By Dave Thomas
Anyone that saw the closing moments of the Houston-Oakland game Sunday afternoon saw what happens when a team hast lost eight straight games.
While there was no pushing or shoving or players having to separate teammates in a knock down, drag out fight, the verbal altercation between quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson pretty much summed up how the last eight games have gone for the Texans. Yes, more questions than answers.
In a game where their opponent’s talented yet erratic young quarterback was missing, the Texans still were not able to snap their horrific seven-game losing streak, falling by a 28-23 score to the visiting Oakland Raiders.
With Oakland starter Terrelle Pryor sitting this one out due to a knee injury, the Raiders turned to Penn State rookie Matt McGloin. All McGloin did was throw for three touchdowns, sending the Texans to a 2-8 mark after 10 games. As Houston’s final offensive drive crashed and burned, Schaub and Johnson exchanged something more than dinner plans when getting to the sidelines. Things got so bad for Schaub when he replaced Case Keenum at quarterback earlier in the game that the Texans had to go to a silent count on offense in order to hear the play calling amid loud boos.
Needless to say, things can’t get much worse for the Texans at this point.
Here Come the Equally Bad Jaguars
Needing a win in the worst way, the Texans put the Oakland loss behind them and now prep for an equally struggling Jacksonville team this Sunday at Reliant Stadium.
Coming into the season, most NFL experts had the Texans as a possible Super Bowl contender, with the Jags expected to be near or at the bottom of the pile when all was said and done. Surprisingly, the former has come true. Not only has Houston been one of if not the biggest disappointments in the NFL season, but it will be surprising if a number of players are back wearing Texan colors next season.
However, first thing’s first. Focus in on Jacksonville and snapping the horrid eight-game slide.
The Jaguars come to Houston fresh-off a 27-14 home loss to surprising Arizona. Even though Jacksonville’s lone 2013 win to date comes against another of Houston’s rivals (Tennessee), losing to the Jaguars this Sunday would be by far the biggest disappointment in the season up to now.
Jacksonville looks to Chad Henne under center, though the backup signal caller has only throw for four touchdowns (1,885 yards) to date this season in place of starter Blaine Gabbert.
On the ground, the Jaguars are led by veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew (455 yards rushing, 4 TDs), while Cecil Shorts III is the team’s leading receiver with 629 yards.
Defensively, Jacksonville turns to linebacker Paul Posluszny (88 total tackles, two interceptions) and defensive end Jason Babin (three sacks).
To say this Sunday’s contest with the Jaguars is a must-win game for the Texans would be a sizable understatement.
If Houston is to have anything good to feel about itself heading into December meetings with New England (Dec. 1) at Indianapolis (Dec. 15) and Denver (Dec. 22), getting a win this Sunday would be a good starting point.
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.