The Houston Texans once looked like a potential Super Bowl team, but everything about their 2013 season has gone counter to established form. The book on the Texans said they were conservative on offense, a play-action team that needed to run the ball, and therefore poorly suited to playing from behind. So naturally they opened the season by overcoming a three-touchdown deficit to win. From there, the risk-averse Texans set an NFL record for pick-sixes, some of them on the riskiest throws a QB could possibly make.
These Texans are tough to figure, in other words. The same core group that helped produce a 22-10 record over the previous two seasons has gone 2-7 through Week 10. Quarterback Matt Schaub could be finished in Houston. Coach Gary Kubiak is recovering from a mini-stroke. The playoffs are out of the picture.
So where do the Texans go from here? Matt Williamson and Mike Sando of ESPN.com put together a plan.
Is this team really as bad as the record shows?
Williamson: I'm higher on them than everyone else. I had them 12th or 13th in my power ranking last week, and Twitter nation blew up, calling me an idiot. Maybe it was a little high, but this team is closer to the middle of the pack than it is to 25th or 27th. I know they've lost seven in a row, but the last three they have lost by a combined seven points to pretty good teams. There is no shame in losing at Kansas City or Arizona, or losing to Andrew Luck when your head coach collapses at halftime. I actually think they are much better with Case Keenum at QB. I don't see big problems (at least aside from the record), although they do need to clean up their special teams.
Sando: I'm with you to some extent.