On Sept. 15, Matt Schaub hit DeAndre Hopkins for a three-yard touchdown in overtime against the Tennessee Titans, and the Houston Texans improved to 2-0. The Texans had won on the final play of the game for the second straight week and it would be easy to see why Houston fans were excited; their wins were exciting. Plus they won, which is the most important thing of all. Why wouldn't we have expected the Texans to be on their way to their third straight AFC South title?
What a difference nine games make.
The Texans lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, their ninth loss in a row to send them to 2-9. That now leaves them in the cellar of the South and potentially on their way to the worst record in the NFL. While that would allow them to pick anybody they wanted in the 2014 NFL Draft, including Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater or South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, it could spell doom for head coach Gary Kubiak. What other conclusion could we come to after seeing what happens when everything goes wrong?
The Jaguars are widely considered to be the worst team in the NFL, but they went into Houston in Week 12 and won, 13-6. Quarterback Chad Henne threw for 239 yards and Maurice Jones-Drew had 144 total yards and a touchdown in Jacksonville's win, just its second of the year. Is it time to start considering the Texans as the worst team in the NFL?
As described on SB Nation last week, the Texans are a far cry from the team they were a year ago and the collapse seems to coincide with the poor play of Schaub. But it's not just Schaub's fault, as the pass defense is among the worst in the league and the special teams unit is right at the bottom. Even with J.J. Watt still playing at an All-Pro level, he can't do it on his own, and that's basically exactly what the defense is asking him to do without linebacker Brian Cushing.
If the Texans do end up picking first in the draft next year, will they move on from Schaub and Case Keenum or upgrade their defense first with a pick of Clowney? As exciting as it may appear to team Watt with Clowney, Keenum had his second underwhelming performance in a row and if Kubiak is dismissed, a new head coach would likely ask for a new quarterback to build around. That's only if Houston picks first.
Their remaining schedule may allow them to do that.
Whether they pick first or fifth, the Texans clearly have a lot more holes on their roster than we thought they did two months ago. They could pick a quarterback or go with a defensive player, but considering how bad they've looked lately, with the loss to Jacksonville arguably representing rock bottom, they clearly have needs all over the field.
This is a team that is two last-minute plays away from being 0-11.