Texans – Rams: In A Nutshell
If Sunday wasn’t “rock bottom”…
…Wait a minute. I started last week’s post with the same exact line. Let’s start again.
The Texans are redefining “rock bottom” with every chance they get. And yes, that’s possible. Just ask Jesse Pinkman of Breaking Bad. Look at everything that happened yesterday:
– 7 penalties for 95 yards
– ANOTHER interception return for a touchdown. Five weeks in a row.
– The interception coming courtesy of T.J. Yates, not Matt Schaub
– Matt Schaub got hurt, twisting his ankle like Rubber-Man. And fans CHEERED after realizing it.
– Also, T.J. Yates threw a WORSE interception
– Keshawn Martin FUMBLE-SIXED a kick return IMMEDIATELY after a Rams touchdown
– The Texans didn’t score a TD for nearly 57 minutes, making it 2.75 games between endzone trips
– An early DeAndre Hopkins fumble deep in St. Louis territory
– Zac freaking Stacy’s 78 rushing yards
– The cherry on top: being ENVIOUS that the Rams have Sam Bradford
Alright, the last one was a stretch. But can things get any worse than yesterday? Is it possible?
You’d hope not. And then you remember the Texans take on the Chiefs and their terrifying pass rush next Sunday IN Kansas City. Probably with T.J. Yates under center. Yikes.
Things were so bad I legitimately couldn’t think of any positives. Losing on the road to the 49ers is one thing. But a home blowout at the hands of a team like St. Louis is season ending material. And since I listed all of the crap above, I’m about to go on a rant.
You may remember me saying a year ago that the the Texans can’t win a Super Bowl with Matt Schaub as quarterback. I can now say with 110% conviction the Texans WILL NEVER accomplish that feat with Gary Kubiak at the helm.
I LOATHE Gary Kubiak’s conservative play-calling. And once again, he left a steaming turd on the carpet for me to point at and yell about. Despite running AT WILL against the Rams and their atrocious run defense (now 31st ranked) in the first half, Kubiak decided to kick a field goal on fourth and 2 from the Rams 2. They were down 10-0 at the time, and cut that deficit to 10-3. Naturally, the Rams marched right down the field, scored a touchdown, and were in total command up 17-3.
Forget the fact that Kubiak ROUTINELY passes on aggressive moves like this. I know, it’s tough. My problem is that in doing this, Kubiak is putting all of the pressure on his defense.
“But Paul, the Texans have the top ranked defense in the league! He should do that you uni-browed pasty putz!”
I get that. But just because they’re a good defense doesn’t mean they’re going to bail the offense out every chance they get. Especially with the NFL becoming more ticky-tacky and penalty prone by the day. And where in 2012 the Texans defense routinely took over games with takeaway parades, big plays have been few and far between dating back to the infamous “Letterman Jacket” game. When you’ve had just 7 takeaways in your last 12 games, it’s probably time for the offense to make some plays of their own. A touchdown on fourth and short? A good start.
I also dislike Kubiak’s play design and over-control of the offense. Whenever the Texans are faced with a third and long situation, they’ll find a way to throw to a receiver SHORT of the markers. At first I thought that was just a Schaub problem. But after seeing T.J. Yates do the SAME EXACT THINGS Sunday, I’m jumping to these Kubiak “K”onclusions (perhaps irrationally):
>>> Kubiak designs the vast majority of his passing plays with receivers getting open on short, quick routes (which is nice, except on 3rd and long with slower receivers who can’t outrun defenders), and doesn’t place a great enough emphasis on down and distance when calling one of those plays in third and long situations.
>>> He’d rather call a safe play on third down than one that risks a turnover. And with that in mind, he tells his quarterbacks to avoid the big mistake at all costs in those scenarios.
As for Schaub not being able to make audibles of his own? That’s an embarrassing high school level limitation on the offense. I don’t care how Sage Rosenfels tried to rationalize it on MaD Radio. If you see a play isn’t going to work based off what the defense is showing you, then why can’t you change the play?
Rosenfels said when that happens, you can call time. Or you can throw it away. But you can’t change to a play that WOULD work? Forget the unnecessary waste of timeouts and an increased amount of punts. Why would you ever limit your chance TO SUCCEED? Mind-boggling.
I also can’t stand Kubes’ archaic offense, entirely based off of deception and an “our best will always beat your best” mentality (which could also apply to some of Wade Phillips’ defensive schemes).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it doesn’t work. But when the Texans fall into multiple score holes, they’re toast. They have to abandon the run. And when the running game disappears, so too does the play action pass…not to mention Schaub’s once wide open targets.
The “our best will always beat your best” mentality also annoys me. If you have the same game-plan every week of a 16 game slate, you become predictable. Teams will adjust accordingly, and soon enough you lose.
Last, but certainly not least is Kubiak’s loyalty. It’s an admirable quality to have in a cut-throat business like the NFL. And that’s pretty much it. Do you want a gold star bro? Here it is, right on this pink slip.
Kevin Walter. Joe Marciano. Matt Schaub…even after the 49ers game. Kubiak legitimately believed/believes that these guys gave/give his team the best chance to win every Sunday. It doesn’t matter if Walter can’t make plays as a receiver…he blocks well! It doesn’t matter if Joe Marciano’s special teams were a complete disaster last year…he’s a swell guy! It doesn’t matter if Matt Schaub has thrown pick sixes in four straight games…he’s a winner!
Then think about all the guys that Kubiak has kicked to the curb for sub-par performances. In the last two years there haven’t been many…outside of Trindon Holliday (which was probably a mistake…). I’m sure Texans players are held accountable for their mistakes, but it doesn’t seem like they’re punished for those miscues. No benchings. No surprise cuts. No fear.
With all that said, I’ll say it again. Gary Kubiak WILL NEVER take this team to a Super Bowl. And after this start, it’s doubtful he can even get them back to the playoffs.
As I said about Schaub, here’s hoping Kubes proves me wrong.