Judgements: Texans' Kubiak on hot seat

The SportsXchange

He was not on the hot seat a month ago ... or even two weeks ago ... but he is now. And he should be.

We are talking about Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, and after what happened last week to Matt Schaub you can only hope the guy lives in a gated community.

Kubiak's Texans were a trendy preseason pick for the Super Bowl, but they are not anymore -- not after losing their fourth straight -- and Kubiak suddenly is getting a lot of questions he cannot answer. Such as: Do the Texans have a pulse? Or this: Why is it that the always reliable defense on Sunday was as horrid as the mistake-prone offense ... and what does that mean for the future? More important, what does it mean for Kubiak's future?

"This is the worst and most embarrassing performance by the Texans I've seen," the Houston Chronicle's John McClain tweeted during Sunday's deflating beatdown. "Performances like this will get Gary Kubiak fired."

Ouch.

Owner Bob McNair is patient, not the kind of guy to succumb to knee-jerk reactions, but nobody likes to be embarrassed in successive weeks -- and this stinker was at home. McNair is a Kubiak ally, but it is hard to stand by a head coach whose specialty is coaching quarterbacks when your quarterbacks ... no, your entire team ... is playing like this.

--2. Yeah, sure, Vince Young. You are the answer to Houston's problems. Good luck with that.

--3. Aside from the obvious, here is what sticks out about the Texans: Their defense, ranked first overall prior to Sunday, has three turnovers in six games.

--4. Now playing at your neighborhood theater: "Gravity," starring the Texans.

--5. Aaron Rodgers should be upset with the loss of Randall Cobb. But that blow to Cobb's knee is a natural consequence of the league getting tough on tacklers for hitting high.

--6. Sure, the Minnesota Vikings have quarterback issues, but let's not overlook the obvious: Their defense stinks. "We have got to get better," coach Leslie Frazier said in the understatement of the afternoon.

--7. Not sure which is the bigger upset -- a Pittsburgh win or a Steelers' takeaway. Prior to Sunday, Pittsburgh had as many takeaways as it did victories.

--8. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, we feel your pain. The New Orleans Saints should have held on for a victory, but when the offense went conservative late, Ryan's defense was held to the fire ... and it finally short-circuited. Of course, that can happen when Tom Brady is the opponent, but the Saints seemed like such a lock that even Fox analyst Troy Aikman was talking about what a tough loss it was going to be for Brady and the New England Patriots to absorb. Not.

--9. It is not a porous defense that has me concerned about Green Bay; it is the Packers' offense. It takes too many field goals and just lost James Jones and Randall Cobb.

--10. Never bet against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in Tampa. His only two wins are there against the Buccaneers.

--11. I know one guy who is happy Tampa Bay made the change to quarterback Mike Glennon: wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Those were his first touchdown catches of the season.

--12. Cannot wait to see the ratings for next week's Monday Night game. It is Minnesota at the New York Giants, or two teams with a combined record of 1-10.

--13. When the Patriots signed free-agent Danny Amendola, he was described as another Wes Welker. One problem: Amendola cannot stay on the field, as New England is beginning to find out.

--14. Hard to imagine where the Patriots would be without wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins.

--15. Lardarius Webb is the Baltimore Ravens' best defensive back. So how does he get burned for that Jordy Nelson TD? Gotta believe it was a breakdown in the Ravens' defense, not all on Webb, and look at the replay: The safeties never budged until it was too late.

FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED

--1. The Cincinnati Bengals knew what they were doing when they made Giovani Bernard the first back chosen in the draft. Roll the videotape to Bernard's touchdown, and you will understand.

--2. Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden can start looking for a real-estate agent. Because of the season-ending injury to Brian Hoyer, Weeden has one more chance to prove he is the right guy for the Browns. Unfortunately, that stupid shovel pass late in Sunday's loss is more proof that he is not.

--3. There is no quarterback controversy in Philadelphia ... which is another way of saying Nick Foles should not sit down. Dating back to last week's Giants' game, Foles has five TD passes and one scoring run in seven quarters. More important, he has no turnovers, which is why I would keep Michael Vick nailed to the bench.

--4. Never bet against Russell Wilson in Seattle. He's 11-0 there and on Sunday overcame atypical mistakes by his teammates to keep the Seahawks atop the NFC West.

--5. Kansas City is legit, and those 10 sacks and three second-half interceptions are the proof. The Chiefs have the defense players to stay with anyone. Combine that with an offense that does not make mistakes and, yes, they are a legitimate threat to the Denver Broncos in the AFC West.

JUST ASKING BUT ...

What next for Matt Schaub and the Texans?

Does this mean the Steelers get their ping-pong paddles back?

Who is next week's quarterback for Minnesota?

What happens first -- an economic boom or Chris Johnson rushing TD?

Joseph Fauria? Really?

FIVE GUYS WHO HAVE SOME EXPLAINING TO DO

--1. New Orleans cornerback Keenan Lewis. He has a chance to tackle Aaron Dobson in-bounds late, with New England driving and the Patriots out of timeouts. Instead, he throws him to the sidelines. Why? It stopped the clock. Not smart.

--2. Green Bay safeties Jerron McMillan/Morgan Burnett. They are the guys to blame for allowing Tandon Doss to get behind them on fourth-and-21 late in Sunday's game, an inexcusable mistake if your name is not Rahim Moore.

--3. Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell. You have 12 seconds left in the first half and the ball at your 34. You are down by only three, and your offense cannot get going. So why are you throwing?

--4. Jets quarterback Geno Smith. A week ago, the New York Daily News announced that "A Star is Born" after the Jets' defeat of Atlanta. So now what? Let's get this straight, people: Smith is a rookie who looks good one week, not so good the next. He is not a star. Not yet. So let's settle down and understand that while he is 3-3, he is also responsible for 11 turnovers. If that were Mark Sanchez the tabloids would blow him up.

5. New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. It is third-and-goal at the 4, you are up on New Orleans by three, it is midway through the fourth quarter and you have Tom Brady. So why, oh, why, do you call Brandon Bolden's number? Fans booed, and it is easy to understand why.

NUMBERS THAT MAY MEAN SOMETHING

--0 -- Jimmy Graham catches

--1 -- TD allowed by Baltimore at home in the last 16 quarters, including the playoffs

--2 -- Cam Newton road games with three TD passes

--3 -- A.J. Hawk sacks

--5 -- Sacks of Tom Brady, a career high

--7-1 -- Colin Kaepernick at home, including the playoffs

--9 -- Mason Crosby field goals the past two weeks

--(-12) -- Houston Texans' takeaway/turnover ratio

--33 -- Consecutive games with a New England takeaway

--65 -- Points allowed by the Chiefs this season

--143.4 - Cam Newton's passer rating, a career best

NEXT WEEKEND's THREE BEST GAMES

Denver at Indianapolis

Cincinnati at Detroit

Dallas at Philadelphia

--Clark Judge, a Senior NFL Writer for The Sports Xchange, has covered pro football since 1982 and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
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