Texans Chemistry: Do the Texans Have the Formula to Win a Championship?

Head Coach Gary Kubiak and quarterback Matt Schaub are cooking up another season together

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: The game will be played on Sunday night, which means we have no idea what Texans team we will get. Seriously, watching the Texans in a prime-time game feels like a parent waiting for their high school senior to get home on a Friday night – you have no idea if the kid is going to walk in sober and quietly crash on the couch or if he's going to stumble in with vomit caked all over his shirt slurring the lyrics "I'm Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer" by Billy Currington. Not that I've done that before. Let's move on.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -4 1/2

PREDICTION: Texans 31, Colts 21

BUCKET RATING: COIN FLIPPER

Sunday, November 10 – at Arizona

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: This is the beginning of a stretch of schedule for the Texans that is the NFL equivalent of Kansas State's out-of-conference schedule. Seriously, Arizona on the road, then home for Oakland and Jacksonville. That's the NFL's answer to Savannah State, Wofford, and William & Mary. Bill Snyder approves! (Random prop bet proposal: Texans +3 1/2 wins versus combined wins between Arizona, Oakland, and Jacksonville in 2013...who ya got?)

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: Bruce Arians is a bit of a mad scientist, and quarterback Carson Palmer is just sneaky enough that if Arians mixes the chemicals properly, Palmer could have a big day. (Of course, there's also a 90 percent chance that the Arians/Palmer combination creates a turnover mushroom cloud that stretches from Glendale to Paradise Valley.)

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -3

PREDICTION: Texans 24, Cardinals 10

BUCKET RATING: MUST WIN

Sunday, November 17 – vs Oakland

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: There is a decent chance that Terrelle Pryor is going to be the Raiders's starting quarterback. TROY McCLURE INTRODUCTION: "Hi! I'm Terrelle Pryor! You may remember me from such films as Tattoo Time: The Story of the 2009 Buckeyes and Oh Fuck! The Raiders Supplementally Drafted Me?" Pryor is pretty mobile and can't throw a lick; he's basically the right-handed, black version of Tim Tebow.

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: Back in 2011, the Raiders upset the Texans in Week 5 just days after longtime owner (and certifiable kook) Al Davis passed away. But unless Davis can somehow die again the week before this game, the Raiders aren't beating the Texans.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -8 1/2

PREDICTION: Texans 41, Raiders 13

BUCKET RATING: MUST WIN

Sunday, November 24 – vs Jacksonville

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: As I was writing this article, I turned to my co-host John Granato and asked him, "Can you name the Jacksonville Jaguars's head coach?" Normally, I would be asking him a question like this as a sort of a quiz just to keep it light and keep him on his toes. In this case, I was really asking him because I had no fucking clue who the head coach of the Jags was. And neither did he. And that's the new rule – if two guys who cover sports for a living can't name your head coach (even two idiots like me and Granato), you are not winning a division road game. Sorry, Jacksonville. You lose. GOOD DAY, SIR!

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: The answer, by the way, was Gus Bradley. Rule No. 2 – if your coach's name is "Gus," you're not winning a division road game. I SAID GOOD DAY!

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -10

PREDICTION: Texans 30, Jaguars 14

BUCKET RATING: MUST WIN

Sunday, December 1 – vs New England

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: In last season's December game against the Patriots, the Pats's receiving portion of the box score looked like this:

Brandon Lloyd: 8 catches, 89 yards, 1 touchdown

Donte Stallworth: 1 catch, 63 yards, 1 touchdown

Aaron Hernandez: 8 catches, 58 yards, 2 touchdowns

Wes Welker: 3 catches, 52 yards

Danny Woodhead: 2 catches, 34 yards

If we play "Where are they now?" with that statistical sequence, in September 2013, it would look like this:

Street Free Agent: 8 catches, 89 yards, 1 touchdown

Cut by the Redskins: 1 catch, 63 yards, 1 touchdown

Inmate #174954: 8 catches, 58 yards, 2 touchdowns

Peyton Manning's New Bestie: 3 catches, 52 yards

San Diego Charger: 2 catches, 34 yards

Yes, literally every Patriot who caught a pass from Tom Brady in last season's regular season game is playing elsewhere, unemployed, or incarcerated.

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: Because Tom Brady.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: PICK 'EM

PREDICTION: Patriots 30, Texans 28

BUCKET RATING: COIN FLIPPER

Thursday, December 5 – at Jacksonville

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: Because the name "Gus" will not have gotten any cooler in the two weeks since the previous game between these two teams.

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: It's a Thursday road game sandwiched in between games against the Patriots and Colts, and it's going to be played in one of the worst atmospheres to play football. Also, Jags owner Shad Khan has the resources to make sure the entire Texans offensive line catches a round of food poisoning before the game.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -4 1/2

PREDICTION: Texans 23, Jaguars 7

BUCKET RATING: MUST WIN

Sunday, December 15 – at Indianapolis

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: Damn the sports gods for smiling down upon little backwater sports markets like San Antonio and Indianapolis. In 1997, it was David Robinson going out with a season-ending injury for the Spurs that allowed them to tank one season, wind up with Tim Duncan and go on to win four NBA titles. Now Indianapolis, a sleepy little Midwest nothing of a town that stole this team from Baltimore in the first place, they enjoy the halcyon years of Peyton Manning, lose him for a season, go 2-14, and wind up with what might end up being a souped-up version of Peyton Manning in Andrew Luck. It's like when Emperor Palpatine was able to upgrade from Count Dooku to Anakin Skywalker as his Sith apprentice almost seamlessly, only Luck didn't slice off Peyton's head with a light saber. Other than that... Exact. Same. Thing.

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10 comments
Arthur Seago
Arthur Seago

$2 bottle beer tonight during the Texan Game at Viva Sports Cantina

Michael Terry
Michael Terry

They have the tools. It's all about keeping them sharp and used properly.

Thuy Vi Le
Thuy Vi Le

No. Enough to whoop San Diego's butt, yes. Although I'm a die hard SD fan... Sad to tell the truth.

mitchako85
mitchako85

Sean, 

I rarely comment online. It all goes out with the tide of ignorance. But this was a very pleasurable article to read, though less than orgasmic. 11-5 sounds about right, barring widespread or catastrophic injuries. 

I do think your patience chart is a little unfair to McNair, because Kubiak/Schaub were trying to take an expansion team first to break-even, then to playoff contenders, which they have done. The other coach/quarterback combinations you compare them to are all with established and successful franchises. Also, all those yards Schaub racked up in 2009 and 2010 would not have been meaningless if the Texans defense had not blown so many second half leads. The 2010 team could very easily have been 10-6 instead of 6-10, which is probably why Kubiak kept his job. It was only after Arian Foster and Wade Phillips arrived that Kubiak went more to the ball-control offense, though it does seem obvious that he is more comfortable with this type of game plan. 

Contract or no contract, the pressure is on Schaub this year far more than any other player, and everybody including Schaub knows it. He's not going to get far on foot, and he's not Brady or Rodgers, but I think he's good enough. For the entire time Schaub has been here, the bigger problem has been on the other side of the line, even including the games at the end of last year when Schaub was really bad. It wasn't Schaub who put em in the hole in New England, it was the defense. The defense is way better now than it was three years ago, and with Cushing back and (we can hope) the impact of Ed Reed, it should be better than it was last year. But as you point out, they still need to prove they can beat the Superbowl quarterbacks -- there are only four that are head and shoulders above the rest and we all know who they are -- in a big game. Schaub and Kubiak can maybe win a regular season shoot-out against San Diego or Baltimore, or even Seattle or San Francisco, though it's unlikely.  But to beat New England or Denver in the play-offs, and that is where the road to the Superbowl will most likely lead at 11-5, the defense has to hold them to three TDs and a field goal, or less. 

If all the key pieces are healthy, who's to say it can't be done?

30-27 Texans, AFC champs. 

(Then the Niners will pitch a virtual shut out in the Superbowl, sort of like Astros going down 4-0 in the World Series...) 


Puller58
Puller58

The problem here is Gary Kubiak emotionally invested in an average QB that reminded him of himself back when he was riding the pine behind John Elway.  Bob McNair emotionally invested in Kubiak in an almost father/son way.  What Kubiak is doing is running the old Broncos offense with a QB closer to Bernie Kosar than John Elway.  What makes matters worse is if Kubiak is fired, good old horse trader/thief Bum Phillips will amble into McNair's office and humbly suggest Wade will be "good" for the Texans.  Yep, things are pretty bleak in H-town.

groberts1
groberts1

" ...and Tim Tebow is a bust." !!!  OMG, the perfect line, fits the blackjack analogy and everything. It was right there, a bird's nest on the ground. Aaargh!

pkmurray
pkmurray

another fantastic article. well done, mr. pendergast. 

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Are we supposed to read the "I SAID GOOD DAY" in the Willy Wonka voice or the Fez voice?

mitchako85
mitchako85

@Puller58 

hey, man. cheer up! season has not started yet. it's gonna be fun to watch whatever happens. hope springs eternal!

 
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