For most of the Houston Texans’ cringe-worthy 34-3 loss to San Francisco, it felt like the audience was being Punk’d. At least for Texans fans, that is.
The Houston Texans were a train wreck on Sunday night. And the engineer driving the effort was Matt Schaub.
In his fourth straight game with a pick six, Schaub was definitely the weakest link on the team. In all, Schaub threw three interceptions before head coach Gary Kubiak benched him, much to the chagrin of fans who’d hoped that Schaub would have been benched after interception number one. A visibly shaken Schaub continuously threw in the general direction of a receiver. The problem is: the receivers were wearing the wrong colored jerseys.
For the first interception, Schaub threw to CB Tramaine Brock who stood virtually still waiting on the ball to fly into his hands. To add insult to injury, Schaub was also intercepted by a back-up defensive tackle in the third quarter before being benched.
Typically, when the quarterback is not at his best, other units of the team step up and perform. Not so with the Texans. As with every other Primetime game in the last two seasons, the Texans gave a lackluster effort. In front of 20 million viewers, the Texans made a mockery out of themselves. Going into the game on Sunday, the Texans had the #1 defense in the NFL. However, the offensive woes had a might trickle-down effect on the defense as they could not do anything to stop the bleeding. Even the special teams unit failed. K Randy Bullock missed an early field goal and kick returner Keshawn Martin fumbled a ball, only to recover it within the Texans’ 10 yardline.
Undisciplined football also disrupted the flow of play for the Texans. TE Owen Daniels uncharacteristically committed two back-to-back penalties costing the Texans yardage. Even DE J.J. Watt became the victim of the pink penalty flag.
It is not even possible to define what happened in San Francisco as a team beating another team. What happened on Sunday night was the Texans beating themselves. Consider that QB Colin Kaepernick finished the game 6-of-15 for 113 yards – and the 49ers still won by 31 points. Something is wrong with that picture. Actually, a whole lot of something is wrong with that picture.
And number one on the list of wrong is QB Matt Schaub.
The big question is why it took so long for Schuab to be benched? The bigger question is what will the Texans do now? Coach Kubiak is a “QB guy” and is loyal to a fault. He was quoted last week as saying Schaub was “[the Texans'] quarterback” in response to questions about whether Schaub would even play at San Francisco. Unfortunately for most Texans fans, Kubiak has made it clear that Schaub will suit up again next week.
But really, how much more can the team take? There are only so many “all for the team” interviews the players can give before they start to get honest. What is clear is that Matt Schaub’s head isn’t there right now. He is so concerned about throwing an interception that he does it anyway, and no one seems willing to step up to make the change when it counts.
Kubiak is as much to blame for the mauling in Candlestick Park on Sunday night as anyone. His allowing Schaub to try to redeem himself just made for painful Primetime television. Although Kubiak may win a gold star for his faith in his QB, that’s about all he is getting.
At the end of the day, loyalty may get you to heaven, but wins get you to the playoffs. The Texans are flirting dangerously with missing the latter.