The Film Don't Lie: Texans

A weekly examination of what the Houston Texans must fix:

The Texans face the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday, which doesn't leave much time to fix what has become a trend -- slow starts offensively.

In the first half against the Dallas Cowboys, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick looked very shaky. The numbers support the eye test. He completed 46.2 percent of his passes, threw an interception and had 36 yards passing total. His Total QBR was 7. In the second half and overtime, Fitzpatrick's total QBR jumped all the way to 78 out of 100.

"I think that's something we have to look at, just looking at the last few games and how we've really struggled in the first half and being able to put some things together in the second half," Fitzpatrick said. "Evaluating that, and evaluating why we're off to the slow starts, that's something that will be big for us."

Fitzpatrick's Total QBR steadily improves during games. This season it's 30.8 in the first quarter, ranking 31st in the NFL, and 36.6 in the second. Fitzpatrick's third-down throws in the first half of games are particularly bad, with a 14.1 QBR.

A major jump comes in the third quarter, when Fitzpatrick's Total QBR is 63.1. He's at his best in the fourth quarter with an 81.4 Total QBR that ranks fifth in the NFL.

Credit the Texans for being able to respond well to their slow starts and improving. Developing a rhythm early, which will enable their offense to move at a quicker pace, will help as they start facing tougher teams than they have so far.