April 21, 2014

The Rundown: Rock Bottom (49ers Edition)

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The-RundownIt is hard to digest what happened against the San Francisco 49ers, but once again the game was handed on a platter by the Houston Texans. The final score was 34-3, but it felt like it should have been much worse than what the score indicated. The Texans once again out gained their opponent, but the turnovers and short fields created by them compounded the problem for the Texans Sunday night.

Four turnovers for the Texans and another pick six for the home team turned this into a rout that stopped the Texans in their tracks. The Texans only made it into the red zone one time on Sunday, which showed the inability of an offense to make things happen.

Sitting at 2-3, the Texans are headed into some uncharted territory for a team that had high expectations to start the season.

 

 

The Rundown

 

Lowest of Lows

There has not been a lower time in Gary Kubiak’s tenure as head coach of the Texans. There have been bad teams that have graced the field at Reliant but none have dropped the ball like one of the most talented rosters in team history. There are play makers at every level of this team except one spot, and that is the quarterback position. Matt Schaub has been the team’s worst player and biggest enemy all wrapped up into one. It has to be one of the oddest occurrences to throw FOUR pick six interceptions in a row and the one interception return for 18 yards against the 49ers destroyed any hope for a Texans team.

 

The Evolution of the Game Has Passed the Texans Offense

The Houston Texans offense is being read like a book and the evolution of this offense is still in the mid 90′s and stuck in Denver. There have been a few wrinkles added with the pistol formation, which they have had some success, but the overall scheme needs an overhaul. The Texans have above average skills position players with average speed and it shows on the field. There is no real speed on the field for the Texans at any skills position and it makes them a limited offense in big play capability. It has been said before that this team is not built to play from behind, but this has been a recurring theme for them. The offense is going to be what it is for the remainder of the season, but playing from behind in all five of the games has been a bad formula for a struggling offense.

 

Schaub Has More Issues Than We Know

His confidence is shot and this is after the Texans offensive line had their best game as a unit all season only giving up one sack and four quarterback hits. Schaub has thrown 9 interceptions in 2013 and has watched his completion percentage creep down to the 65.5 % mark. His longest pass of the season has been 32 yards and the pace of the offense has been sluggish with little pace. He is a defeated player and it is showing with his body language and how his teammates’ efforts are showing on the field. His mind-set is not right and his reads have been below average, add in the fact that he got away with dropped interceptions by the 49ers defense. There is not an answer for his issues other than the fact that he is on the downward trend of his career. His throws have little zip and his accuracy is on the decline as well, which are bad combinations for a starting NFL quarterback. Where the Texans go to now is a question mark but the longer the Texans stick with Schaub the better the 2014 draft pick could be.

 

Wasted Play

Once again, the defense was on the short end of the stick after a terrible performance by the offense. The Texans allowed 6 completions on the evening, which was the fewest in team history, and still could not get the win. The defense has been one of the lone bright spots for a struggling team and the defense is a one man gang right now doing everything they can to keep the Texans in the game. The pass rush has gotten better each week and one break down in coverage led to a Vernon Davis touchdown. They are slowing offenses enough to get the Texans offense some room to work, but the struggles are real right now.

 

Players Need to Be Put On Notice

This season might be on the brink of failure and players who the Texans were depending on have been anything but dependable. Matt Schaub, Keshawn Martin, Derek Newton, Eddie Pleasant, Randy Bullock and Brooks Reed to name a few have been anything but above average for the Texans. Fingers can be pointed but the fact of the matter is there is an important group of players struggling right now and none more than Schaub. The season is close to falling apart and it is going to take all 53 players in that locker room to save the 2013 season.

 

Bad Combination 

Interceptions, Fumbles, Lack of Causing Turnovers, Play Calling, Big plays, Penalties and the list goes on and on. If there was Rock Bottom, look no further than this moment right now. Three straight losses and the Texans are playing tight on the field. It is a storm that is getting the best of the Texans and right now they are lucky they are not 0-5 instead of 2-3. There are no more easy games for this Texans team.

 

The Decision

Gary Kubiak knows that benching Matt Schaub means there is no turning back for the 2013 season and the organization. There is a younger quarterback coming within the year but now the recent play of Schaub is going to make that process even more important when it gets here. Kubiak has to be careful with pulling the plug on Schaub because the message can be mixed to the team. Does Schaub give the team the best chance to win? That answer is unknown especially with no other quarterback getting a chance to perform on the field. The decision is simple. T.J. Yates needs to get as many reps with the ones during practice to get him ready for next week. Yates should get a chance to breathe some life into this team that needs a shot of something to get them back to where they need to be. Will Kubiak make that happen? Probably not. Loyalty can be someone’s biggest fault and right now it is Kubiak’s biggest enemy.

 

You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

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