Case Made, Now About That Head Coach

sean-kubiak.jpg
Photo by Groovehouse
So, what was that play call again?
The Texans went into Kansas City on Sunday afternoon, armed with their pride, an acute sense of urgency and whatever short term effects the energy boost of a change at quarterback would provide, trying to save their season.

And after a hard fought 17-16 loss to the undefeated Chiefs, amidst some renewed hope for the offensive side of the football and an injury report that is now teetering dangerously close to becoming a body count, two things became abundantly clear:

Case Keenum needs to be given an opportunity to lead this team after the bye week, and Gary Kubiak's time should be running out as the head coach of the Houston Texans.

Taking each of these one at time:

In his first regular season action as an NFL quarterback, Keenum acquitted himself very well, showing the energy, poise and playmaking ability that's caused Gary Kubiak to continually sing his praises from virtually the time that he arrived in the building as an undrafted free agent before the 2012 season.

The day began with a modest 27-yard drive to put three points on the board early in the game and it ended with the first turnover of Keenum's career, a fumble deep in Texans territory with under two minutes to go on a sack by Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali. But in between, Keenum completed six passes of 20 yards or more (more than Matt Schaub had completed in any game this season and in the previous four games combined) and averaged over ten yards an attempt on 25 attempts.

Beyond the stats, though, the recurring theme in Keenum's first career start was the highly expected, stark stylistic contrast to Schaub. I believe it was Keenum's nine yard scamper to open the second half that finally caused the phrase #ThingsCaseCanDoThatMattCant to begin trending on Twitter in Houston and surrounding areas.

For whatever flaws he showed (all curable, by the way), on the aggregate, Keenum's ability to extend plays and make reads down the field covered up some shoddy play along the offensive line, some curious play calling by Kubiak and a general lack of a running game (73 yards on 24 carries).

In short, the Texans were better today because of Case Keenum. He was a plus player.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the head coach.



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25 comments
Puller58
Puller58

Unless something drastic happens, Kubiak should be fired at the end of the season and Schaub will either be cut or waived.

Robert A. Telles
Robert A. Telles

Should have been fired three seasons ago he has been given too much time here for the team to be going backwards like it seems to be..

Rebecca Ellen
Rebecca Ellen

I agree -- Keep Case and and let Kubiak go. Most unimaginative coach ever.

Kenneth Negrodamus Bourda
Kenneth Negrodamus Bourda

With all due respect, this is not just a one game assessment. Gary Kubiak has been a consistently mediocre head coach. The team is regressing. Time to let him go.

Quintin Outland
Quintin Outland

You are making an assessment based on one game in which the Texans lost. *smh* Please stay away from sports. Love the print but sports is not your domain.

claymonster
claymonster

I was in the owner's suite every home game of season 1. I saw the look on McNair's face after every loss. He does NOT like losing. At least he didn't back then. I don't know how he keeps praising Kubiak, I don't know of anyone else on the planet who does. Dom Capers didn't cut it, although he's a great guy. I suppose Kubiak is a great guy, too - but he isn't cutting it either. I guess after this season's implosion is complete, there may be talk of a coaching change.

jacob_jones72
jacob_jones72

Great article.. I'd like to add the play calling, in general, in the 2nd half, particularly on 2nd down.. I wanna say we ran a running play, 2 screens, and then another running play on 2nd down, in the 2nd half, which left us in 3rd and long all half long.. Particularly on the drive where Keenum hit hopkins for 35-40 yards, coming out of our own end zone.. Here Keenum was, making a huge play, they get the ball out near their own 40, and then Kubes runs it up the middle for a 1 yard loss, then calls a screen that fools no one on 2nd down, and Keenum throws it into the ground, so now your QB, who just dialed up a 40 yard play out of his own end zone, doesn't get another opportunity to make a play until it's 3rd and 11?..

This is the underlying futility of Kubiak's play calling.. Yes, what the writer talks about is just as important, but it's Kubiak's lack of knowing how to actually put his players in position to succeed, is what's killing this team.. And Mr McNair, apparently, just does not care..

McMahon
McMahon

Thanks for sparing us the predictable, treacly tribute to Case; his performance was obvious and outstanding compared to Schaub's. What was missing was fearless coaching that would convert the positives into points.

JoannieR3
JoannieR3

Very well said, I was sickened by the lack of smarts and cajones that Kubiak exhibited.

popatop
popatop

Good article Sean.  But the worst coaching decision Sunday was not having a third string running back suited up. Despite bravely soldiering on, Tate could not run or block after his injury.  Woods would have helped greatly.  We needed Woods when just Foster was out, but once Tate went down, we had no options.

vodkinator
vodkinator

GREAT article. Avoidance of the negative versus aggressive pursuit of the positive nails it precisely with Kubiak. Unfortunately, I think McNair owns much like Gary coaches, and he'll try to avoid the negative (unknown territory of a new coach) and stick with Gary YET AGAIN for another year of mediocrity.

That end of first half play calling, where despite Kubiak's desire to run out the clock and get off the field the offense actually put up some yards, is indicative of Kubiak's reign as a coach. His offense actually forced him to try and get points, when he would have been more than happy to job into the locker room. In that game, on the road against a 6-0 team, aggression was the only way to come out of there with a win. The Texans were playing with house money because no one thought they would win, so why not be aggressive? 

I'm sick of Kubiak. He has no balls. This team will never impose its will and be the team they need to be to go deep into the playoffs. 

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