The Texans are sitting at 2-2, third place in the AFC South and headed on the road to face the San Francisco 49ers on 10 days of rest. Houston is facing a very real possibility of falling below .500 for the first time since 2010.
Sunday’s loss at home to the Seattle Seahawks may very well be one of the worst in franchise history. The Texans were in great shape to deal the consensus best team in the NFL their first loss of the season, all while securing a possible season-defining victory.
The Seahawks marched back from 17 points down, a comeback that was capped by an interception returned for a touchdown by Seattle DB Richard Sherman.
The pick-six, thrown by Houston QB Matt Schaub on third and four from the Seattle 40-yard line late in the fourth quarter, was an absolute abomination of an NFL pass. The pass was bad, the decision making even worse.
Schaub has thrown three pick-sixes through four games this season, and Houston may very well have a quarterback problem.
But the problem runs even deeper than that. Coach Gary Kubiak, instead of holding his QB accountable for his dreadful play that very likely cost his team a huge statement game to get moving back on the right track, says that the interception is his fault. This quote from the Kubiak press conference is truly a head scratcher:
“I’ll be honest with you, I take responsibility, I put him in a bad situation as a coach. Obviously we have to protect the ball. I put him in a bad situation. Probably should have run the ball there and punt and play defense. But trying to be aggressive and trying to make a play and we didn’t and it ended up killing us, hurting us. I take my responsibility. I could have obviously called a better play.”
The Houston Texans will never truly reach an elite level in the NFL with this attitude of conservatism from a head coach. They can’t expect to contend with the league’s best using a “run the ball and expect to punt and play defense” strategy from the opponent’s 40-yard line late in a game.
A first down in this situation would have likely ensured a Houston victory.
Great teams have the confidence to run a pass play for a crucial first down. Mediocre ones run the ball and punt, hanging on and trying to eek out a win.
The Texans run an awful play in the situation, lose the game on a turnover and the coach says the problem is in his play calling being too-aggressive.
If a pass play on third and four is “too aggressive”, the Texans may be in worse shape than we originally thought.