The Houston Texans have been a team in the championship picture for the last few years. Built on a good running game and defense, they’ve won a lot of games in the regular season, but haven’t been able to get it done in the playoffs.
So the biggest question for the Texans heading into the 2013 season isn’t about the defense or Arian Foster and the running game, but it is about the passing game. The question is whether or not Matt Schaub has what it takes to be a championship-winning quarterback.
There was a time in the NFL when you could win a championship with a quarterback that wasn’t great. All he had to be was good enough not to lose, as long as you had a running game and defense like Houston does. But not anymore.
In the NFL today, you have to have a quarterback playing at the highest level to win. You can’t hide a mediocre signal caller anymore, he has to be your best offensive player if you’re going to go all the way.
The good news for the Texans? We’ve seen quarterbacks in recent years have spikes in performance that took their teams to the Super Bowl. The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens saw Joe Flacco step up his game this past winter and Eli Manning, maddeningly inconsistent, has twice elevated his play to championship level.
That means Schaub, who’s been good since coming over from the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, has the chance to be the next quarterback to step up to the challenge and lead his team to a Super Bowl win.
The Texans offense has relied heavily on the running game since Schaub took over, but if they’re going to finally live up to expectations, they’ll need the passing game to be just as good.
They took a step towards that this year when they took wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins out of Clemson in the first round to finally be the second receiver on the other side of perennial All-Pro Andre Johnson.
The Texans will still be a team who’s identity is running and strong defense, but if they want to finally have the postseason success they’ve been missing, they’ll need Schaub to step up and prove he has what it takes to be a championship quarterback.