Texans in Panic Mode

Gary Kubiak will never admit it.  The words will never leave his lips.  However as much as he denies it, the Houston Texans are in trouble.  They are a team down to their third string quarterback and desperate as they search for their first playoff berth in team history.

Matt Leinart was getting the chance of his career.  It lasted almost a half hour.  Jacksonville’s Jeremy Mincey drove Leinart’s throwing shoulder into the ground after an incomplete pass Sunday.  That hit broke Leinart’s collarbone and ended his season.  In effect putting Kubiak and the Texans into panic mode.

That situation had the Texans putting a call into Jake Delhomme.  Yes that is the same Delhomme that led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl and minutes of beating the New England Patriots.  Delhomme was the Cleveland Browns quarterback last season, until a high ankle sprain ended his season and he spent the rest of his time mentoring Colt McCoy.

This season Delhomme was unemployed.  At home and loving the post-football life.  But the competition lured him back.  That and the yearning for another paycheck for the final 6 weeks of the season.  Before the signing, the Texans put Delhomme through an extensive workout situation with Jeff Garcia.

Delhomme is in a great situation.  He can be the savior of a Houston team desperate for a playoff game.  Right now they have the best record in the AFC.  If T. J. Yates fails, Delhomme can enter stage left and be the hero.  However if Delhomme fails, he won’t be blamed.  He is just an unemployed quarterback singed to help a team that needs it.

For now Yates is the starter.  When he leads the Houston offense onto the field against Atlanta Sunday, he will become the first Tar Heel ever to start an NFL game at quarterback.  All this and the pressure to make the playoffs on top.

With the running attack Houston has, Yates or Delhomme will not be asked to shoulder the load.  Simply “manage” the game and allow Arian Foster and Ben Tate to carry the ball.  The Texans are third in the NFL in rushing and will rely on that attack even more in the final weeks of the season.

The game plan is clear for Houston.  Strong defense with a solid running game.  That formula goes back in time, but it’s the plan that can get the Texans to the Super Bowl with a third string quarterback.

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