Unhappy Times in Houston

After starting 5-3 and being in the thick of a playoff race, the Texans have lost four in a row. They can't win close games in the end. As a result, fans and media are howling for coach Gary Kubiak's scalp.

The latest close defeat -- 23-18 at Jacksonville -- left the Texans 5-7 with Seattle coming to Reliant Stadium before a trip to St. Louis. Speculation about Kubiak being fired is reverberating around the city, and he's not immune to it. Still, he's determined to fight through the adversity.

"I've got so many people to worry about," Kubiak said. "I've got players, coaches -- everybody in this building -- and it would be very selfish for me to be worried about myself. I'm very disappointed, as I think everybody is right now, but I don't worry about myself. I've got a lot of people that I've got to get a smile back on their face, and I'm going to keep working to do that."

Kubiak knows the future of his coaches and many of his players is tied to him. "That's part of the business; that's part of coaching," he said. "When you're doing this job for a living, you're going to have your go at it, and I'm having mine right now. I'm going to try to fight through it and stay positive and try to get these guys to get a win and get some confidence back."

Owner Bob McNair said last week that Kubiak would be evaluated after the season. McNair said he doesn't want to make a change, that change is disruptive and that he believes the Texans have a better chance of being good next season with Kubiak rather than a new coach.


--Quarterback Matt Schaub suffered a separated left shoulder in the first quarter of the Jacksonville game, had it popped back into place and returned in the second quarter. He finished the game. The coaches are hoping he can play against Seattle at Reliant Stadium. "He basically has the same injury that he had against Tennessee in 2007," coach Gary Kubiak said about a separated left shoulder that required surgery. "Obviously, a great gut check on his part.

"I think he's got a good chance of playing, but I think we probably will not know more until about Wednesday or Thursday. But he's not feeling any worse (Monday) than he did (Sunday) as he finished the game. I think he's got a good chance of playing."

--Running back Steve Slaton was inactive for the Jacksonville game because of numbness in his shoulder that extended to his thumb. He's seeing a specialist in Dallas. The numbness in his shoulder had occurred off and on for three weeks. It would go away, and he was able to play. The numbness in his thumb kept him out of Sunday's game.

"He'll be re-evaluated, and his status will be day-to-day," coach Gary Kubiak said. "His second year has not been as easy or productive as the first one. How much does this add to those issues? I don't think we're sitting here saying that's been a problem all year long with Steve having his neck issue or whatever.

"I think it came up a few weeks ago, and we're just having to address it right now. I've got a lot of confidence in Steve as this organization moves forward."

--Coach Gary Kubiak is being blistered by fans and media for his decision to try a halfback option pass in the fourth quarter at Jacksonville. The Texans trailed 23-12 with eight minutes left. They faced first-and-goal at the 5. Matt Schaub pitched right to running back Chris Brown, who tried to sell it as a run. He was hit as he threw the ball, and it was intercepted by safety Gerald Alexander at the 1. Tight end Joel Dreessen was open in the end zone.

"It's something we worked on all week," Kubiak said. "Executed it pretty well throughout the week. If it works, it sure looks good, but it didn't work. I'm just disappointed in the outcome. Would I like to have it back? You bet. We didn't get it done. It doesn't matter why we didn't get it done or what happened. The bottom line is we didn't get it done."


--WR Andre Johnson had seven catches for 99 yards and a touchdown against Jacksonville, giving him his fourth 1,000-yard season.

--DE Mario Williams got his sixth sack against the Jaguars. He's had two in his last two games.

--LT Duane Brown played the entire Jacksonville game with a sore knee. It caused him to miss a lot of practice last week, but he moved well and protected well. He hasn't missed a start because of an injury in his two seasons.

--WR Jacoby Jones, who was told to stay home in Houston after he was late for a team meeting Saturday morning, will resume his role this week. Coach Gary Kubiak said Jones would be fined for being late. Jones has scored five touchdowns this season, including four as a receiver.

--RB Ryan Moats led the team with 42 yards rushing against the Jaguars. That's not much, of course, but the Texans are so bad running the ball, it almost looked gaudy. He averaged 3.4 yards a carry, better than the team's 3.1 average or Chris Brown's 2.5 average.


PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Matt Schaub suffered a dislocated left shoulder on the Texans' first offensive play and left the game. Rex Grossman replaced him and was 3-for-9 for 33 yards and one interception. Schaub's shoulder was popped back into place, and it was put in a harness. He returned in the second quarter and was 6-for-6 for 53 yards on the team's first touchdown drive. He finished with 19-for-27 for 207 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- With Steve Slaton inactive because of numbness in his shoulder and thumb, Chris Brown started. Ryan Moats carried for the first time in three weeks. Moats finished with 41 yards on 12 carries. Brown carried six times for 15 yards and a touchdown. His option pass in the fourth quarter was intercepted at the Jacksonville 1-yard line. The run blocking was terrible. The Texans averaged 3.1 yards a carry, which is worse than their 3.4-yard average for the season.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- The Texans let David Garrard throw for 199 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. CB Jacques Reeves was beaten on a touchdown pass. The pass rush produced four sacks, and Garrard was under a lot of pressure, but he still produced in the first half. The coverage was better in the second half, but by then, it was too late.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- The Texans focused on Maurice Jones-Drew and limited him to 20 yards in the first half and 38 until the Jaguars' last series, when Jacksonville needed to run out the clock. Jones-Drew rushed for 38 on the last series, finishing with 24 carries for 76 yards, a 3.2-yard average.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Kris Brown kicked a field goal. Matt Turk had a 56-yard punt downed at the 1, setting up a safety. The coverage teams were good. The return teams were bad to mediocre.

COACHING: F -- Trailing 23-12 with eight minutes left, the Texans had first-and-goal at the Jacksonville 5. Coach Gary Kubiak called for Chris Brown to throw an option pass. He was hit as he threw, and the pass was intercepted at the 1. The Texans scored a touchdown on their next series. Even a field goal there could have affected the outcome.

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