Texans fans remain optimistic despite embarrassing loss to Patriots on Monday Night Football


There was a lot of talk around the water cooler Tuesday and on sports radio stations about what the Texans did Monday night and how they might have fared better. At Reliant Stadium the focus is not on Monday night, it's on this coming Sunday.

Every day, win or lose, Chris Lockridge wears his Texans gear to work.

"It's one loss. It's only one loss," Lockridge told us.

Even if the Texans get clobbered, Lockridge is one of the most die-hard fans. Before every home game transforming into 'The Texas Freak,' an alter-ego he created to harass all Texans opponents. The Texas Freak is not afraid of the critics coming out of the woodwork since Monday night's defeat.

"I said 14 and 2 at the beginning of this year. That means we don't lose another game this year," said Lockridge.

The blowout was televised before a national audience and some fans admitted embarrassment.

"Every time that we've been on national television, we haven't done so well. It's hard to get the respect nationally when you don't do well," said Clint Richardson.

Even Patriots fans we talked to were surprised the Texans weren't in the game longer.

"I thought it was gonna be a big fight, dog fight because New England's defense has been a little suspect," said Patriots fan Lisa Hager.

That said, Richardson is not about to remove the Texans lights or signs from his front yard. We showed you on Monday how he's made a replica of a football field outside his Pearland home. One sign reads "We believe," which may be more poignant now than ever.

"Believe. We believe in the Texans. Just gotta keep believing in the Texans. Don't ride the bandwagon," said Richardson. "If you're a believer, be a believer."

There's no room for bandwagon jumpers on this ride Texans fans say. They're looking for vindication against the Colts at Reliant on Sunday.

So where do the Texans go from here?

The family friendly versions go like this: Andre Johnson said the Patriots gave them a whoopin'. Head coach Gary Kubiak said, "We got our tails kicked."

The most common word used nationally to the describe the Texans in New England is embarrassing; and they're all right on.

The 42-14 loss really wasn't that close and it all boils down to this: Pats head coach Bill Belichick identified all of the Texans weaknesses and exploited every one. Texans start slow? We'll let Tom Brady put you in a 21-0 hole. Linebackers have issues covering in space? Check. A re-shuffled offensive line has issues? Got that covered.

Around the country Tuesday, everyone's seizing on the idea that the Texans themselves called this "the biggest game in franchise history." Fans are left to hope not.

Despite all of Monday night's misery, the Texans still control their own fate in the race to home field advantage. But with Andrew Luck and the surging Colts up next, the Texans have a lot to work on.

Kubiak on Tuesday showed concern but absolutely no signs of panic for his 11-2 team.

"It's things you've got to fight through. I mean our football team is in a very good situation," he said. "Fortunately, I should say, we've only had this trouble twice."

So the Texans have three games left in the regular season and they're still playing for home field advantage in the playoffs. This Sunday, they take on the 9-4 Colts at Reliant. If the Texans win, they clinch the AFC South. And if the Texans win and New England ties or loses and Denver loses, then the Texans clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Then on December 23 the Minnesota Vikings come to town. And then the Texans end the season on the road in Indianapolis.

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