Going into the season, the Houston Texans were thought of as a Super Bowl contender out of the AFC. They have made it to the Divisional Round two years in a row, but have yet to play in the AFC Championship game. They were returning most of their offense, including wide receiver Andre Johnson, running back Arian Foster and quarterback Matt Schaub. They also drafted a speedy wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins during the first round.
The Texans on defense have the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, and were getting Brian Cushing back from an injury. They started the season 2-0 with comeback wins against the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans. Since then, they have gone 0-12 and have had a revolving door at QB.
Schaub was ineffective and after he got injured, they turned to Tyler Yates. Yates, who won a playoff game in 2011, was given the first shot to replace Schaub, but went 12-for-17 with 98 yards and two interceptions in relief against the St. Louis Rams. Instead of giving him the start the next week, the Texans turned to second-year QB Case Keenum.
Keenum had his moments early on, and has not been turning the ball over. Going into Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, Keenum was completing only 54.3 percent of his passes and had nine TDs and four INTs. However, in his first three games, Keenum had seven TDs with 0 INTs. The Texans thought they had their replacement for Schaub and would be able to build around him instead of having to draft a QB.
Since, then he has had two TDs and six INTs, and has not had a QB Rating over 68. On Sunday against division leader Indianapolis, Keenum went 18-for-34 with 168 yards, 0 TDs and two INTs. Indianapolis has one of the worst defenses in the NFL and has given up 38 or more points in three of their last five games. He was also sacked four times and Houston finished the game with only 239 total yards of offense.
With Houston likely to get a top-three pick this year and potentially pick no. 1, Keenum had the chance to allow Houston to draft a position other than QB. With no superstar QB coming out this year, Houston is in the position to have to draft one with their first pick, even if it isn’t someone worthy. They have burned Schaub this year and he probably doesn’t want to come back and play for them next year.
Keenum has proven he can be a backup QB, but having never won a game with a team that has been a playoff team two years in a row has hurt his chances.