Reporting Fred Davis
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A lot of you know where I stand on this whole, pesky, who should be the starting quarterback thing at Kansas City on Sunday.
Not that I’ve been saying for three weeks now, but it’s just that I’ve been saying it for three weeks.
No one knows for certain who’s going to get the nod on Sunday, but I feel pretty good that Case will get the call and this beaten down fanbase is finally going to have something to get excited about.
However, inserting Case Keenum into the starting lineup doesn’t mean the offense suddenly churns out 400 yards, score 30+ points and steal a win in Kansas City. Unfortunately for the Texans, they’ve been racking up more than 400 years of offense – but the points part and the winning part is what’s eluded them the last four games.
Case Keenum doesn’t automatically fix that – but he breathes life into a stagnant offense in the red zone. He gives you that threat to – dare I say – run when necessary. Now, a lot of folks are pointing out the fact the Chiefs defense is leading the lead in takeaways – +12 and sacks -31 – and are coming off a performance in which they sacked Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor 10 times. And he’s a mobile quarterback.
And sure, if you planned on having any QB, mobile or not, sit back in the pocked with a suspect offensive line and no legit weapons running or catching the ball, yeah, he’s going to get beat up.
Luckily for the Texans, they’re not the Raiders. See, lost in all this debacle of a four-game losing streak is this team still has good players. The defense still has guys that can get the job done, they’re just not. The offense still has guys that can get the job done, they’re just not. I’d like to think this team has coaches that can get the job done – and you guessed it – they’re just not.
But this argument that you can’t start Keenum with the team headed to Kansas City and its dangerous pass rush is the exact kind of in-the-box, conservative thinking that got this Texans team in the predicament it finds itself in.
Who cares if the Chiefs are at home and the fans are rabid and the defense smells blood. Last I checked, does the Chiefs defense have any live, regular-season game film on Case…? Nope. Have the Chiefs struggled against the run this year, giving up almost 117 yards a game, which is good for 22nd in the league…? Yup.
Do the Texans run the ball extremely well still despite all the things that have gone wrong this season..? Yup. Does a running quarterback with a good running game keep the defense honest and make them gameplan differently as opposed to pinning their ears back when statutes like Schaub and Schaub-lite Yates are back in the pocket…? Yup Yup.
And on the defensive side of the ball, the Texans are due to slip out of this funk. They’ve done a pathetic job of creating turnovers, and everybody in Houston and on Kirby knows that. JJ Watt was barely heard from against St. Louis, Brian Cushing continues to make uncharacteristic plays six games into the season. Mr. Mental Toughness – Ed Reed – has been more like Mr. Physical Slugness since he made his ominous debut against his former Baltimore Raven team four games ago.
While I’m not as bullish on Wade Phillips as others in this town are, the guy has been doing it for ages, and I’m convinced he’s got to do something to get his guys playing better defense, getting more pressure on the passer and stopping teams on third down.
Willie Jefferson is still on the team right..? And what was the one thing he excels at enough to earn him a spot on this team? Oh that’s right, rush the passer. Silly me. But this team doesn’t have a problem getting to the passer despite not sacking Sam Bradford ONCE last Sunday. My bad.
As for special teams… Geez. Fixing two out of three problems aint bad right…?
After four consecutive ‘must-win’ games, this is finally it. There is no going back after Kansas City. The Texans were given a reprieve last night when the Chargers did against the Colts what they couldn’t do against the Texans in week 1 – hold on to a fourth-quarter lead. That keeps the Colts at 4-2 with a huge game at home against the Madden-powered Denver Broncos and former Colt Peyton Manning this upcoming Sunday.
Think about this – if the Texans behind a Case Keenum-led offense and a resurgent defense can sneak out of Arrowhead with a win – and I don’t think it’s that far-fetched to believe that – and the Colts lose to the Broncos – which isn’t far-fetched either – suddenly, the Texans head into the Bye week sporting a 3-4 record, some much needed momentum and two weeks to get Keenum prepared for a showdown with a 4-3 Indianapolis Colt team on Sunday night football on Nov. 3.
Win that, and whoa, all of a sudden, in lieu of what Tennessee does, the Texans are back in the divisional race, the playoffs are back in play and the team has as quarterback that everybody can rally around.
I know a lot of things have to go right for that scenario to play out, but why not? Isn’t Houston due for some good luck in the form of a Number 7…?
I think so.