So, if you missed the introductory Kubiak Konondrum post, you can check it out here:
Every week we will look at Kubiak's performance in an effort to see beyond our biases for or against him and evaluate his performance going forward, specifically in regards to game management.
Week One Scorecard: Bye Week
Yup, the Colts game was basically a bye for Kubiak in regards to game management. As y'all know, the game was for all practical purposes over by the middle of the second quarter, and so there were no challenges, no timeout issues, and no opportunities to throw a half back pass from inside the ten (well, I guess there were,
but . . .).
That being said, we've gotta talk about something, and I attribute the only coaching debate from the game to that need to criticize something, anything, no matter how small.
During the second half, still high on my euphoria and multiple varieties of Shiner, I picked up my phone to find three different texts lamenting Kubiak's decision to “let off the gas.” Even my future wife, who has proved her fandom by dressing up as Vodka Collins one Halloween, was sitting next to me echoing the sentiment. If you think my friends just are cynical, check the message boards and talk radio.
BFD already did a great job of addressing the issue:
His research shows exactly what I felt during the game. Kubiak didn't take the foot off the gas as much as a few turnovers kept us from adding to the pile of points.
Besides BFD's portrait of a completely balanced play call in the third quarter, I want to highlight one play to reinforce the point that Kubiak was fairly aggressive. On the first Texans drive of the second half, Houston was faced with a third and five from around midfield. Schaub dropped back and chunked a back shoulder throw to AJ at least thirty yards downfield. Not exactly taking their proverbial (or literal) ball and going home.
The Texans' next drive, of course, was also a nice blend of passing and running, utilizing none other than Steve Slaton. The drive ended with Schaub's terrible interception and the next one with Tate's fumble. Only after the second turnover of the half did Kubiak let up at all and that was for all of one drive. If anything, I could see a criticism of Kubiak for being too aggressive.
The only other thing I can imagine criticizing Kubes for in game one is the decision to keep Schaub and AJ in the game, although he did noticeably start calling plays for people other than AJ, only using him as a decoy. In the post game presser, Kubiak said that he believes Schaub is the team's leader and should ideally take every snap of the season. I'm not sure I would go that far, and I think the mentality is being a bit reckless and overly symbolic; but as no one got hurt and we shouldn't see too many situations like this ever, I'm not going to chalk it up as a negative.
If the issue of whether to bench Schaub becomes a recurring theme, I will gladly revisit this stance. Gladly, because it will mean a bushel of blow out wins. Kubiak would also most likely be riding a resurgent wave of public favor and this post series would be much less relevant. I'd gladly take it.
As always, tell me how I'm wrong or if I missed anything in the comments.