Do The Houston Texans Have Any Chance Of Winning The AFC Without Matt Schaub?
If you’re a Houston Texans fan, life is bittersweet right now. On the one hand, your favorite football team is sitting pretty atop the AFC South with a record of 7-3. With the Tennessee Titans, Jackson Jaguars, and Indianapolis Colts in their division, they should have absolutely no problem coasting to a division crown this season. That will give them a playoff berth and, possibly, home-field advantage for at least a game or two in the NFL Playoffs. And, to top it all off, they’ve had to win a bunch of games now without their Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson, who will be back in the lineup on Sunday when the team takes on the Jags. Sweet, right?
Now, for the bad news. The Texans will have to play the rest of the season with either backup QB Matt Leinart or some other B-grade shotcaller under center. Reason being, their quarterback Matt Schaub, who was enjoying quite the season this year, has been placed on IR with a season-ending foot injury. And that’s crippling to a team that is usually able to move the ball through the air pretty well. So, that’s a season-killing injury for the Texans, right?
Sadly, I’m going to have to say yes here. I didn’t originally intend to do this, Texans fans. I was going to try and make a point of saying that your season wasn’t over back when I sat down to write this. But, let’s just call it like we see it: You’re finished. Sure, you’ve still got running back Arian Foster in your backfield—and he’s been an absolute beast running the ball since returning from an injury that kept him on the sidelines for the first few games of the year. You’ve also got a pretty good defense this year. One that should be able to allow your offense to try and get it together with Leinart. And, of course, you’ve got Johnson and a handful of other receivers who can more than make up for the fact that you won’t have a premier quarterback leading the team anymore.
But, this is going to be tough. The quarterback is the toughest position in the NFL to play. And we haven’t seen anything in Leinart in the last few years to give us any indication that he’d be qualified to lead a team on a playoff run. When you think about it, there are a lot of really good QBs out there who haven’t been able to get the job done in the past in the playoffs. Look no further than Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for evidence of that. Hell, Schaub himself had a lot of people nervous just before he got injured. He’s unproven in the playoffs and the thought is that, against the wrong team, he could get rattled and lose his composure and throw the season away for the Texans. But in Leinart, the Texans have an even worse option, which should have all of their fans nervous.
If we were running the Texans now, we’d give Brett Favre a call. Or, we’d try and find a reliable, steady QB (we heard they were interested in former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia) to throw out onto the field. It’s the best chance they have of doing something other than just sputtering into the postseason with a 9-7 mark out of a weak dvision and getting blown out in the first game against someone like the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens.
We realize that Texans fans are happy to be one of the best teams in the AFC right now. But, the truth is that without Schaub, they’re the second—and maybe even the third—best team in their own division. We know they don’t want to hear that. But they’re going to need a ton of luck to get through the rest of the season with Leinart running the show. And, heaven forbid he put together a string of bad games, things in Houston could go from bittersweet to simply bitter in a matter of weeks.
Good luck, guys. You’re definitely going to need it.