Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by Grams, Dec 12, 2011.
Is there ever an end to just what a class act Andre Johnson is?? I read that TJ spent a lot of time throwing to AJ when AJ was coming back from his first injury, thats got to have been a huge help for him.
Cool move on Kubiak!
The wow factor
This week's edition goes to the AFC South champion Texans, their game defense and their incredible third-string quarterback.
Ladies and gentlemen, T.J. Yates.
Seven straight wins for the Texans overall, and yes, the defense gets a large assist for holding seven straight teams to 20 points or fewer.
But it's the mark of a composed, young player when he can rally from a horrid start to a game and finish the way he did, engineering his second fourth-quarter game-winning drive in as many starts. Sunday he moved the Texans 80 yards without a timeout and hit Kevin Walter for the winning score with two seconds left.
Neither Yates nor the defense was on point early, but the Texans rallied from four turnovers, five sacks allowed and a 13-point halftime deficit.
"It was ugly," said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, who has to be a Coach of the Year front-runner. "We didn't play well. We turned the ball over. We couldn't stop their running game. It didn't look like we had a chance of getting out of here with a win.
"But we have a young quarterback who believes in what he's doing. He bailed us out of some really tough situations."
The defense boned up, too. After allowing Cedric Benson to rush for 92 yards on 13 first-half carries, he finished with 91 yards on 21 carries. Connor Barwin's strip-sack of Andy Dalton was the catalyst for the comeback, and Yates led the final two scoring drives with guts, determination and no Andre Johnson, who was sidelined.
Is it time we consider the Texans a serious contender? No one is making excuses for them now.
Tebow-mania has watered down the Texans' story a bit nationally, but you get the idea that's just fine with Kubiak, who has a special team on his hands.
Mike & Mike in the Morning, ESPN/ESPN Radio
John Fox is now the leading candidate for Coach of the Year, although McCarthy and Gary Kubiak should get some consideration.
Fox has a chance if Tebowmania keeps on rolling and Denver makes it to the playoffs. They can still miss, and if they don't make the playoffs Fox has no chance.
You'd have to look at Kubiak and McCarthy. Yes, the Packers are loaded, are the defending SB champs and were expected to be even better this year -- but if the team finishes undefeated, it's hard not to go with that. It doesn't take much of a letdown to lose a game in the NFL, so no matter how talented a team is, an undefeated season is a serious coaching feat.
Kubiak's best chances would be if the Packers lose a game or two down the stretch, Denver misses the playoffs and the 49ers limp badly into the playoffs.
Peter King, MMQB:
There's a long line of people to credit for the Texans' first playoff appearance ever
Credit owner Bob McNair for not firing Gary Kubiak last January, and for running the kind of organization people want to work for. Credit GM Rick Smith for picking Johnathan Joseph over Nnamdi Asomugha, and making over the defense in the draft with J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed in the first two rounds. Credit the scouts and Smith and Kubiak for taking a shot on an underwhelming quarterback, T.J. Yates, in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, because there were a few things about him -- a good-enough arm, moxie, maturity -- that told Kubiak he'd be a good developmental prospect. Credit the players for not tanking when so many good players were lost -- Mario Williams, Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart.
Today, Houston (10-3) is the first seed in the AFC playoff race, and 25 percent of those wins (two plus the second half of the Jacksonville game) were won by Yates. Amazing story. The Texans were down 19-10 midway through the fourth quarter to a desperate Cincinnati team. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said before the game this was the biggest game he'd coached, and though they hadn't played great, Cincinnati was in position to win against the rookie by just making a couple more stops. The Bengals couldn't.
"I have to give a lot of credit to coach Knapp,'' Yates told me afterward, referring to quarterback coach Gregg Knapp. "Back in camp, I never had a relaxing practice. He grilled me nonstop mentally. He tested me on plays, on defenses, everything.''
"Give me an example,'' I said.
"I'd be there watching practice, and Matt [Schaub] would be about to take a snap, and coach Knapp would say to me, 'All right: What blitz here makes you go to your hot receiver?' By the time I got to play, I felt like I'd had millions of mental reps. I can guarantee you that's why I've been able to come in and play.''
On the winning touchdown pass to Kevin Walter, Owen Daniels and Derrick Mason went into the end zone on twin routes to take coverage with them -- and if one was open, Yates would find him. But scraping underneath was Walter, and his primary cover guy fell as Walter crossed over the middle. Easy pickings. "All I had to do was get the ball to him.''
Said Yates: "It's pretty wild. Pretty unbelievable. Today, I made a few mistakes early, and coach Kubiak got in my ear pretty good. Like, 'You can't make mistakes like that!' Then as the game went on, he'd say, 'Short-term memory.' Which is what you have to have as a quarterback.''
Said right tackle Eric Winston: "It's one thing to get a third-string rookie ready to run a few packages. T.J. can basically run everything.'' And that is why the Texans, with a third-string quarterback, aren't going to be so easy to beat in January.
The Award Section
Offensive Players of the Week
Houston QB T.J. Yates. Played like Manning earlier in the day in Cincinnati. Down 19-10 midway through the fourth quarter, Yates led field-goal and touchdown drives to clinch the Texans' first playoff berth in their history. With a 26-of-44, 300-yard passing day, Yates showed the Texans might not have to try to win despite him.
Coach of the Year Watch
1. Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco...
2. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay...
3. Gary Kubiak, Houston. At 10-3, with 2.5 wins coming with a third-string quarterback ... this is another guy who could move up in the last three weeks.
Separate names with a comma.