Texans Are Their Own Worst Enemies
The Houston Texans’ 2013 season has now extended the longest skid in franchise history to eleven straight losses. This time, the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Texans for the second time in two weeks and put the Texans with a firm grasp of the number one overall pick for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Poor Quarterback Play
Thursday night was no different and it started once again with horrid offensive play that resulted in starter Case Keenum being replaced by Matt Schaub. Keenum has not gotten better since he took over in Kansas City and he has been rushed to play because of poor play from the Texans quarterback position group. Keenum still needs time to develop, but the reality is that he gets a “free pass” from onlookers because he is a University of Houston product. If he was from any other school in the United States, the call for him to be replaced would be loud and clear. There is a place for Keenum on this team moving forward, but his progression as an NFL quarterback has not evolved the way it should. Give him more time to develop, but now is not the time with 52 other players depending on him to perform.
This could be the end of the Keenum experiment for this season with Schaub coming back into the game and creating an offense that looked able to perform again to some degree. It could mark the return of Schaub for the remaining three games of the season.
Lack of Discipline
The discipline the Texans showed against the Jaguars was one of the worst things they have put on the field in a long time. They racked up 14 penalties for 177 yards and did it every way possible. Offensive holdings, pass interferences and false starts plagued the Texans. Throw in what rookie D.J. Swearinger did on the field, where he was responsible for keeping a drive alive after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting and negating an interception by Eddie Pleasant for holding the intended receiver on the play. His intensity is there as a player but he played out of control, which ended up costing his team in the long run and only compounded the loss even more.
Decline of Core Players
The decline of key players is a real concern with the likes of Wade Smith, Antonio Smith, Johnathan Joseph, Brice McCain, Earl Mitchell and Brooks Reed (to name a few) really setting this team back. The Jaguars exploited the Texans and moved the ball on the ground and used deep passes to draw penalties to move the ball. Similar game plans have been drawn the same against the Texans’ defense with the same thinking week in and week out. The situational defense for the Texans is not there, especially when it comes to key situations in the game. The defense is a direct reflection of their defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and nothing has really gotten better as the season has moved on.
The Game Has Evolved
The game of football seems to have evolved passed Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips. While other teams are having progressive thinking about the game of football, it feels the Texans are stuck in the early 1990′s way of football. Running the ball and playing strong defense to win games was a good recipe for success in that era of football. With the game centered around the quarterback to be successful, the Texans just don’t have that player to change the complexion with some big throws.
The Texans are in desperate need of getting new thoughts and ways to look at the game and bring out the best in their players. The road is coming to an end and Kubiak and Phillips will be on the hot seat. Both deserve full responsibility for what has happened this season, and not making the right calls to save the season makes their possible release justified.
It really depends on how this season is looked at, but being the worst team in the NFL might finally put a franchise quarterback there for the Texans to get in the NFL draft. This season cannot come to an end quick enough, especially with the product the Texans have been putting on the field. Nothing is easy and the Texans are proving that with every game they have played this season. They are lucky to have two wins this season and could easily be 0-13 for 2013.
Time will only tell what will happen within the organization and getting there is the next issue. There are only three more games, which all could end up with losses. Misery is here and the offseason is the only thing that can end it, and to make matters worse, it was the Jaguars who officially ended the Texans 2013 season.