Hindsight is, of course, a wonderful perspective. As I look back on the dismal 2013 Houston Texans’ season, a few things have occurred to me. Clearly, with all the false hype about this team being a real Super Bowl contender, everyone panicked when the season started so poorly, 2-4 in the first 6 games. An established and proven, if not spectacular, Pro Bowl quarterback was all but ridden out of town by the fans and management to be replaced by a plucky unproven kid, who wasn’t even drafted into the NFL. How dumb was that?
Young, inexperienced quarterbacks of mediocre ability simply do not step in, right the ship, and lead NFL teams to the playoffs. There were 10 games left in the season, when Case Keenum took over. He is exactly zero-8 for his starts. In several games he had the ball with a chance to win late, and could not pull it out. As defensive coordinators have seen more of him his production and efficiency have gotten progressively worse. He is supposed to be mobile. I see Andrew Luck scramble for a first down. Even Peyton will do it to keep a drive alive. For some reason Case does not. The Colts’ 25-3 debacle was an embarrassment.
Mercifully, Case was injured in Indianapolis and the beleaguered team has again turned to Matt Schaub as the starter. Has it ever occurred to you what the team’s record might be if Schaub had remained in place and a young inexperienced kid not been thrown in? I believe 2 wins would be 7 or 8, and in contention for a playoff spot. No great, but much better than the all time disaster that it has become. The team still had time to find itself and get on a roll. Schaub is not terrific and does on occasion have some glaring deficiencies, but the team was 12-4 last year and 11-1 and one point. He is not the “chopped liver” some would have you believe. Yielding to fan pressure and pushing the panic button cost the team any chance at a decent season. I, frankly, believe that the coaching situation was more of an issue than the quarterback. Hopefully, that situation is being adequately upgraded.
And I will go one step further. Forget about being competitive next year with a highly drafted rookie quarterback. There is no Andrew Luck out there. Be prepared for a lot more learning and the growing pins associated with it. Get ready for some more 6, 7, and 8 win seasons. Although I recognize that the team has probably already burnt its bridges with Matt Schaub, the best chance that team has to be competitive next year would be with him at quarterback while teaching that bright young draftee. I just do not see an alternative out there that can come in and win right away. It is classic NFL strategy to exorcize the bad and not worry where the good is going to come from. Maybe the Texans can be smarter. Let’s see how he does in the last two games.