Case Keenum was an upgrade at quarterback on Matt Schaub. The Houston Texans' defense gave up just three points in the second half. And yet the Texans' 2013 season still continues its downward spiral.
If moral victories existed, the Texans would get one for their 17-16 loss in Kansas City. But they don't exist, except in that other Texas NFL town. Houston is 2-5 on the season, and the Texans are running out of time to turn their season around.
The Chiefs deserve all the praise they can handle for winning their seventh consecutive game to start the season. Each victory practically is a carbon copy of the previous one. The only thing missing from this one was a Jamaal Charles clock-killing drive.
Still, we can't help but feel like this game was more about the Texans. Linebacker Brian Cushing is expected to miss the season with a torn LCL and a broken leg, per NFL Media's Albert Breer. Even on a day when so many things went right, the Texans feel further away from the playoffs. It's not their year.
Here's what else we learned:
1. Texans coach Gary Kubiak has to think about starting Case Keenum after the bye week, regardless of Matt Schaub's health. Keenum got the ball out of his hands quickly and averaged more than 10 yards per attempt against the best defense in the league. He was able to make plays on the move.
2. Alex Smith did his best to give this game away late. The Chiefs quarterback botched a fourth-and-goal in the fourth quarter when he appeared to miss two open men in the end zone because he wasn't decisive. Smith also threw a fourth-quarter interception that kept Houston in the game. Smith did a very nice job moving the ball earlier in the game, but his mistakes are piling up.
4. Charles had his seventh straight game with 100 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. (He had 86 yards rushing and 37 yards receiving.) He's just the second runner in NFL history to pull that off to start a season.