I, like most of you, was curious to see what would happen when Matt Leinart was given a chance to lead the first team offense in glorious combat. I wanted to believe that he could lead us to the promised land, mostly because I don't know how to tie a noose. I thought he could do it, even going up to the point where he injured his collarbone...again.
I don't know how exactly, but losing Leinart for the season actually bothers me worse than losing Schaub, and I like Matt Schaub. Actually, I take that back, I know why it hurts more. With Leinart, we kind of knew what we could expect. We had a sample, small as it may have been, of what Leinart was capable of. Now we have a rookie (T.J. Yates), a scrub (Kellen Clemens), and a yet-to-be-determined third quarterback (Kubiak??) that the Texans will have to rely on to get to their first playoff berth in franchise history.
It's scary. Anyone who saw today's game knows that's a scary prospect. But all is not lost, gentle reader.
In relief of Leinart just before the half, Yates actually played pretty well, in my opinion. He'll have time to take snaps with the first team, which he hasn't had the opportunity to do yet. Clemens, though a scrub, does have experience as a starting quarterback. And, lest we forget, we still have one of the top-rated defenses and running games in the league to back them up, and we still play the Colts and Traitors.
Did I mention the 8-3 record? Because we have that.
Keep hope alive, and don't reach for the bleach!
Now on to the red zone, jump here to read it...or stagger if you're still in no condition to jump.
First Red Zone Drive
On first-and-10 from the 16, the Texans, under the brave leadership of Matt Leinart, tossed a short pass to James Casey for five yards.
Second down came at the Jacksonville 11, and the Texans ran Ben "Particles" Tate up the middle for an eight-yard gain and a fresh set of downs.
From the three, the Texans faced first-and-goal, and ran Arian Foster off the right end for a gain of one yard.
Then it was second-and-goal from the two, again the Texans called upon the services of Foster, who ran the ball up the middle of the line for another one yard gain.
The Texans then faced third-and-goal from the, you guessed it, one yard line. And doggone it, since Foster had taken the last two carries, Kubiak decided to call another play for him. Foster jumped, nay, flew over the pile and into the end zone for the score.
Time Spent in Red Zone: 2:36
End Result: Arian Foster takes flight into the end zone for the touchdown!
Score: Houston 7 - Jacksonville 7
Second Red Zone Drive
Our second appearance in the red zone begins after Leinart chucks a short six-yard pass to Arian Foster to get the Texans to the 20, the bare minimum to be considered in the red zone.
And on second-and-four from the 20, Leinart zapped a 20-yard pass to Joel Dreessen who bowled his way into the end zone.
Time Spent in Red Zone: :49
End Result: Joel Dreessen hammers his way into the end zone for the touchdown!
Score: Houston 14 - Jacksonville 10
Third Red Zone Drive
The third, and final, red zone drive marked the end of the Leinart Era in Houston and the start of T.J. Yates' career as a Texan. His fourth pass as a professional quarterback got the Texans into the red zone, courtesy of a 24-yard pass to Owen Daniels.
On first-and-goal from the six, Yates gets called for intentional grounding and the offense gets backed up 10 yards and loses a down.
With the Texans facing second-and-16, they gave the ball to Foster, who gained all of one yard on the play.
Third down came at the Jags' 15 and with time quickly ticking away, Yates promptly spiked the ball, which already puts him ahead of Caleb Hanie. But maybe the red zone review is a bit biased in that respect.
Finally, on fourth-and-15, Neil Rackers successfully booted a 33-yard field goal.
Time Spent in Red Zone: :39
End Result: Neil Rackers puts an extra three points on the board with a 33-yard field goal.
Score: Houston 20 - Jacksonville 10
Number of Red Zone Trips: 3
Total Amount of Time in Red Zone: 4:04
Average Amount of Time in Red Zone: 1:21
Red Zone Efficiency: 3/3 (100%)
Scores in Red Zone: 2 TD (Foster, Dreessen) 1 FG (Rackers 33)
Next week, the fightin' T.J.s take on the Atlanta Falcons. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to drinking.