Three weeks and three bitter defeats into the 2020 NFL season, the Houston Texans aren't panicking. Or at least that's the message they're delivering following a 28-21 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Having emerged from a staggering three-game gauntlet to begin the season in which its opponents are a combined 7-0 (heading into Monday), the Texans stressed veteran presence and urgency, but no alarm in the aftermath of a trio of defeats.
"We have a really veteran team. I don't think anybody is panicking. 0-3 isn't where we want to be," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said Sunday, via the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson. "Urgency. There's no panic. We've got to get over the hump here"
Franchise QB Deshaun Watson followed suit with his appraisal of the unenviable situation the Texans find themselves in.
'We are what we are," Watson said. "We're 0-3, but lot of positivity in this. We can't dwell on negativity."
Always on the marquee as the Texans are concerned, Watson has been in three headline QB duels to begin the season as well, facing Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger in as many weeks. Houston became the first team in NFL history to face the two most recent most valuable players (Mahomes and Jackson) and a Super Bowl-winning QB in its first three games of the season, according to NFL Research.
"We played three great teams three weeks in a row and we got tested. We came up short," Watson said, via SportsRadio 610.
That's perhaps a friendlier narrative than the reality as Mahomes' Chiefs and Jackson's Ravens defeated the Texans by comfortable margins heading into their Monday night showdown. Sunday's loss to the Steelers was a close one, however, and perhaps something to build off of heading into Week 4 against a likewise winless Minnesota Vikings squad.
Though the Texans lost all-world wideout DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason via trade, hopes heading into the season were still high for a Houston franchise with one of the top QBs in the game in Watson, who's led the team to back-to-back AFC South titles and an AFC Divisional Round appearance last season.
If there's some solace, perhaps it's found in knowing the Texans started 2018 0-3 and still punched a playoff ticket by way of winning the division.
For another Texans veteran, J.J. Watt, Sunday was also a chance to play against his brothers, Steelers defensive end T.J. Watt and fullback Derek Watt. However, it's clear the 0-3 start is the most prevalent concern and storyline coming out of Week 3 for the Texans.
"It's alright, some day we'll look back on it. Special thing for our family," J.J. Watt said when asked what it was like losing to his brothers, via Wilson. "We need to win a football game."