Late in Sunday night’s game between the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak pulled the plug on quarterback Matt Schaub’s three-interception performance. Although T.J. Yates saw some playing time, it wasn’t a permanent move. Still, it’s no surprise that quarterback controversy is creeping into Houston.
Following three straight losses, it’s hard to defend Schaub. While there’s been a pair of blowout losses in that streak, it’s Week 4’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks that stings the most and looks the worst. In that game, the Texans gave away a big lead, losing in overtime after Schaub gave the Seahawks a free touchdown late in the game with an interception.
At the beginning of the year, it would have been unthinkable to see such a scenario unfold in Houston, but with the Colts and Titans now ahead of Houston in the divisional standings, Kubiak must make a decision soon in regard to Schaub. By benching Schaub, the Texans would effectively be turning the team’s fortunes over to the defense.
T.J. Yates is a great backup quarterback, and he gives the Texans depth at a position most teams have only one legitimate threat. Still, he won’t win many games for the Texans. Instead, he’d take the role of a game manager. His primary job would simply be to keep the Texans in games and pull out the win late. That hasn't been Schaub's role.
For now, and the immediate future, don’t expect a change to the status quo. Matt Schaub still gives the Texans a better chance to win any given game than Yates does. On the other hand, by starting Schaub, the Texans are risking throwing away a few games due to poor decisions.
The Texans ultimately need offensive production to win games. While they have a solid defense, it’s not an elite group that can win games by itself. Because of that, Kubiak and the Texans are sticking with Schaub, hoping to avoid being forced into making the decision to bench Schaub permanently. For now, Schaub is being given some rope, but should he continue his embarrassing performances, look for the Texans to make a change.