1, 2, 3 strikes you’re…still okay?
Dad: So Schaub’s out. What are we going to do?
Me: Idk dad, probably look to sign a veteran backup and hope Matt Leinart can carry this team to the playoffs.
Dad: Hmmm, seems sensible. What do you think of him (Leinart)?
Me: I haven’t really seen him play any significant snaps, so you’re guess is as good as mine.
If a father and son support the same football team then this is the worst conversation they could possibly imagine having, unless you’re a Redskins fan this season*. The starting quarterback for your team is done for the season, and you are going to have to rely on your untested, unreliable backup who hasn’t played a significant down of football since Tim Tebow became relevant. IS THIS HOW YOU SCREW US NFL GODS?
The NFL Gods responded: We’re just getting warmed up*
Take that entire conversation I had with my Dad, and if you replace Schaub with Leinart, and Leinart with Yates then you already know how that conversation went.
So now me and my dad were supposed to believe in not the starting quarterback, not the backup quarterback, but the third stringer? T.J. Yates, more like T.J. Yikes I thought. I’m not going to stand back here and say I was rational and looked at the big picture and knew we would be okay, because then I’d be writing bullshit. I freaked out. I was on the Brett Favre train, I had my gas tank full and was ready to drive to MiddleofNoWhereVille, Mississippi to pick up the AARP member myself. I convinced myself he would manage/slightly nudge us to a Super Bowl title and then he could retire in peace and let us get on with our lives and never hear another Favre retirement story. Well I guess Mr. Yates, a 5th round pick out of UNC, must’ve been sick of people like me doubting him before he had even taken a competitive snap in the NFL because* I WAS DEAD WRONG.
Taylor Jonathan Yates came out of the tunnel last Sunday to 70,000 fans nervously waiting to see if he could lead them to the promised land, and you know what? He showed us exactly what we wanted to see.
1) He didn’t turn the ball over
2) He can hand the ball off
3) He can take a snap under center*
4) He can throw an accurate spiral*
5) He can feel the pressure
So after seeing TJ Yates in action I am a lot more confident that we will not only make the playoffs, but make quite a good run in them too. He showed poise and awareness that people could only hope Matt Leinart had. He controlled the huddle and had the entire team’s attention when he wanted it. He responded with a great TD drive after the Falcons tied it up. He just did everything the Houston Texans could possibly have wanted him to do, and he did it without looking like a rookie.
Of course I could be completely wrong and the Texans could pull a typical Texans and manage to transform a quiet ride to the promised land of the playoffs into the most dramatic division title race in the last 20 years by losing all their games. I hope that doesn’t happen but when you’re a Texans fan it’s in your nature to brace yourself for the worst possible scenario.
Except in this QB scenario it seems the worst possible scenario is actually going to be okay.