The Texans threw the game away on Sunday when quarterback Matt Schaub threw an awful pass to Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, which Sherman returned 58 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. On Monday, Texans coach Gary Kubiak acknowledged that it was a terrible play all around but said Schaub had to run it because that’s the play that was called.
Asked if Schaub had the freedom to audible out of that play, Kubiak answered, “No, once we called it, started the motion, it was game on. So we just had a very, very poor play like I told you.”
That answer is hard to understand: If Schaub saw that the play wasn’t going to work, why didn’t he have the authority to call an audible? And if he didn’t have the authority to call an audible, what about calling timeout? Or taking delay of game and calling a different play after the five-yard penalty? Or if he absolutely had to run the play, why not throw the ball out of bounds, or take a sack, or take a knee? Anything would have been better than a pick-six.
But the fact that Kubiak said he didn’t give Schaub the authority to call an audible suggests that Kubiak doesn’t have a lot of confidence in Schaub’s decision making. Asked about Schaub being on a short leash, Kubiak answered, “How short of a leash is he on? He’s our quarterback. Like I said, we’ve all got to do things a little better.”
One thing the Texans need to do better is figure out how to avoid any more “very, very poor plays.” Those are the plays that lose games.