HOUSTON – The Houston Texans entered the season with a Super Bowl mentality.
After surrendering a 17-point lead to lose 23-20 to the Seattle Seahawks in overtime, coach Gary Kubiak and his team are trying to keep things in perspective after an unexpected rocky start.
"We're not where we want to be, but there's a long, long way to go," Kubiak said Monday. "We're a very capable football team, but we've got to be a more consistent football team."
The loss on Sunday added to an inconsistent start in which the team has been involved in close games three out of four weeks. While there are questions, Kubiak's keeping the long term in focus and working with specific players — including quarterback Matt Schaub.
A quick start had Houston up 20-3 at halftime. Instead of a statement win, the final whistle that followed Steven Hauschka's 45-yard game-winning field goal in overtime only brought more questions. It didn't help that linebacker Brian Cushing was lost to a concussion.
"It's a tough pill to swallow," Kubiak says. "We're a strong group. It hurts, but we'll rally."
Kubiak praised his defense, which held the Seattle offense to 16 points and created turnovers, something they've looked for early in the season.
"They've been impressive," Kubiak said. "I think we're a dang good defense and we have a chance to be great. I think we're working toward that."
Kubiak said Cushing will enter the league's mandatory protocol and will be evaluated later this week.
Houston (2-2) failed to score after a 20-point second quarter and most critics are looking at Schaub, who was 31 for 49 for 355 yards and two touchdowns through the air. But he had two interceptions, including cornerback Richard Sherman's 58-yard return for a touchdown with 2:40 to go in the fourth quarter.
Kubiak is standing by his signal-caller and looking for ways to help him.
"He's our quarterback," Kubiak said. "I don't see a lack of confidence. I see poor decision-making situations. It's something he has to handle and something we have to help him handle."
Kubiak is adamant the Texans are not close to pressing the panic button but knows that the team's issues have to be fixed before another big game this weekend against the NFC champion 49ers.
Notes: Left tackle Duane Brown continues to work with the team but Kubiak maintained that he remains day-to-day. J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith and Brandon Brooks (toe) were all mentioned as players with minor injuries that are not expected to cost them time.