Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Black/UPI/Shutterstock (13419638p) Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith on the sidelines during a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, September 25, 2022. NFL Texans Bears, Chicago, Illinois, United States – 25 Sep 2022
Lovie’s comments reflect he knew his team would not win, but glad they fought hard.
After the Houston Texans’ 29-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football, Texans head coach Lovie Smith praised the effort of his team in a losing effort.
Smith seemed to indicate that he knew his rebuilding team was facing a major uphill battle against the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL, but that being outclassed was not necessarily going to equate to being outhustled.
Smith opened his media session after the game with praise for his undermanned offense:
“We knew who we were playing. Some people will argue the best team in football right now in the NFL. I thought our guys played hard from start to finish. We didn’t always play smart football, and there are some mistakes we have to eliminate, but I like the way they fought. Offensively. First, offensive line. I thought offensive line did an excellent job. Of course, Dameon Pierce did what he normally does, run hard, an outstanding job. We got the running game going pretty good. The turnovers hurt, simple as that. I like what Phillip Dorsett and Chris Moore did stepping up. Teagan (Quitoriano) getting his first action getting a touchdown. There’s a lot of good things for us to like from our offense.”
While the defense was only able to come up with one turnover, and they did not get any red zone stops, Coach Smith lauded his defensive unit’s efforts:
“Defensively, you know, I think they were four-for-four down in the red zone. Didn’t take the ball away enough, but I liked the way our guys fought. Jerry Hughes played the type of game he normally plays. He is going to play hard, and he is a legitimate outside rusher. Again, we did some good things, but it wasn’t enough. We wanted to get it to the second half and then see what we could do, and some of those critical plays really hurt us. But I saw improvement in our ball club. That gives us a lot of hope going forward.”
“I thought the guys fought hard. 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.”
“First off, Jalen Hurts, I made a statement this past week. I think he has improved maybe more than every player in the NFL. Outstanding player. He can throw the ball. He is mobile. A big guy to bring down. But led by Jerry (Hughes), I thought they did a good job of keeping him contained for the most part. That was a great play by him on that third-and-long, that last draw that he ran, but great players make those type of plays. But liked a lot of the things we were doing up front and really the front seven.”
Smith was pleased to see the return of the team’s running game success:
“Every time Dameon (Pierce) stepped on the field, same type of effort he gives. He is hard to stop. You know, I wouldn’t want to be a defensive back with him having a full head of steam running downhill. You know, when I say just continuing to go, keeping his legs moving, moving the pile. What we want to be, a running football team. Physical running attack. Our tail back kind of says it all in what we would like to be. For that to happen, as I said, offensive line I thought throughout the game I thought we got good push.“