To say that the Houston Texans got spanked last Sunday night would be a little like mentioning that the sky is blue: fairly obvious. The San Francisco 49ers absolutely thrashed the Texans on a night when Colin Kaepernick was only 6/15 with 113 yards and a single touchdown pass (a 64 yard pass to Vernon Davis). In the end, the Texans were handed an embarrassing 34-3 loss, and were faced with a number of questions, most of which focused on their quarterback.
Let’s just be upfront about this, Matt Schaub’s performance last Sunday night was absolutely abysmal. On the night he completed a mere 19 of 35 passes for 173 yards, no touchdowns, and three picks of which one was returned for a score in the first quarter. It brought his season total to nine, and a few minutes into the fourth quarter, after throwing his third pick which led to Kaepernick’s sole touchdown, Schaub was benched for TJ Yates. Yates went 3/5 for 15 yards, zero picks and zero touchdowns. His performance was better than Schaub’s only by virtue of having done nothing in particular to harm the team, although he did have a single rush yard, so I guess that means he is more mobile than Schaub.
Before the game went final, NBC commentators Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth began discussing Schaub’s performance (they sounded bored otherwise) and his future as the Texans starter. Neither believed he would be benched next week, but seemed to have agreed that it could become a possibility if he did not improve. Post-game, the discussion continued but it was still just a discussion and a week later Schaub is still the starter for Sunday versus a struggling St. Louis Rams team. But that hasn’t stopped fans from griping, and it got to the point where some fans actually approached Schaub at his Texas home this past Tuesday. Schaub himself downplayed the incident when talking to reporters on Wednesday. In any case, it would seem that the fans might be ready for a change, and Schaub’s performance during the Texans three straight losses has been less than stellar and if it continues this way, head coach Gary Kubiak may be forced to bench him. But before we all condemn Schaub to the bench, there are a few things that need to be considered one of which is who would be the new QB.
TJ Yates is not a long-term solution for a Texans team that if we are being honest, has struggled since the end of last season when they gave away the number one seed by losing their final few games of the season. He was underwhelming in his sole series against the 49ers, and I doubt that he is going to burn any anybody with his quarterbacking ability. There are also other factors to consider than the just the poor performances of the Texans quarterbacks. This season, the Texans have gone backwards not only because Schaub’s performance has suffered, but the defense has not been able to keep any team below twenty points with three teams having hung thirty or more on them (granted Schaub’s picks have not helped). Additionally, the running game has been anemic in comparison to past seasons. Arian Foster has only one TD on the season and has rushed for 100 yards in only one game, which was a 23-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. It is important to also consider that the team’s two wins were won by a combined seven points and that Schaub performed well in those games.
It is important to note that the loss last Sunday night was ugly, but still only counts as one loss. The Texans are not out of the hunt for a playoff spot, although they have not made it any easier for themselves, especially with Andrew Luck and the Colts playing the way they are this season. In the end though, if the team wants to improve, they will need to improve in all areas of the game which includes quarterback but it doesn’t mean replacing the quarterback, because if TJ Yates is the solution then the Texans are in real trouble.