All words used to describe the Houston Texans recently. It’s becoming painfully obvious that the Texans are going to fail once again, finding new ways to break their own hearts.
I cannot help but disagree with people calling for the benching of Matt Schaub, I feel that Schaub has proven before that he is capable of being a top tier NFL quarterback on multiple occasions in the past, Schaub has just become a victim of unfortunate events. The running back position is assured in the hands of Ben Tate and Arian Foster, this dual threat running attack is one of the best in the league. Despite Andre Johnson’s decline, there is no lack of talent at the wide receiver position, DeAndre Hopkins coming into his own and DeVier Posey is showing he can handle a large workload. And the Texans’ defensive prowess is no secret, and honestly need no further elaboration. The Texans have almost all of the pieces it takes to be a true contender, there are just a few key flaws in their system that the Texans absolutely must fix if they wish to venture further into the NFL playoffs.
The Texans’ two biggest flaws holding them back is special teams and Head Coach Gary Kubiak’s conservative, almost timid play calling.
The biggest issue of these two deterrents is special teams. We’ve seen numerous failed attempts at punt protection and returning. In the previous two years, we have seen two extremely successful returners leave Houston because they were deemed failures in that department. The biggest name being Jacoby Jones who was released after the 2011 season, going onto the Baltimore Ravens whom he helped eventually became a Super Bowl champion with later that season, ironically enough, he would make two records on a kick return for that will live forever in NFL history.
Trindon Holliday was a gift that fell into Texans’ laps last preseason, he was then promptly let go in favor of bolstering the defense, despite showing plenty of promise, he was cut. Picked up by the Denver Broncos almost immediately the following day, Holliday also went on to break a record, returning a kick for 105 yards, making a new Broncos record. Holliday had found success in Denver and has become a fixture in the special teams of the Broncos.
Lastly, play calling. It drives me up the wall to see a short pass or a run called on a third down with more than five yards for a first down. Head Coach Gary Kubiak’s extremely conservative play calling has prompted fans to nickname him “Konserviak”. I understand that Kubiak wants to control the tempo of the game and keep it in the Texans’ favor, but when you are down by two scores, you simply cannot keep running the ball into oblivion, and settling for field goals.
There needs to be a massive overhaul in the Texans’ game plan, or else this is going to be an extremely long and frustrating year.