HOUSTON -- Coach Gary Kubiak avoided a possible quarterback controversy on Monday by naming Case Keenum as the Houston Texans' starter for Sunday's game against Jacksonville at Reliant Stadium.
Seldom does a 2-8 team with an eight-game losing streak have a quarterback controversy, but that is what the Texans would have experienced if Kubiak didn't name Keenum the starter.
Kubiak pulled Keenum late in the third quarter of the 28-23 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday and replaced him with Matt Schaub.
"I've got total confidence in him," Kubiak said. "I made a decision based on something I was fixing to go do in the fourth quarter that I thought would be very difficult on a young player. That's why I put Matt in, and he got us in position to win.
"We had to make a lot of changes from a protection standpoint to handle some of the things they were doing. I knew Matt could get done some of the things I wanted to get done, real fast, and to give us a chance to win the game."
Keenum was excited to hear from Kubiak that he would be back in the lineup.
"I expect to make the start every week, and I'm going to prepare the same way," Keenum said.
Keenum, an undrafted second-year player from the University of Houston, made his fourth consecutive start against the Raiders. He threw his eighth touchdown pass and suffered his first interception in the first half. After three ineffective possessions in the third quarter, on which he threw for 30 yards, he was replaced by Schaub.
Keenum left with the Texans trailing 28-17. He finished 13-of-24 for 170 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. He was feeble against the Oakland blitzes in the second half, as he had been in the second half of previous games.
Of Keenum's eight touchdown passes, seven have been in the first half. Defenses blitzed him into oblivion in the second half.
When Schaub entered the game, the fans booed so loudly the offense had to make adjustments.
"It was disappointing because we had to go to our silent count at home because we couldn't hear," left guard Wade Smith said. "It was disappointing because it was affecting how we play.
"We're all grown men and have thick skin, but the fact we had to adjust what we were doing put us at a disadvantage, like we were on the road."
Running back Ben Tate, who ran for 88 yards on 19 carries, wasn't happy with the fan reaction to Schaub, either.
"The fans in Houston are so up and down and so wishy-washy," Tate said. "I'm shocked at that because this organization has come a long way. I just feel like if you're a true fan, you stick with the team through the tough times."
In the fourth quarter, Schaub led the Texans to a pair of field goals. On their last drive, the Texans had a first down at Oakland's 11 and third-and-1 at the Raiders' 2. They failed to get a first down or a touchdown.
After Schaub threw incomplete to Andre Johnson in the end zone on the last play, he got into a heated argument with his favorite receiver. They had to be separated. Johnson left the sideline and went to the dressing room with time left on the clock and the defense on the field.
Johnson took the blame.
"I messed up," he said. "I didn't do my part. I could've made a play that would have had a different outcome. We exchanged some words. It's just the heat of the moment. Once we got in the locker room we talked about it. I'm not worried about it.
"Me and Matt have played a lot of football together. Things like that happen. We have a good relationship. There's a lot of frustration going on, and I think it happened because of frustration."
Schaub also played down the incident.
"It's just emotions, emotions of the game, a culmination of a lot of things but stuff we'll keep between us," Schaub said. "He's a great guy and a great competitor as am I. That's behind us."