Week 16 NFL rewind:

Kubiak’s focus on fixing what ails Texans, not job security

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans are spiraling out of control with a 2-4 record and a four-game losing streak entering Sunday's game against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, but coach Gary Kubiak has bigger issues than worrying about being fired.

The Texans have embarrassed themselves in the past two games, losing to San Francisco and St. Louis by a combined score of 72-16. Quarterback Matt Schaub has injuries to his right foot and right ankle and will be an "end-of-the-week decision," according to Kubiak.

Asked on Monday if he's worried about his job, Kubiak said, "I'm not worried about me. I'd be very selfish if I worried about myself. I'm worried about my players and trying to find a way to correct these mistakes."

Owner Bob McNair has been extremely patient with Kubiak, who is in his eighth season with the Texans. They won division titles and a playoff game in each of the past two seasons. But they have been humiliated in the last two defeats.

Meanwhile, Kubiak said he would get T.J. Yates and Case Keenum prepared to start at Kansas City if Schaub can't play. Yates has replaced Schaub in each of the past two games and threw two red zone interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown against the Rams.

Keenum, who starred at the University of Houston and is a local fan favorite, signed as an undrafted free agent last year. Like Yates, he played well in preseason, but he hasn't thrown a pass in a meaningful game since the 2011 season against Penn State.

Schaub wanted to return to the St. Louis game after being sidelined on a sack by defensive end Chris Long, but the game was already out of hand, and Kubiak kept him on the bench.

Houston fans have been getting a lot of well-deserved negative attention locally and nationally. Many cheered when Schaub was on the ground.

"We appreciate you loyal fans and the fans that stick by us, but for the fans that cheered when he got hurt, that's disgusting," offensive tackle Duane Brown said. "You can feel how you want about him as a player, but this is his livelihood and how he provides for his family.

"When a man goes down and isn't able to get up, you don't know what's wrong with him. That could be the last play of his career, and for you to applaud that? I have no words for it."

The players also defended Kubiak and said they're to blame, not the head coach.

"This isn't about Coach Kubiak," inside linebacker Brian Cushing said. "He's a tremendous head coach that takes care of us. Coach Kubiak prepares us perfectly for games. He takes a lot of heat on himself, but the bottom line is this is on us."

The Texans are minus-12 in turnover ratio through six games. They were plus-9 last season.

"Obviously, it's frustrating when you know what you're capable of, and you know the expectations you have for yourself and your team," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "We have the guys to dig out of a hole like this, but we have to prove it."

If not for one meaningless touchdown at the end of the Rams game, the Texans wouldn't have scored a touchdown in three of four games.

"It's just playing bad," Foster said. "We're not converting third downs and staying on the field, giving our defense a chance. We're putting them in terrible situations (with) turnovers and penalties. We need to check ourselves."

--SS Danieal Manning suffered a "significant knee injury," according to Kubiak, "and could be out a while." He'll be replaced by Shiloh Keo.

--WR Keshawn Martin, the regular punt and kickoff returner, was used as the third receiver who plays in the slot against the Rams. But he didn't return kickoffs or punts until an injury knocked kickoff returner Danieal Manning out of the game. Martin had a sore shoulder. He fumbled on a kickoff, and it was returned for a touchdown.

--FB Greg Jones suffered a sprained ankle but could play against Kansas City.
View Comments (1)