The Texans Are Free Fallin'
By Emin Avakian
For the past 10 weeks, the mindset of the Houston Texans has been that it can't get any worse and there's nowhere to go but up.
The first loss of the season was followed by the Texans' record going to .500, then making way for a losing streak of three games. Houston, of course, would turn it around and get back to being talked about as Super Bowl contenders. But then St. Louis marched into Reliant Stadium and handed the Texans a 38-13 loss.
And then Kansas City extended its winning streak at the Texans expense. Don't worry, a win in a division game versus the top-seeded Indianapolis Colts would quickly reverse bad fortune. But the Texans didn't defeat the Colts, and they didn't defeat the Cardinals. Same story with the Raiders and most recently, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jacksonville Jaguars! Now I believe the Houston faithful when they say there is nowhere to go but up, because there is literally no more room to go down. The Houston Texans have hit rock bottom.
All teasing aside, it has been a mind-boggling, terrible season for the Texans. From Gary Kubiak's health issues to Matt Schaub's pick-six habit and his verbal altercation with Andre Johnson to Case Keenum going from savior to mediocre, it hasn't been a joy ride for the front office and head coach Gary Kubiak, who undoubtedly wants this nightmare of a season to be over with. Problem is, he may not be employed when he wakes up.
Even if the Texans win out, and let's be real, they're not (three of the next five opponents are the Patriots, Colts and Broncos), they have clinched their worst record since 2009--the first winning season in franchise history (9-7).
So what do the Texans play for? Pride? That went out the window. After the loss to the Jaguars, Johnson didn't mix any words when he says the team "sucks."
Playing for next year? Keenum looked like the quarterback of the future until falling back to Earth and completing 31 of 58 passes with one touchdown and two interceptions over the past couple weeks.
At this point, there are more questions than answers: Is Arian Foster going to be the player he was prior to this season? Will the core be back for another run? Will Kubiak get another chance? What will become of Schaub's contract? Is Johnny Manziel in future plans?
It's always a reminder of the NFL's uncertainty when a team with Super Bowl aspirations before the season has two wins with five weeks remaining. Despite being one of the more talented teams in the league, at least on paper, the Texans have not won one game, convincingly. They escaped San Diego with a win and needed overtime to prevail over the Titans.
What are the Texans playing for? Well, start with snapping a nine-game skid versus Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.