By Dave Thomas
Although the fans still showed up at Reliant Stadium last Sunday to see their beloved Houston Texans play, they certainly did not leave with a good taste in their mouths.
A 2-0 start to a season that had some dreaming Super Bowl has quickly turned into a 2-4 nightmare, some fans thinking it may be time for head coach Gary Kubiak and starting quarterback Matt Schaub to think about a relocation.
After hard-fought wins over San Diego (31-28) and Tennessee (30-24 in overtime) the first two games of the season, Houston has proceeded to drop four straight. In doing so, they have drawn the ire of many fans. Unless a major turn around takes place over the next 10 games, the Texans will join most other teams in watching the Super Bowl on television from Met Life Stadium (New Jersey) come early February.
The unbeaten Chiefs are next
With a 38-13 blowout loss at home last Sunday to the 3-3 St. Louis Rams, the Texans were probably hoping for a meeting with winless Jacksonville or the 0-6 New York Giants this Sunday. No such luck.
Awaiting the struggling Texans this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium is none other than the 6-0 Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs.
Coming into the season, Kansas City fans probably were not quite sure what to expect. After a dismal 2012 campaign, the Chiefs went in a different direction and brought in long-time Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid, pairing him with former San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith. To date, the pairing has worked quite well for one of the most rabid fan bases in the NFL.
While many NFL “experts” still likely give the AFC West nod to fellow unbeaten Denver, the Chiefs are right there with Peyton Manning and Co. in the division race. Getting two meetings with the Broncos down the road will certainly be a good indicator as to whether or not the Chiefs are for real.
Meantime, Houston is just looking to steady the ship and get some of its confidence back.
Welcome in Case Keenum
The Texans will have to do it this weekend without the previously mentioned Schaub, ruled out for the game (ankle injury).
Third-stringer Case Keenum will get the start on Sunday, with T.J. Yates remaining the backup. The latter may have gained the starting job this Sunday, but a 98-yard interception for touchdown return in the loss last Sunday to the Rams (one of two interceptions he threw) certainly did not help his cause.
If Houston is to have any shot at winning this game (Chiefs are a 6.5-point favorite), they will have to run the ball to take pressure off of Keenum.
Heading into the game, starting running back Arian Foster missed practice on Thursday with a variety of ailments (thumb/chest/hamstring), while fellow back Ben Tate (elbow) did fully practice.
Along with a running game, Keenum will also have to hope that starting wide receiver Andre Johnson (shin, limited practice) and fellow receiver Keshawn Martin (shoulder, limited practice) can go come game time.
If not, it could be a long day for Keenum, Kubiak, and anyone else wearing Texans’ gear.
Injury Report as of Oct. 17
- Guard Wade Smith (limited practice)
- Running back Arian Foster (did not practice)
- Quarterback Matt Schaub (did not practice)
- Safety Eddie Pleasant (full practice)
- Wide receiver Keshawn Martin (limited practice)
- Linebacker Brian Cushing (full practice)
- Corner back Brice McCain (full practice)
- Center Chris Myers (full practice)
- Running back Ben Tate (full practice)
- Linebacker Tim Dobbins (did not practice)
- Tackle Duane Brown (limited practice)
- Running back Greg Jones (did not practice)
- Tackle Derek Newton (full practice)
- Guard Brandon Brooks (full practice)
- Linebacker Darryl Sharpton (did not practice)
- Wide receiver DeVier Posey (full practice)
- Wide receiver Andre Johnson (limited practice)
For more Houston Texans news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.