ross, it cost Houston big.
This was a turning point as the Patriots went on to score on the subsequent drive.
Fittingly, Houston lost on a last-minute field goal by Nick Folk ... its former kicker.
Failure to execute the basics was Houston's downfall yet again, as the Texans shot themselves in the foot in another potential victory.
CONTINUE READING: 'Patriots 2.0'? Houston Texans Not 'Special' Enough, Lose Late, 25-22