When scouring across various NFL power rankings on the internet, the Texans current position is anywhere from #25-#30. It’s a fact that power rankings mean absolutely zilch, but they are based upon the way teams are playing, and the Texans obviously haven’t been playing good football.
Houston began last season 2-0 and were one of the surprises and darlings of the NFL. After a rash of injuries and a tougher stretch of the schedule, the team came back to earth but finished 8-8, their first non-losing season ever. So what has been the difference between their 2007 start and their 2008 start?
“It’s just, people have been taking turns,” said Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson. “Whether he’s (Schaub’s) not having time to throw the ball or we’re not making the play or things like that. I always say, in football, one man can mess up a whole play. You look at the pass, you know it was well protected, he throws the pass and I drop it. It was a bad play on my part. I made that play bad so the play was not executed because I didn’t catch it. So, you just have guys taking turns messing up and it doesn’t just affect (QB) Matt (Schaub), it affects everybody. So, football is not a one-man’s game. You have to have everybody on the same page working at one time.”
With a loss to the Jaguars this Sunday, many believe that the Texans can pretty much forget their playoff aspirations and their fans can turn their focus into playing out the string and the 2009 draft. Guard Chester Pitts disagrees—
“We’re not the only 0-2 team in the league. If everybody hit the panic button, it would be—what, 12 to 14 teams hitting the panic button right now. So, we’ll be fine. We have to get ready to go and play Jacksonville this week.”
Part of the reason for the Texans poor start has been the play of quarterback Matt Schaub, who is the 30th rated passer in the league and has thrown one touchdown and five interceptions. Schaub knows that he must do a better job and be a leader—
“It’s huge. To have the veterans step and have the leaders of the football team stand up and say ‘We’re going to get this right. It is two pieces of the puzzle we dropped here early in the season. It’s not the start we wanted but, you know what? That’s the way it is. We can’t change what happened. All we can do is correct and move on and change the things we did and correct them and make them positive this week. You look at it, there are a lot of teams that are behind the eight ball right now and we’re one of them. We just need to go out and correct those things because we have a long season ahead of us.”
With a victory in Jacksonville, the Texans would be 1-2 with a 1-1 division record. That would put them in a tie for second place in the division with a home contest with Indianapolis looming next week. With the Colts playing their worst football in six years, a victory there would certainly not be out of the question.
Just as important, the Texans would remove the bad taste of losing out of their mouths and save what was expected to be a promising season.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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