“Locked into the AFC No. 3 seed. Week 17 is meaningless to Houston, and the Texans may rest many of their key players.”
That’s what Michael David Smith wrote yesterday on profootballtalk.com.
The words didn’t sound right when I read them, and today Gary Kubiak confirmed that Smith was doing what the guys at that website do. Throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks.
When asked by Houston media today if he will approach the game againt the Titans any differently (because the Texans are locked into the #3 seed in the AFC whatever happens) Kubiak said “no, we’re going to approach this game just like any other game.”
I thought as much after reading Smith’s article yesterday. There’s no way after playing two of their worst games of the season that Kubiak would “rest many key players” to get ready for their first appearance in the playoffs.
“We got to find a way to fix some of our problems, get ready to play another game this weekend and play better than we’ve been playing in the last two weeks,” said Kubiak.
The Texans problems are primarily on offense.
With Matt Schaub in the lineup, the Texans scored 27.3 points per game. Since Schaub has been out, they’ve scored 17.2 points per game.
Since Schaub went down, the Texans have scored 20, 17, 20, 13 and 16 points. The offense is struggling to move the chains and has been particularly non-productive scoring touchdowns.
Andre Johnson echoed Kubiak’s comments.
“You don’t want to go into the playoffs playing your worst football,” said Johnson. “This is definitely a game where we need to get back on track and get back to playing football the way we know how to play it. That’s something we need to do before heading into the playoffs.”
Plus, you’re not going to give a division rival a pass, especially when this game means so much to them.
Johnson says he wants to play and wouldn’t mind if Kubiak puts him on a play count as he did at Jacksonville after returning from the first hamstring injury.
“If (Kubiak) wants to put a play count or anything on me, I’ll be fine with that, but I would like to go out and play,” said Johnson.
Reading between the lines, barring any setbacks in practice this week, we’ll probably see Andre on the field on Sunday – at least for 15-20 plays or so.
If the Texans want to rest anyone, I could see giving Ben Tate a little more of the rushing load on Sunday. Otherwise, it should be business as usual.
Brisiel the only one out
Kubiak said today that Mike Brisiel should be the only Texans player statused as “out” on this week’s injury report.
quotes from Texans PR