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Texans win shows how far they have come

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Getty Images

This was a depressing day for the Texans in many ways, with Matt Leinart possibly lost for the season.

Viewed in another light, Houston’s 20-13 win in Jacksonville was proof of how far this franchise has come. The Texans are now good enough to win on the road with their No. 3 quarterback, rookie T.J. Yates.

The Texans have had a lot of trouble beating the Jaguars in recent years. Things have changed.  Here’s what else we learned:

1. Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert was pulled in the fourth quarter for Luke McCown, who immediately started to move the ball for Jacksonville. If anything, the change came too late.

Gabbert completed 13-of-29 passes for 136 yards and a pick. His play was worse than the numbers indicate.

The rookie has zero pocket presence. He feels pressure when it’s not there and takes too long to make decisions. The talent around Gabbert isn’t great and there were drops Sunday, but you can isolate Gabbert from that. He’s looked poor.

2. If the Jaguars want to win games, McCown is the better option.  At 3-8, however, we expect them to continue to give the ball to the rookie.

3. The Texans offense couldn’t operate with Yates at quarterback. Don’t be surprised if recent veteran pickup Kellen Clemens starts next week.  Yates finished 8-of-15 for 70 yards.   Another veteran pickup is possible.

4. The Texans offense had 17 drives Sunday. That’s an insanely high amount. Of those 17 drives, only two went longer than four plays.  Jacksonville did a nice job on Houston’s running game, holding them to 88 yards.

5. Houston has come a long way because their defense can carry them. The Jaguars’ only touchdown came on a fumble returned for a score.  Connor Barwin had four sacks in the game. J.J. Watt had two more. Wade Phillips has done a great job developing his young guys.

6. Where can the Texans go with Yates?  The playoffs, at the least.

Houston is 8-3.  The Titans are 6-5.  We aren’t sure the Titans even get to eight wins.

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38 Responses to “Texans win shows how far they have come”
  1. trbowman says: Nov 27, 2011 5:15 PM

    I hope McCown starts next week on MNF. I want to hear Gruden talk about “this guy McCown, I loved him in Tampa man…”

  2. trbowman says: Nov 27, 2011 5:16 PM

    Gabbert was the exact same player at Mizzou but like I said before, scouts fell in love with his measurables. Tape never lies.

    How else does Dalton go in the second and Gabbert is a top ten pick who, scary enough, was once possibly an option at fifth overall for Arizona?

  3. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 27, 2011 5:17 PM

    The Titans are 6-5.

  4. trbowman says: Nov 27, 2011 5:17 PM

    Clemens is awful, and Yates isn’t ready.

    Should bring in Jeff Garcia! Always a gamer.

  5. walker615 says: Nov 27, 2011 5:17 PM

    Titans are 6-5, and very much in the race. I seriously doubt it, but they’re not out of it by any means.

  6. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 27, 2011 5:21 PM

    Hats off to Houston. A lot of key players have missed games for them, including Schaub, Foster, AJ, and Mario Williams. To be 8-3 after your four best players have all missed extended time… that is just impressive. I don’t see them doing much damage in the playoffs though with Yates at the helm.

  7. righthereisay says: Nov 27, 2011 5:24 PM

    Only 2 out of 17 that went more than 4 downs……unimaginable. Kind of like when the Texans only had 42 total yards against the Steelers (and won)

  8. phillyphever says: Nov 27, 2011 5:25 PM

    Any chance Plummer gets a call?

  9. dalucks says: Nov 27, 2011 5:28 PM

    You are wrong about TJ Yates and I will tell you why. #1 The playcalling was too conservative. Gary Kubiak needs to call the same plays if it was Matt Schaub playing and not take the ball out of Yates hands. #2 the bigger problem for the Texans offense is no one other than Andre Johnson can catch the ball and run after the catch. Johnson was facing double teams and Kevin Walter nor Jacoby Jones has stepped up consistantly all year. Houston, this is a problem and you should sign Terrell Owens. #3 The defense will continue to be very good and the special teams is above average but to be successful in the playoffs, your offense has to be able to score atleast 28 points.

  10. vikesfan320 says: Nov 27, 2011 5:30 PM

    How long until Rachel Nichols hops on her plane down to Hattiesburg? Is she already there?

  11. Foremastjack says: Nov 27, 2011 5:33 PM

    Say what you will, but I think Brett Favre would be the best option here.

  12. myasylum11 says: Nov 27, 2011 5:35 PM

    Time to bring in the “F” word!

  13. tebowspeech says: Nov 27, 2011 5:36 PM

    God is slowly but surely putting the plan in place for the Tebow Super Bowl run.

  14. nationalmediacansuckit says: Nov 27, 2011 5:36 PM

    Del Rio is lost. Once again proving he had zero clock management awareness. A hurry offense on 4th and 2 with 1:12 left on the clock.

    Koetter is lost. O-line is lost. Same plays that hasn’t and will not continue to work. No shot down field, ever. Still calling bubble screens that hasn’t gained one single yard.

    WR’s are lost. Drops, drops, drops.

    Gabbert looks lost. With the O-line not give you any time at all, you get a slight pass, but to continue to duck in the pocket when there is no pressure is unacceptable.

    Jaguars are irrelevant. No signs of life on offense at all except for MJD and Greg Jones. Wayne Weaver, what are you waiting for. Enough already.

  15. corchamp says: Nov 27, 2011 5:39 PM

    Slow your roll there, Gregg. Let’s wait and see how for the Texans have come when they aren’t playing the 32nd ranked offense. Not to mention they couldn’t even move the ball on a Jaguars team that was down 5 defensive starters. You say turning a corner, I say they’re barely holding on.

  16. obamablowz says: Nov 27, 2011 5:42 PM

    and i’m sure peyton manning being out has NOTHING to do with the texans being where they are. TEXANS totally overrated

  17. terrellpryorstattooartist says: Nov 27, 2011 5:42 PM

    Seems to me your giving the texans too much credit if they beat the a decent team with their 3rd string qb then it would be different story.opening paragraph should say “the jaguars are so bad that the texans were able to win on the road with their 3rd string qb”

  18. tebowspeech says: Nov 27, 2011 5:43 PM

    Are we living in a world where Mark Sanchez is the 3rd best QB in the AFC?

  19. texanfan62 says: Nov 27, 2011 5:45 PM

    I think now that the Texans have lost their 2 QB’S and have a Rookie and Castoff left on their roster,and if they WANT to make the Playoffs and win in them, I hate to say this but Farve IS now the only Option they have. Not for Atlanta or maybe Cincinnati but probably for their last 3 games plus playoffs.I think the Titans could come back realistically,although they won’t beat the Saints.

  20. rarson says: Nov 27, 2011 5:48 PM

    “The Texans are now good enough to win on the road with their No. 3 quarterback, rookie T.J. Yates.”

    “The Texans offense couldn’t operate with Yates at quarterback.”

    These two sentences seem to contradict each other. Either they can win with him or they can’t. If they can’t produce any offense, then they can’t win with him.

  21. realfootballfan says: Nov 27, 2011 5:51 PM

    Where are all those “experts” who had Gabbert rated higher than Newton and proclaimed all of these QBs to be not worthy of first round picks now that Dalton, Newton, and Ponder all look like the real deal?

    Doubt we’ll hear any of them eat crow or actually admit to scratching Gabbert’s agent’s back because like the guy said earlier, he was the same scared of pressure, zero pocket presence guy if you just watched him a couple of times on TV, so I’m sure they saw it too on film.

  22. thejabronisayz says: Nov 27, 2011 5:52 PM

    You’re giving Luke McCown FAR too much credit than he deserves. How quickly you forget that he posted a 1.8 QB rating against the Jets. No, that’s not a typo: a 1.8 QB rating. I’m not saying Gabbert is much better, i’m not saying that Gabbert has not been playing poorly, but don’t overgeneralize by saying that Luke McCown is the better option. He’s not.

  23. brintfatre says: Nov 27, 2011 6:01 PM

    Lienart just saved their season by getting hurt, should be a shoe in for MVP!

  24. commandercornpone says: Nov 27, 2011 6:19 PM

    maybe it’s cause they dialed the offense back but gabbert is 2-7 for -35 point differential in 9 starts.

    mccown got hammered by the jets, and is 1-1 for -27 point differential in 2 starts.

    they have a shot in 4 of their last 5 with gabbert if they play D.

    same shot with mccown… so play the kid.

  25. packerstexansfan says: Nov 27, 2011 6:38 PM

    rarson says:
    Nov 27, 2011 5:48 PM

    “The Texans are now good enough to win on the road with their No. 3 quarterback, rookie T.J. Yates.”

    “The Texans offense couldn’t operate with Yates at quarterback.”

    These two sentences seem to contradict each other. Either they can win with him or they can’t. If they can’t produce any offense, then they can’t win with him.

    No they don’t. The offense sucked. Although I’m hoping part of it was Kubiak being conservative because he wasn’t expecting Yates to play. But if you have a defense and special teams playing good enough to give the offense great field position, then you can still have a sub par offense still put up points

  26. jvillenole says: Nov 27, 2011 6:41 PM

    Gabbert will be just fine. The kid has the arm to make every throw, and he is intelligent.

    Bottom line is that he just turned 22. The plan was not to start him this year, but JDR blew that plan out of the water.

    Waaaay, waaaay too early to call him a bust. Especially with that o-line, and those CRAPPY WRs he has.

    As for the Texans…are you kidding me? They didn’t do crap against a completely depleted Jax defense. Jax was playing without five starters, including their best d-tackle, their two starting corners, and their two best DEs.

    And this coming off of a bye week?

    Very unimpressive.

    One and done in the playoffs…if they make it!

  27. term3186 says: Nov 27, 2011 6:43 PM

    I’m hoping Leinart’s injury isn’t as bad as it appears. With two weeks to work he was doing a pretty good job. The only time Yates was successful was when he was in the hurry up offense driving at the end of the first half. Yates probably hasn’t been getting any first-team reps. Hopefully with a week or two of first-team practice under his belt, he’ll be able to move the ball.

  28. cmack21 says: Nov 27, 2011 6:50 PM

    Never thought it would come to this.
    Hey Brett, take off the wranglers and strap.
    on the pads.

  29. thekingdave says: Nov 27, 2011 7:18 PM

    Lol @jvillenole. Kubiak played it safe in the 2nd half knowing we were down to our last QB and the JAX offense had absolutely no shot of reaching 20 pts. You lost. Btw, what a pathetic showing by the JAX fans. You may have technically announced a sellout, but that stadium was maybe 40% full.

  30. megabeast37215 says: Nov 27, 2011 7:47 PM

    kingdave: Not true. The Stadium was 85% full I’d say… those club seats that you see on TV paint a pretty bad picture. I’m no apologist for the sorry fair weather (Gator) fans in this town.. but the truth is the truth. I was there with my family as usual.

    I also noticed how all the Orange and Blue faithful have been quiet as church mice around town lately. They don’t claim their team when they’re not blowing out The Southeastern University of Dance and Basket Weaving by 50+… pathetic, sorry, fair weather fans.

  31. ogre2010 says: Nov 27, 2011 8:11 PM

    Headline should read how awful the coaching is in Jacksonville

  32. mwcarolina says: Nov 27, 2011 8:15 PM

    let me first say, WORST luck for Texans. NOW for the real reason i am commenting. Jack Del Rio in my book should be fired right now. i am sorry, but pulling Gabbert is beyond stupid. i am not saying Gabbert is a star, he’s not, i am not saying he has played great, he hasnt, BUT he’s the future, NOT McCown. McCown isnt going to save your job Del Rio. Norv Turner isnt a great head coach, but he would be great for Blaine Gabbert, if the Eagles are DUMB enough to fire Reid, the Jags should pounce on him ASAP. Gabbert needs a good offensive coach who will help him and develop him.

  33. jvillenole says: Nov 27, 2011 8:22 PM

    @kingdave

    They deleted my last post…so I will keep this one short.

    As a Houston fan, you should be ashamed of calling out another fan. Remember the Oilers?

    Kubiak was not playing it safe. If he did play it safe, he has been for six plus years.

    Good luck with TJ Yates!

    One and done!

  34. citnetter says: Nov 27, 2011 8:45 PM

    Nice observation and reporting Rosenthal… Yates didn’t do much because 1)the guys hasn’t played at all and hasn’t gotten any quality first-team reps in practice, and 2)Kubiak played it EXTREMELY safe when he went in. The Texans were already up by a good margin (regardless of the fact they were down to their last QB) so why have a rookie QB sling it all over the field and risk a turnover or injury? I’ll tell you one thing, Yates looked more competent than that softy QB the Jags had playing.

    As for how the Texans will do the rest of the year with Yates, only time will tell. However, I think you’ll see a much better player once he has time to practice the game plan and Kubiak figures out how to work with him in order to get the play-action game going. Besides, we’ve seen other rookie QBs do OK over the years and I think Yates has the skills to be a fairly decent option.

  35. thekingdave says: Nov 27, 2011 9:18 PM

    Yeah I remember the Oilers, went to multiple games with my Grandpa as a kid. Anyways, you’re invoking a franchise whose move to Nashville had absolutely nothing to do with fan support. We’ve sold out every game in franchise history, which says alot considering the ways the Texans found ways to epically disappoint their fans over 9 years. The difference is when the Jags leave, you’re not getting another franchise. Enjoy Blaine Gabbert for the next couple years then kiss the NFL goodbye.

  36. 2ndaryinsanity says: Nov 27, 2011 9:49 PM

    The Texans defense won this game when our offense ground to a screeching halt with our THIRD string ROOKIE quarterback. Bottom line is we swept the Jag’s this season. Period.
    Will we win a play-off game? Probably not with Kellen Clemmons or TJ Yates. Tough break (literally). Our team’s been dealing with injuries to star players all season– at least we don’t quit like the Colts.
    Careful, Jag’s “fans” or you may lose your team to some other city that actually would attend the games.
    The Texans have had ONE winning season (yes- that’s very sad!), yet EVERY SINGLE game has been a sell-out. A true sell-out, not the 34 cents on the dollar sell out so common in Jacksonville.
    P.S.—
    And before someone brings up the Oilers leaving…that was because the taxpayers had just funded major Astrodome renovations and told Bud Adams to go screw himself when he turned around a short time later demanded a new stadium.

  37. titanblitz says: Nov 27, 2011 11:39 PM

    8 men in the box = Texans will go sub .500 the rest of the way

  38. thekingdave says: Nov 28, 2011 1:28 AM

    8 men in the box= the Titans will continue to suck and leech off of Oiler greats and project delusions of grandeur.

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