You would like this story to be about how the Texans grinded out another tough win on the road against an inferior opponent. You would like for it to be about a dominant defense and solid special teams play. You would like for it to be about the Texans being 8-3, two games up on a mediocre Titans team in the AFC South.
You would like to talk about they overcame some awful officiating to win the game with a much-needed defensive stand in the last two minutes. How Connor Barwin went nuts with four sacks. How they continue to do the little things to win games.
But that’s not what this is about. It’s that the Matt Leinart era may have lasted less than a half.
Leinart was knocked out in the 20-13 win over the Jaguars with an undisclosed shoulder injury. He showed up late in the second half on the sidelines with his arm in a sling. You don’t have to be a doctor to assume he is out for a while, if not for the season.
T.J. Yates looked sharp in his first drive, leading the team to a field goal right before the half. But he produced no points in the second half, showed no ability whatsoever and his lack of production made the game dangerously close late.
Yates was thrown in to a tough situation, but it’s hard to imagine the Texans being able to win many games down the stretch with Yates at quarterback.
The “all he has to do is hand off” contingent got a good look in the second half at exactly what the Texans will be without Matt Schaub. Leinart wasn’t able to do much either, completing mostly short, ineffective passes.Yates couldn’t even do that.
You would like to believe with a week’s practice, Yates could at least be functional. But we are talking about a fifth-round draft pick who is essentially a project.
No matter how good the defense is, they can’t beat Atlanta and Cincinnati with Yates at quarterback. They might not beat Tennessee. In essence, they are now the Jaguars — excellent defense, a stud running back who has no help, and no quarterback.
The playoffs are no longer guaranteed. They should be able to beat Indy to get to nine wins, and that should be enough. But it is no longer a lock.
The real question is what do they do now? The same names that were on the street last week are on the street this week. Trent Edwards, Jeff Garcia…washed up veterans.
And yes, that retired guy in Mississippi.
There is no one to blame for your top two quarterbacks getting hurt. There’s no team in the league that could survive that. Not even the Packers or Patriots. It’s not on Gary Kubiak or Rick Smith. It’s just pure bad luck.
You would love to be excited about 8-3. That’s what this story should be about. Not bad luck.
Instead, it’s about another lost quarterback, and a once potent offense that is in real trouble. And that’s a damned shame, because the Texans and their fans deserve better in a season that was looking special.
Now there’s no telling. There are nothing but questions.
And that’s a story no one wants to write.