Last week I wrote that it was A Time for Choosing for the Houston Texans. After last night’s humiliating loss in San Francisco, that time has passed. It’s now time to burn it to the ground and start over.
Matt Schaub set a new record last night for consecutive games with a pick-6. In a new low for cosmic irony, it came on his first throw of the game, instantly deflating the entire team for the rest of the night. He ended the game with three interceptions, and at least two or three more that easily could have been, and no touchdowns. It was perhaps Schaub’s worst game in three years, and one that easily could have been won against an injured and lackluster 49ers team.
Adding insult to self-inflicted injury, rookie kicker Randy Bullock missed a 45-yard field goal, the first chance for Texans points in the game. But the fates were not done laughing yet, as Bullock ended up being the only scoring Texan of the game, with a 41-yard 3-pointer later on. That makes only 7 of 12 kicks he’s made in these five games so far. Not good enough. He needs to go. Kickers are a dime a dozen, and even an average one has a better ratio than that.
And although he didn’t intend it, Schaub himself added further insult with how he characterized the loss in the post-game press conference. He said “we need to get better” about a dozen times, and only used “I” when discussing his (completely fictitious) self-confidence. After his first pick-6 game this year, at home against the Titans, Schaub said “I need to get better”. He didn’t. And yet he hasn’t said anything like that since then. He’s lying to himself, his team, and his city, and that alone is worth benching him.
But will Kubiak do it? Yes, he took out Schaub and put in Yates in the fourth quarter last night when all hope was lost. But the saddest thing of all was that, having listened to Kubiak defend his QB and fall on the sword for him over the last month, it’s obvious that he did it to “protect” him, not to punish him. Kubiak has made questionable decisions before, and many in Houston don’t like his conservative coaching style, but he’s always had a winning record to back him up. No longer. Kubiak was a quarterback and then a quarterback coach before becoming head coach of the Texans in 2006. His default position to protect and defend his QB is understandable, and in most cases admirable. But it has become a liability. A change must be made, now, and it might be up to general manager Rick Smith to do it. He let David Carr go after the 2006 season and hired Schaub in the first place. And if he doesn’t, then maybe owner Bob McNair needs to stage an intervention. Houston deserves better.
At this rate, the Texans won’t even make the playoffs. In their division, the Colts are better, have a better record, have an easier schedule going forward, and have already beaten the same three teams who have beaten the Texans. It doesn’t get much more mathematically certain than that. That leaves two AFC wild card slots available. Except they’re not. In the AFC West, the Broncos and Chiefs are both 5-0, so one of them will be the division champ (probably Broncos) and the other a wild card. That leaves one. But there are six more teams in the AFC with a better record than the Texans. Two of those will be their division champs, which leaves at least 4 teams that could beat the Texans for the last wild card slot. Statistically, only 20% of 2-3 teams at this point make the playoffs.
Now that all hope of a Super Bowl are gone, and even the playoffs seem to be disappearing on the horizon, the decision must be made. It must be made now to at least give fans something new to see for the rest of the season, even if we still lose. At this point, we would rather they lose with a new quarterback than lose with the old one. And TJ Yates can give us that. He can lose. He lost a few times in 2011 after Schaub was injured and eventually became the starter. But he can also win. He won the Texans first ever playoff game against Cincinnati. Over his 2011 season he had 3 touchdown passes, 3 interceptions, and 5 fumbles. So he’s not great. But he can’t be much worse than what we’ve got now.
“Told you I did. Reckless is he. Now, matters are worse.”
“That boy is our last hope.”
“No. There is another.”
NOTE: I have no idea why this post is blue. Sorry.