March 22, 2018

Gameday Prep: The Crossroads (Rams Edition)

The Houston Texans are once again at the crossroads of the 2013 season sitting at 2-3 after a three game stretch filled with disappointment. The drama and story lines have been at another level since the Sunday Night game in San Francisco from unwanted visitors at starting quarterback Matt Schaub‘s residence and starting tight end Owen Daniels being placed on the injured reserve with a fibula injury. Also, throw in the drama with Head Coach Gary Kubiak  sticking with Schaub as his starter despite some lack luster play since week one of the season.

The St. Louis Rams come to Reliant and provide the only hope for Matt Schaub to save his job for the Texans, at least for one game. The tension will be high from the first snap and all eyes will be on Schaub until the final whistle is blown.

We looked at Texans to Watch and Know Your Opponent with Rams Herd.


Game Day Prep

Thanks to Matt Jackson for this one and calling it to our attention, but this one is good. Sit back and enjoy.


We looked at Matt Schaub’s nine interceptions and who they were intended to. His favorite target in these interceptions, Owen Daniels, will be absent for some time.

 Schaub’s Target Interceptions


What to Watch

Despite Andre Johnson‘s shin injury, he has said that he will be playing on Sunday. There was some concern with how he performed last Sunday Night and him being visibly discouraged with what was occurring on the field. Johnson is the one player who can hold this ship together because of the time he has put into the organization. Him being a man of little words is known, but when he speaks everyone listens. He has slowly become a little more vocal over the past couple weeks. The most decorated player in Texans history is also being tested mentally and seeing how he has handled the situation should be a barometer for how things are going. He needs to be an important part of the offense, but Schaub better lean on other players to get attention off of Johnson. Him and Schaub have been consistently running two routes this season, the hitch and routes to the middle of the field. Johnson is not stretching the field like he usually does which has hurt the Texans’ offense. Johnson in the first five weeks of the season has been catching passes on two routes and none of them really put pressure on the defense. It is hard to tell if Johnson has been really limited with his injury, or the lack of confidence in his quarterback in the offense has really put a hitch in the plans. Johnson has only had two passes attempted to him over 20 yards this season, which is a reason for concern.


Short Leash For Schaub

This is a big game for the future of Matt Schaub in Houston. Even though this game is about beating the Rams, which is the main objective, Schaub’s performance will be examined from start to finish. There is no secret any early struggles from Schaub on Sunday will lead to the decision for T.J. Yates to be called upon, which could be a good thing for this season. There is plenty riding on this game and this will end up being THE story line to watch the entire afternoon. A win where Schaub is an important part of the outcome could extend his shelf life for another game, but recent play has all of that in question.


Kubiak Rolling the Dice

Gary Kubiak is treading in dangerous waters by sticking with Schaub and he is putting a portion of his future in his quarterback’s hand. There is no reason to rehash all of the current issues with the team, but Kubiak will also be under the microscope on Sunday. His patience during the game has to be short in regards to Schaub’s play on the field and he better be ready to pull the plug at the first issue that arises with the offense.


Focus By All

The distractions for this team have been at another level and the games are almost becoming the secondary story. There is going to have to be some normalcy for the Texans and they need to get back to playing the game again. The Texans have been playing to not make mistakes instead of trying to make plays. The Texans’ locker room has not been themselves since the Seattle game. Some how the Texans have to regain their focus as a team and look at what is ahead of them as a team.



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

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