Fantasy Football News

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

With Scaub out, is Houston's Season in Jeopardy?

More bad news coming from Houston this week. One-time Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Schaub suffered a foot injury in Sunday's 37-9 beating of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was reported that yesterday he will be out "indefinitely." Which basically means he could be missing the rest of the season with a significant right foot injury.

According to an LA Times article posted last night, head coach Gary Kubiak stated he suffered the injury on a quarterback sneak late in the second quarter. He remained in the game, but only threw 15 total passes throughout the 60 minutes of game time.

Because of this, Houston's run game got quite a bit of looks. Three Texan running backs–starter Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Derrick Ward–each saw double-digit carries as Houston dominated the game clock. Each of the three backs got in to the end zone as well, and as a team they carried the ball 44 times for 185 yards.
With Schaub's (2,479 yards, 61%, 15 TD, 6 INT, 96.8 QBR this season) 2011 future uncertain, it looks as if Matt Leinart will return to starting quarterback role for at least the next several weeks.

Andre Johnson hasn't been on the field since suffering a significant injury against Pittsburgh in Week 4, and Houston's fifth-ranked defense has already taken a couple hits this season. All Pro DE/LB Mario Williams has been lost for the season, free safety Danieal Manning has been out of the lineup since the team's Oct. 23 matchup with Tennessee.

Veteran wideouts Derrick Mason and Kevin Walter will need to step up and lead this team if they want to stay atop the AFC South.

Luckily Indianapolis has lost Peyton Manning, or else Houston may not have a shot at the division title. But at 7-3, the Texans are in great position to snag a playoff spot by fending off the 5-4 Titans. Heading in to the bye this week, Houston has a manageable six-game schedule to finish off the regular season. Match-ups with Jacksonville (Week 12), Indianapolis (Week 16) and Tennessee (Week 17) gives Houston the chance to win out in the division, who are already 3-0 within the South.
If Matt Leinart can manage the game, hand the ball to Houston's three-headed monster at RB and limit turnovers, I really think the fourth-best scoring defense will finish the job for him. This could be Leinart's last shot at proving he belongs in the NFL as a starter. If he messes this one up, he'll be a backup for the rest of his career.

So to answer the question in the title of the article, I really do not think Houston's season is done. It's their division to lose at this point, and with a two-game lead over Tennessee and a semi-easy remaining schedule, I'd be shocked if Houston didn't make its first playoff appearance in franchise history.

Leinart has an extra week of preparation, and maybe by that time Andre Johnson will return to the field. One would hope, at least.

Photo credit
Ward: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
Leinart (from preseason): Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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