Posted October 13, 2013

T.J. Yates replaces injured Matt Schaub, throws a pick-six of his own for reeling Texans

AFC South, Houston Texans
Matt Schaub (left) may have been showing T.J. Yates the best way to throw a pick-six in this picture.

Matt Schaub (left) may have been showing T.J. Yates the best way to throw a pick-six in this picture. (AP)

Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub engendered the ire of all the team’s fans when he set an NFL record by throwing interceptions returned for touchdowns in four straight games. Through the first three quarters of the Texans’ game against the St. Louis Rams, Schaub hadn’t done much — head coach Gary Kubiak clearly went with a more conservative gameplan to keep his quarterback from imploding once again. Schaub had completed 15-of-21 passes for 181 passes, no touchdowns and (most importantly) no interceptions when he went down after he was sacked by Rams defensive end Chris Long with what looked to be a lower-leg injury (video below).

Some Texans fans appeared to be cheering the injury as much as they were hailing the emergence of backup quarterback T.J. Yates, and the Football Gods got them for that one. On his fifth play of the game, Yates threw a pass in the general direction of tight end Garrett Graham, but Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree picked the pass … and returned it for a 98-yard touchdown. (GIF below via BuzzFeed Sports):

On his next drive, Yates threw another interception in the end zone to cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Mercifully, this one was only returned five yards.

Oh, you poor Texans. That score put the Rams up, 38-6, and Kubiak’s team went on to suffer their fourth straight loss, 38-13. The Texans have thrown five touchdown passes to their own receivers in the last five games … and five to their opponents. It’s tough to win that way.

All is not lost, though — Vince Young has offered his services to his quarterback-starved hometown team.

15 comments
nootaramus4241
nootaramus4241

vince is a proven winner- of course gary kubiack would not know what to do with him..but it is painfully apparent that the Texans are in a downward flat spin-out of control. VY could make them feel like winners..but without such an infusion, the Texans are finished. and it is gonna get ALOT uglier. it will be FUGLY. watch.

Kubiack was in over his head 6 yrs ago and he still is today. Look out below !


Darrell1
Darrell1

It has been obvious for several weeks now that the Texans needed a change at QB, and their failure to do it  has led to a teamwide meltdown that  now even has players pointing fingers at fans. Yes, Schaub has been a decent QB who has done a lot for the franchise, and the fans who cheered when he was hurt shouldn't have done so. But the guy is a shell of his former self, and hopefully the Texans can use his injury as a way to move on. 

Soulflytrib
Soulflytrib

VY did well in GBgiven his short time, but wasn't given a legit shot.  Just ask Ted Thompson.

Richard40
Richard40

The Texans could use a charge of energy.  VY was once a Pro Bowler.

Cool
Cool

TJ can expect some red neck visitors this week.  Vince Young is looking even more desperate, but you know, he just might be right.

BrandonRees
BrandonRees

I guess I don't know what you mean by "it is obvious".  

Schaub has for the most part put up numbers fairly typical for himself, with the glaring exception of INTs.  While I'm not naive enough to dismiss the pick-6s as a fluke, I'm also not ready to call that one stat on that kind of sample a sure-fire sign of decline.  Maybe he's washed up, or maybe it's a rough stretch.  Kurt Warner had a lengthy one, and everyone thought he had lost his game, until he re-emerged in his late 30s.  Roethlisberger,  Flacco, and E. Manning are all playing poorly right now too (arguably worse than Schaub) , but no one is saying "it's obvious they need a change", because they have Super Bowl rings and are expected to rebound.

Despite his troubles, I don't think I am exaggerating when I say a long-term Schaub injury is the worst thing that can happen to the Texans' chance of competing for the playoffs this year.  Unless Case Keenum has some hidden Tony Romo in him, there is no one on the roster or in free agency who can come close to filling in.  The best thing Texans fans can hope for is a recovery and rebound from Schaub, though the vast majority of them are too ignorant to realize it.  They've wanted his head on a platter almost his entire tenure as a Texan, despite his being a top-10 quarterback for the last 5 years.

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

@Soulflytrib Ted Thompson admits that they should have brought in VY earlier, to learn more of the offense.  But he was terrible, both in his 2nd preseason game and in practice.  That's why they released him.  He wasn't learning the plays.  In the 2nd game, he ad-libbed often and didn't check down on the receivers.  Even his mechanics were awful.  They decided it would take too long, or be impossible, to fix them.

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

@Richard40 He couldn't learn the plays at Tennessee.  The offensive linemen had to help him in the huddle, even in his 4th season.  He couldn't learn the plays at Philly, which is why they waited weeks to activate him.  And it is why Reid didn't bring him back for a 2nd season, even at a backup's salary.  The Eagles never made him an offer.  He couldn't learn the plays at Buffalo, so they gave up on him.  He couldn't learn the plays at Green Bay, so they released him.  

Darrell1
Darrell1

@BrandonRees The way things are going, the Texans don't have a chance of competing for the playoffs this year. 

Even if Schaub bounces back somewhat, he's not the answer at QB, and barring an unlikely turnaround, the Texans will likely be undergoing a coaching change, too. With Schaub hurt, it's time to find out of the Texans have anything on the roster or need to draft a QB in next year's QB-rich draft.

To be honest, Schaub's confidence is so shot and the fans are so down on him that I'd be shocked if he rebounded to his previous form, which was hardly elite to begin with. He's no Kurt Warner.

As we saw against the Rams, the Texans' woes at QB are now starting to affect the play of the whole team, and the 38-13 loss was a teamwide disaster. It looks to me like Kubiak may be on the verge of losing the team.


Roy1
Roy1

@BrandonRees You had me until the last sentence.  Schaub has not been a top-10 QB for the last 5 years.  He's been a 10-15 QB.  But... he was MVP of the pro bowl once!  

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

@Soulflytrib Green Bay made the choice between Vince Young, who had been with the team through 2 preseason games, or to sign Seneca Wallace, who was retired and had never played with the Packers.  They went with Wallace. 

BrandonRees
BrandonRees

While I grant you that the playoff picture looks bleak for the Texans, it is still too early to throw in the towel.  It's unreasonable to expect them to make the playoffs at this point (I don't), but much crazier things have happened (think 2011 Broncos), and I also think it's unreasonable for them to give up trying considering the talent on the team.

My point is that "the answer" at quarterback isn't an issue.  The quarterback position over the last several years has been a plus and rather than a liability for the Texans.  I'm not against spending a high draft pick on a QB prospect, but it's important to understand that even among elite college QBs, almost of them require a costly adjustment period, and after that most result in busts or backup quality players.  Even the majority of those that end up as starter-material aren't as good as Schaub was.  If Schaub is injured beyond recovery or his skills have permanently faded then the Texans will have no choice in the matter, but if that is the case Texans need to prepare themselves for more disappointing seasons.  They will be very, very lucky to draft someone as productive as Schaub has been, and I would be elated for a marginal improvement.  The stars really have to align perfectly to end up with a Manning, Brady, Brees, or Rodgers, and those are really the only kind of players that offer a measurably significant improvement at the position.

I don't think it's fair to say that the QB woes are affecting the whole team, as if it's somehow a problem at QB that makes the whole team play badly and as if they hadn't played badly up until now.  That said, I think Kubiak may have already lost the team, and I agree Kubiak may be losing more than that in the future.



BrandonRees
BrandonRees

By most any metric, he has been a top-10 QB.  Obviously stats aren't everything, and there are so many variables other than talent involved, but there are only a handful of quarterbacks over that timespan that have been conclusively and objectively better.  Even the silly "wins is the only stat that matters" card isn't applicable to him given his W-L record over the last two years.  Top-10 doesn't mean elite (there's only 32 teams in the league after all), but it does mean extremely good, and quarterbacks of that quality are rare and hard to come by.