On the return game: Texans safety Danieal Manning suffered a hyperextended knee against the Rams and is having an MRI on Monday. It looks gruesome in this screen grab. Manning handled kickoff returns for the first time this season while Shiloh Keo handled punt returns. The Texans opted for the two of them instead of Keshawn Martin. Martin was questionable for the game, but did have a role in the Texans' offense. Once Manning left the game with his injury, Martin became the returner again and gave up a costly fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Not a good play from Martin, but it wasn't all his fault. The blocking on that play was lacking and should take a hefty chunk of the blame.
Turnover margin continues to tumble: The Texans entered the game with a minus-8 turnover margin. That has fallen to minus-12. I know the whole playoff discussion is far down the list of things to worry about with this team, but as I don't believe the season is lost just yet, I'll address it here. Most playoff teams have positive turnover margins. It's rare for teams to make the playoffs with negative double-digit turnover margins. I analyzed this with the help of ESPN Stats & Information here.
Yards allowed still low: I was surprised to see this, but the Texans' defense allowed only 216 yards of total offense on Sunday. Think about that. They gave up two 80-yard drives and a 65-yard drive, which included penalties, and still allowed only 216 yards of total offense, well below their season average. Two season-long themes persisted. The Rams' red-zone efficiency was perfect. They entered the red zone three times and scored touchdowns every time. (Meanwhile, the Texans' offense entered the red zone six times and scored one touchdown.) And the Texans did not force any turnovers.
Is it the coaching? After Sunday's game, several Texans players said their losing streak is not head coach Gary Kubiak's fault. "He can’t control penalties and turnovers; that’s on us as football players and men out there battling to get the job done," left tackle Duane Brown said. "It’s not his fault and anybody who says that is wrong." The thing is, penalties and turnovers are related to discipline and that is something coaching can impact. Getting the most out of the talent on the team is also something coaching can impact.