Lovie Smith says Texans defense ‘fought hard’ vs. Eagles in Week 9

Despite the loss, the Houston Texans’ effort against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night was a good sign for the team’s trajectory moving forward. Matched up against the league’s best team by record, Houston did what it could to avoid a blowout, and was in the mix to win well into the fourth quarter.

Head coach Lovie Smith spoke to reporters after the game about his thoughts on the Texans’ performance and seemed to be pleased with what he saw. Asked about the way his defense played against one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses, he told the media that they put up a legitimate fight but faltered in the red zone.

“I thought the guys fought hard,” Smith said. “Statistically, when I talked about them getting touchdowns in the red zone, I mean, that really hurt. We saw improvement, though. That’s an excellent offensive team we just played. And we had a few guys, of course, in the front that are still out, but I thought the guys fought hard. Gave us a chance to win.”

While their 1-6-1 record will still put them at the bottom of the NFL’s power rankings, at this point in their 2022 campaign, improvement is everything. The Texans showed a national audience that they could at least hang with one of the league’s top teams last night, and on short rest, that isn’t an insignificant accomplishment.

Now, the team will need to build on the positive aspects of their Week 9 performance and do their best to surprise upcoming opponents who overlook what they’ve been able to do when they play fundamentally sound football. If they can do that, perhaps they will be able to put the pieces together to take a major step forward toward contention next year as they continue in the rebuilding process.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire