A day after the football-following world warmed up to the notion that the Texans may be the best team in the AFC, the Texans’ ability to compete with AFC teams not in the AFC South took a major hit.
And now, with starting quarterback Matt Schaub expected to miss the rest of the year, the job falls to Matt Leinart, a former Heisman winner who hung around campus one year too long, lost his job to Kurt Warner, and then blew his chance to succeed the Hall of Famer by displaying a lack of accuracy that nearly got Larry Fitzgerald killed in the preseason.
Instead, it got Leinart run out of Arizona.
So why in the world would the Texans entrust the starting quarterback job to Leinart, whose coach at USC has shown no interest in a reunion, as they move toward their first playoff berth in franchise history?
Yes, I believe the Texans should call Brett Favre. Though he has become a caricature, the analysis is simple: Would you rather have Favre or Leinart running your offense?
I don’t expect the Texans to call Favre, and I have no idea whether Favre would be interested. But for the past few years there’s been a vague sense that Favre would consider capping his career with a Roger Clemens-style partial season with a contending team that has a clear need.
Many will dismiss the possibility because we’re all sick of Brett Favre the man. But there’s no denying that Brett Favre the quarterback can still bring it. He has shown that he can get up to speed quickly, and if the Broncos can re-tool their offense quickly to suit the unique skills of Tim Tebow, the Texans surely can come up with a playbook that consists of healthy doses of Arian Foster and Ben Tate on the ground, periodic Brett bombs to Andre Johnson, and a smattering of short throws to Owen Daniels and either Foster or Tate.
Coupled with one of the best defenses in the league, and in light of the fact that Houston is a fairly short flight from Hattiesburg, it makes sense.
It makes a lot more sense than trusting Matt Leinart.
Sure, Leinart may dub me a “hater” and use this criticism as motivation, but if the guy wasn’t able to motivate himself when the starting job in Arizona had been handed to him, the kick in the butt that comes from a external slight won’t matter.
And if, as expected, the Texans don’t call Favre, he can blame only himself for allowing issues other than his arm strength and experience and competitiveness influence teams to now avoid him. This could have been his best chance to write the perfect final chapter for his career, walking off into the sunset with a second Lombardi after beating the Packers and Aaron Rodgers.
But the short-term marriage simply isn’t going to happen.
Even though, given the Texans’ alternatives, it should.