ROTB: So...tell us about the QB situation. What exactly happened to Matt Schaub, and could Case Keenum really be the answer? What does he bring to the table?
BRB: Matt Schaub showed that he simply is not physically up to the task of being a starting quarterback anymore. He no longer had what little arm strength he used to possess to make throws down field, and his mobility went from minimal to downright nonexistent. Matt Schaub's main redeeming quality was intelligence with the football, and after all of those consecutive pick sixes, even that seemed to be gone too. The jury is still way, way out on Case Keenum. He is the kind of quarterback that does everything wrong and still magically gets results. It's as if the basic rule of not throwing a 40-yard rainbow across your body while running backwards does not apply to him, and I have no idea why. His gunslinger, throw-it-up play style might come back to bite him at some point, and I am still not remotely sold that he is a long term solution, but he has been fun to watch in the last two games.
BRB: Foster is out, Tate is playing with broken ribs, and the Texans offensive line still employs Derek Newton. I would not be too worried about the Houston run game as long as Calais Campbell and Daryl Washington get to line up against guys like Wade Smith. It's almost not fair. As for who the Texans will put on the field, I expect a healthy mix of Ben Tate and rookie UDFA Dennis Johnson just like last week. Johnson is a smaller, speedier back who will look to get the edge early and often.
ROTB: How much will the coaching change affect the team this week, and how different will the playcalling look?
BRB: Honestly, I am not sure. However, the lack of Gary Kubiak calling the offense was evident last week as the Texans were held to just three second half points after virtually blowing out the Colts defense in the first half. I would like to think that Case Keenum, Andre Johnson, and DeAndre Hopkins will have some success on Sunday, but playing without their head coach on the road against a good defense is cause for concern. I personally am starting the Cardinals defense this week, for whatever that is worth.
ROTB: At 2-6, what have been the biggest issues or problems that you can pinpoint that would explain how such a talented team could be in such a bad situation?
BRB: Where to start? Special teams are horrific (again), clock management has been an issue all year long (again), injuries to star players have piled up (again), Ed Reed stole million of dollars from this organization, Matt Schaub became a shell of a quarterback, Brice McCain and Derek Newton are still on the roster. Take your pick, really. No amount of talent can overcome bad quarterback play, bad coaching decisions, and bad special teams. It's just flat out not possible. I hate to say it, but the Texans have literally become the 2010 San Diego Chargers.
ROTB: Maybe this is redundant, but what has been the season's biggest surprise, and what has been the biggest disappointment?
BRB: I think both the biggest surprise and disappointment is the Texans not being in the hunt for the first seed in the playoff picture. Houston was a Super Bowl favorite not three months ago. Now they are in the running for Jadaveon Clowney and Marcus Mariota. As a Texans fan, I have become used to seasons "not going our way", but the pain of having success and watching it slip into mediocrity is just plain gut wrenching. I know it does not quite compare, but I feel like this agony is in the same vein of Cardinals fans having to endure the Steelers party under the confetti. This was supposed to be our season. OUR. SEASON. Ugh...