The New England Patriots knew that the Houston Texans would not be a cake walk…no team in the NFL is and in any given week, one team can defeat another…which is why the game is played in the first place.
Sunday, the Patriots didn’t expect the shootout that transpireed and Tom Brady certainly didn’t expect to have to come back from a 10-point first half deficit.
“I wish we could start fast and put the foot on the gas pedal the whole way,” Patriot QB Tom Brady said. “Whatever we’re doing is not good enough, and we can’t keep getting behind because you have to play too well in the second half to overcome,” Brady said.
The Houston Texans pulled out all the stops to try and secure a victory against the Oakland Raiders including pulling Case Keenum and replacing him with Matt Schaub. Keenum was not playing bad at all and through the third quarter had completed 13 of 24 passes for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Hardly reason to pull him off the field.
If any one section of the team was faltering it was the Texans defense which was picked apart by Raiders rookie quarterback Matt McGloin who fired off 18 of 32 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak, who was in the booth for the game, called down to the field and had them replace Keenum with Schaub.
“What was happening was, we had to make a lot of changes from a protection standpoint to handle some of the things they were doing,” Kubiak said after the game. “Trying to create some tempo and do that. And it made it very tough on Case, in my opinion, being a young player. I knew that Matt could get done some of the things that I wanted to get done, real fast, and to give us a chance to win the football game. So that’s why I did it.”
Schaub went on to finish the game but in the 4th quarter, after missing All Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson with a pass, got into a verbal confrontation with the receiver.
“We just exchanged some words,” Johnson said. “It’s just the heat of the moment; once we got in the locker room we talked about it. I’m not worried about it; me and Matt have played a lot of football together. Things like that happen, I think there’s a lot of frustration going on, and I think it happened because of frustration.”
The Texans have announced several changes to their coaching staff.
Dan Hammerschmidt has been hired as an offensive assistant, Marc Lubick has been promoted to assistant wide receivers coach and Jim Ryan is now the Texans’ assistant offensive line coach. Lubick and Ryan both spent last season as Texans offensive assistants.
Hammerschmidt was a college coach for the past 26 seasons, including 19 at his alma mater Colorado State. He was CSU’s co-offensive coordinator with Texans offensive line coach John Benton from 2001-03. He was wide receivers coach at Rice in 2008, mentoring Texans fullback and Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jarett Dillard.
Lubick, who is entering his fifth NFL season, served as a Texans offensive assistant from 2010-11. He will continue to work with wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey.
Ryan is entering his seventh season in the league and second with the Texans. He takes over for Frank Pollack, who is now the offensive line coach of the Oakland Raiders.