I spent the majority of the past week on a business trip in Boston. Inevitably, when on a business trip, one gets involved in extensive small talk. You talk about your family, your background, your pets, and your hobbies, but the conversation will always evolve towards sports.
So on multiple occasions this week, I've had some iteration of the following exchange:
Me: I'm a Texans fan.
Boston guy: Aw man, so what's up with Shahb?
Me: Well, it sucks.
Boston guy: Yah and now Leinaht too.
Me: Yeah, still sucks.
Boston guy: So who's stahting fo yah now?
Me: T.J. Yates
Boston guy: Well, we did pretty well with Tahm a few yeas back.
Me: I hate you right now
Boston guy: Ah man, Bobby F*@%in' Valentine!
Me: You're not even listening anymore.
Boston guy: BOBBY F*@%IN' VALENTINE!
I'm heading back to Boston next week, and I don't really feel like doing this again, so I decided to put together a quick FAQ regarding the current state of Texans fanhood for those interested.
Who the hell is T.J. Yates?
T.J. Yates is the Texans' fifth round draft pick from the 2011 draft out of North Carolina. He holds a number of school passing records, such as career passing yards and single season passing yards,breaking records previously held by Darius Durant and Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice. Plus, if hairlines are any indicator, he should be able to fill in for Schaub admirably.
As a Texans fan, do you abandon all hope and start drinking heavily, or is there still a chance you can drink heavily in celebration?
The chances of making the playoffs are still extremely high, so I recommend a celebratory drink for that. Once they begin, however, I would have to say that the odds of making a deep run are very limited, so that may be an abandonment drink. In general, I recommend drinking heavily and attributing the cause later.
Hey, it's Falcons week! Does Dunta still suck?
Yes. Yes, he does. He's ranked 59th in WPA according to Advanced NFL Stats. I guess $57 million doesn't buy what it used to.
Remember when we all thought he was going to be a badass for the Texans for years to come?
Yeah, and it is a bit sad, but he was just never himself after that injury. Then he acted like an entitled trust fund baby when he didn't get his extension, despite the fact that there was no evidence that he could be a shutdown corner going forward.
Does the Dunta thing scare you when you think of Mario Williams' future?
I don't think that Mario would go all jerkwad on us, but the situations are eerily similar. The key difference here is that Mario has a much more proven history of elite play. Look for some Mario franchising drama in the offseason though.
What's up with the defense? Is this sustainable?
The Texans defense has been as well rounded as any in the league. Between the strong pass rush, excellent linebacker play, and incredibly improved secondary, they've had a different hero every week. Because the excellent play has come from so many areas, they've been able to sustain the drop-off in play by DeMeco Ryans, the loss of Mario Williams and the lack of injury to Kareem Jackson while still playing at a nearly elite level. They won't be able to sustain many more injuries, but barring that, they can continue this play.
Seriously?! T.J. Yates?!
Yeah. I know it's rough, but the Texans probably still have the best quarterback in the division. Sure, that's like being the cleanest guy in Tennessee, but at least they should still win the division.
I guess it will still be ok as long as he can just win games.
That's not a question.
Would it be ok if he just wins games?
Let's hope not. That's not exactly working out for the Eagles now, is it? Let's just hope T.J. can move the ball a bit and avoid major mistakes.
Let's say, hypothetically, that T.J. Yates does an amazing job. Does this make for a QB controversy next year?
In that hypothetical situation, where I'm sure I've also convinced my wife and Vanessa Marcil to some shared lovin', I'd still say, "No" (true story: Vanessa Marcil is married to my wife's cousin, so I guess in this scenario, we have his consent, but he's still not invited). Even under these completely fantastical assumptions, the best case scenario is the AFC Championship Game. In other words, I'd say that the odds of the Texans going further than that are about the same as my little scenario up there. So with that said, I think Schaub gives you the best chance for 2012 and the Texans will definitely still be in "win now" mode.
Do we have to start listening to "Schaub is injury prone" talk again?
Well, we don't have to listen to it. Schaub did just play 46 games in a row, so I think calling him injury prone is probably a bit of a stretch.
Can the Titans still win the division?
Clorox or store brand?
The store brand seems to have a little bit of an acidic finish, whereas Clorox can be a little smoother and have a bit of a fruitier nose.