||10-16-2013 09:49 AM
Article: Ryan Wilson from CBS Sports
LZ posted this and I agree with some of the comments I've seen that this seems pretty accurate. I didn't find it in threads yet
This makes the third time in three weeks that Matt Schaub has made his way into this space and for good reason: He's been awful. But the Texans have institutional issues that extend beyond one player.
This isn't about a few sociopaths cheering for injuries, but an organization that was supposedly in its prime suddenly looking like the window on a championship run had slam shut before it ever really opened. The worst part is that while the national media (us included) blindly penciled in the Texans as a playoff team, locals -- both fans and media -- knew the perception didn't match reality.
Let's start with Schaub, the face of the franchise who's not a franchise quarterback. While he seems perfectly equipped to run Gary Kubiak's west coast scheme, things break down when Schaub is forced to go off-script. He also seems to get consumed in big moments.
The pick-six against the Seahawks is the one of the recent examples, but some of the blame has to fall to Kubiak and his predictable play-calling. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said before the Week 4 game that he and his teammates would be sitting on the bootleg play-action that has long been a stable of the Texans' offense. That's exactly what he did. And 58 yards later, he scored a touchdown.
And it's not just savvy veterans who are onto what Houston's offense is trying to do. Against the 49ers a week later, seldom-used cornerback Tramaine Brock intercepted Schaub's first pass of the night (and returned it for an interception, naturally) after sitting on a route that everybody in the stadium knew was coming.
But shrinking when the lights are brightest extends beyond Schaub to the entire team.
Going back to 2009, here's how the Texans have fared in nationally televised regular-season games:
- 2009, Week 11 loss to the Titans, 20-17
- 2010, Week 8 loss to the Colts, 30-17
- 2010, Week 13 loss to the Eagles, 34-24
- 2010, Week 14 loss to the Ravens, 34-28 (OT)*
- 2011, Week 16 loss to the Colts, 19-16
- 2012, Week 5 win over the Jets, 23-17
- 2012, Week 6 loss to the Packers, 42-24
- 2012, Week 11 win over the Bears, 13-6
- 2012, Week 14 loss to the Patriots, 42-14
- 2013, Week 1 win over the Chargers, 31-28
- 2013, Week 5 loss to the 49ers, 34-3
* The loss to Ravens in 2010 ended on -- you guessed it -- a Schaub pick-six.
All together, and you're looking at a 2-4 team, losers of four straight, that could easily be 0-6. And things are probably going to get worse before they get better, and not just in 2013. This offseason, the Texans will likely part ways with left guard Wade Smith, running back Ben Tate, defensive end Antonio Smith and safety Ed Reed. The other safety, Danieal Manning, could also be gone, and Houston will need to find a new right tackle.
We don't think there's a Texans fan on the planet who is averse to the team drafting a quarterback early. One monkey wrench in that plan: What if Kubiak survives, returns to coach in 2014 and decides to go with either T.J. Yates, or hometown favorite Case Keenum?
Or worse: Trades, say, a second-rounder for Kirk Cousins, the Redskins' backup who is familiar with Kubiak's offense because he plays for Mike Shanahan, the man who was Kubiak's boss when both were in Denver? Then we'll be in full-on rebuilding mode a season after a lot of people thought this team could represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
In more sobering terms, Houston fans -- who experienced the playoffs in 1993 with the Oilers before they skipped town, and had to wait 18 years for the 2011 Texans to return to the postseason -- could be on the verge of another long playoff drought.