Behind Enemy Lines: Seahawks/Texans, Pt. 1

Behind Enemy Lines: Seahawks/Texans, Pt. 1

In Part One of this week's exclusive game preview, Charlie Bernstein of BattleRedNation.com answers five of Doug Farrar's questions. Why are the Texans falling out of the playoff race, what does an injured Matt Schaub have to offer, and is this the end for Gary Kubiak?

Doug Farrar: Matt Schaub will start against the Seahawks, which is bad news for the millions who were eager to start Rex Grossman on their fantasy teams. He seems to have tailed off a bit from his torrid start to the season, but how much would you connect the team's four-game losing streak to his recent performance?

Charlie Bernstein: Schaub hasn't been fantastic over the past four games, but he's certainly not the only reason the team is losing.  Schaub has always been known as a quarterback who can fit the ball into tight windows, but he will take chances, and he's made some big mistakes in the Texans losses this year.

DF: With Steve Slaton on injured reserve, who will be running the ball, and how effectively? How much did losing both of their starting guards (a la Jacksonville in 2008) affect the ground game? It seems to be a mere shadow of what it was last season.

CB: The combination of Chris "The Season-Killer" Brown and Ryan Moats will be providing the legs for the Texans 29th ranked rushing attack.  Certainly the loss of Mike Brisiel and Chester Pitts has affected the Houston running game, but the backs are a big part of the blame as they simply haven't been running hard and have been missing holes.

DF: We know about Andre Johnson and the matchup nightmares he will provide, but who else will Seattle's defense have to look out for? How much does Schaub miss Owen Daniels, who had been on IR since Week 9 (right about the time the Texans started losing game after game)?

CB: Owen Daniels is certainly a big part that's missing in the Texans offense.  Daniels was a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and more importantly he was a great target over the middle of the field.  Kevin Walter and David Anderson are solid #2 and #3's, but the Texans are lacking an over the middle threat in the passing game, and Matt Schaub doesn't have the arm to consistently make plays outside the numbers.

DF: Brian Cushing is playing in a way that almost guarantees him the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. How has the coaching staff put him in a position to succeed, and what does Cushing bring to the table?

CB: Cushing is just a special football player.  He is relentless chasing down plays and he's really a freak athlete.  Honestly, the coaching staff hasn't done much but let him play and he's really adjusted well to the speed of the NFL game. 

DF: The Texans seem to be perpetually on the verge of the "next level", but it never seems to happen. Do you think that owner Bob McNair should stick with Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff, or is it time to shake things up?

CB: I think it's pretty much a done deal that Kubiak's final four games this year will be his final four games.  The Texans have the talent, but they simply find ways to lose games.  To put it even more simply, they don't know how to win and I don't know how much longer you can stick with a coach whose team continues to underachieve. 

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