If you haven't read it yet, here's Part I. On to Part II:
1. Lots of talk about Matt Schaub, and it seems to be of the chicken-egg variety. Did Schaub look bad because the offensive line couldn't keep the Jets off of him? Or was Schaub at least party responsible for the hits he took due to a lack of mobility, which could be attributed to the sprained ankle (although Schaub's never going to be mistaken for Fran Tarkenton)? None of us can say with any certainty, but this much is for sure: Matt Schaub is not equipped to shrug off the Titans' pressure like Ben Roethlisberger did last week. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I've ever seen Schaub slip out of or shrug off a sack. Have you? If Tennessee, albeit from a 4-3, manages to get in Schaub's kitchen like the Jets did, we're screwed on Sunday.
2. This brings us back to Kubes and Kyle Shanahan. If Schaub was truly still feeling the effects of that ankle sprain, it makes their offensive game plan even more inexplicable. It makes the almost complete lack of screens and slants that much more galling.
3. Your secondary's in a very bad way when its singular highlight is an interception and subsequent fumble by a player who very well may have been the last guy to make the team. That observation isn't meant to disparage John Busing; it's meant to underscore how awful Brice McCain, Glover Quin, Fred Bennett, Dominique Barber, Nick Ferguson, and Dunta Robinson were. Not only in coverage, mind you (where they were horrific), but also in wrapping up. I find it hard to fathom that David Gibbs is coaching his defensive backs to dive at ankles, yet that's all we saw on Sunday.
4. Every game that Nick Ferguson starts at FS is a game that the Texans are sending ten men instead of eleven onto the field.
5. Which brings us to Dunta Robinson. I'm hesitant to waste too much time on the guy, as I've reached the bitter conclusion that I cannot fathom a scenario where he's a Texan next year. His laughably poor read of his market value had already ensured he wasn't getting a long-term deal in Houston, and that was before he upped the idiocy quotient by writing "Pay Me, Rick" on his cleats for Sunday's game. He'd have to make a quantum leap in productivity over the next few months to warrant consideration of applying the franchise tag to him again, and that's making the very large assumption that Bob McNair would sign off on bringing a "disrespected" (read: ungrateful) Dunta back at all in 2010. Most importantly, Dunta didn't look like a player worth the almost $10,000,000.00 salary he's banking in '09. Dunta's strength has always been his tackling and run support, and neither of those traits were visible on Sunday. If the Texans weren't so awful at DB, I'd demote Dunta to the nickel. As such, I'm writing "Stop Stealing, Dunta" on the back of my sneakers on Sunday.
6. We've read and heard a lot of different opinions about how the Texans fared against the run. I was actually somewhat impressed with how they stood up against the run in the first half, but I think that's solely because I had such minimal expectations.
7. I'll leave the Brian Cushing grade to the rest of you, as I'm admittedly biased. All I will say is that I hope Cushing's place on the sidelines on third down was more a result of easing him back from the knee sprain than a testament to how he'll be used during the season.
8. Thoughts on Frank Bush's first foray into regular season defensive coordinating? Personally, I thought it was darn refreshing to see actual blitzing, although it wasn't nearly as effective as it needs to be. All the blitzing in the world is worthless if you don't actually touch the QB. And while the Texans' defense was totally carved up by a rookie QB on third and long throughout the afternoon, it probably says a whole lot about how gun-shy I am from the Richard Smith Era that I can even attempt to find a silver lining by noticing that actually getting the opposition into third and long could be considered an improvement in some circles.
9. With all that said, you're really circling the bowl when you're trying to sell "Hey, we got 'em to third down!" as a positive. Truth be told, there weren't any positives I can really glean from the disaster against the Jets. The Texans got their arses handed to them, at home, by a rookie QB and a rookie head coach, in every facet of the game. The Texans looked completely unprepared and were an unfettered embarrassment to the organization, the city, and the fan base. It's only one game, but this ain't baseball; Smithiak doesn't have another 161 to straighten things out. It's put up or shut up time in Nashville on Sunday. If we see another effort like we saw two days ago, it's gonna get ugly around here.