The Texans this season have been finally seemingly living up to the expectations that have been shadowing them for the last several seasons. Holding onto the AFC South best record, with a 1.5 game lead over 2nd runner up Tennessee at this point. They have done it on both ends of the field, scoring the ball at 27/game and on the much improved defensive side of the field as well, holding opponents to 17/game, which is 11 points less than opponents scored last years. Brian Cushing and Johnathan Joseph have played great on the defensive side excellently for Houston, leading them off to the best start in franchise history.
The Texans have been expected to be the next coming for the last few years. And they just haven’t been able to climb the hump and overtake their division rival. Now this year things have been much different, of course. Without question one has to look at the fact the 7 of the last 8 years AFC South champions, Indianapolis Colts are without their leader, QB, Peyton Manning. So who knows how their season would have been if he had played, but injuries happen and the Texans have reaped the benefits of a great opportunity for their team.
Matt Schaub started his career in Atlanta back in 2004 and never quite got the opportunity behind Mike Vick for 3 years, throwing for 1033 YDs and 6 TDs in that small time frame. Often times seemingly a bit soft, now, Schaub is down, and down for the count for likely the rest of 2011. After having a good season 2479 YDs 15 TDs and a 61% completion rate. And this being without the big man, Andre Johnson not there to be his big receiver, after losing him since week 5.
Now, moving forward, as all teams must find a way to do, they turn to 2006 draft bust Matt Leinart. Leinart, who has always seemed like he likes “pretending to be a QB in the NFL” than actually being a QB in the NFL. He was drafted 10th in the 2006 draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He failed miserably in 4 seasons, amassing such “astonishing” numbers, completing 57% and throwing 14 TDs and a measly 20 ints. Leinart is a mess, and has easily proven over his 6 year career, he is a 3rd string QB at best. Even when he played for the Cardinals, and they wanted him so desperately to be their man, he was awful, and he had Fitzgerald and Boldin to throw the ball to. Needless to say eventually, Kurt Warner stepped in and showed everyone how it is done when you have talent like those at the wideouts for your team.
The Texans do have a real nice weapon for their team, which is their RB combination in Foster and Tate, who combined have 1426 YDs and 9 TDs. So they will likely pick up a few more carriers than usual with Leinart behind center, but defenses will also not be quite as apprehensive with him at QB either, Schaub kept them honest, knowing he had the cannon to deliver the ball to his WRs.
So where does this leave the Texans now? They have upcoming games against the Falcons, the Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina, and the Tennessee Titans. It’s not an easy road. I have very little faith in Leinart leading my team if I’m a Texans fan, and with the Titans crawling up their back, after such a good first 60% of the season, I have this feeling the AFC South division is going to slip away yet again. This is going to be a shootout for this division, which could be finalized the last game of the season.
Written by Mike Anthony for VegasTopDogs.com