The rough patch for Matt Schaub continues as the Texans receive a beat-down at the hands of a highly motivated 49ers team. The Former Virginia quarterback has thrown a pick-six in four straight games and has been intercepted in every game this season. He was missing some simple throws throughout the night in this game (most of them high) and has to be lacking in confidence in the 2013 season. Granted, he was facing a stout San Francisco defense, but this is a “D” that was depleted without their stars in Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, and Nnamdi Asomugha. Randy Bullock did miss a field goal in the first quarter, but that was nowhere near the reason why Houston dropped this one. Three points is almost never enough to win a game in the NFL.
Colin Kaepernick did not play very well in this game. Luckily he didn’t need to as the Niners were able to force four turnovers and rack up a respectable 177 yards on the ground. Kap was only 6/15 for 113 yards (64 of those coming on his one touchdown pass to Vernon Davis). The Houston coverage was pretty solid, but the 49er quarterback was off with a great majority of his throws. Of course, San Fran hardly ever has to rely on beast performances from their QB’s in order to win games. All that is required of them is that they do not make careless mistakes, and Kapernick did not (as evidenced by his 0 turnovers). I do appreciate his willingness to slide or get down on a running play. The man rarely takes a huge hit when he takes off with the ball which is part of the reason why he will probably be very durable during his stay in the NFL.
Gary Kubiak has been firmly behind Schaub since the team signed him in 2007 and I think this is the first time in #8’s career where he has earned some doubts from his head coach. T.J. Yates was thrown in the game early in the fourth quarter in relief of the struggling quarterback. He did not fare much better than did Schaub. In fact, nothing the Texans did in the air made any of their fans feel any good. Arian Foster looked pretty good on the ground, but was unable to showcase a lot of his stuff since the team was trailing within the first minute and a half of the game. Ben Tate did not look too bad either (although he did lose a fumble). The Houston ground game has been very good over the last couple of weeks so I expect them to come out next week against the Rams and run it down their throats. The Texans need to string together a couple of good offensive performances for the fans to feel good about the state of the team again.
Many people have regarded the 49ers as a disappointment early in the season, but I feel like it is undeserved. Sure, they did not look good in beatings at the hands of the Seahawks and Colts, but those teams are 4-1. Outside of that sour two week stretch, the Niners have looked pretty good. Once again, their offensive line was dominant in this game. They did some nice work on the right side of the line, doubling J.J. Watt and paving the way for some gutty runs via Frank Gore. The lack of an outside receiver opposite of Anquan Boldin has been the biggest reason why the team is only 3-2 at this point in the season, but if San Francisco can carve up another team with a running game and a solid defense, it should not matter all that much. I think the team should find more creative ways to involve Kyle Williams in the offense. He had one run for 13 yards on a reverse. His speed can create some mismatches in the secondary and he could be the guy who teams will have to keep an eye on going forward, thus drawing double teams away from Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin.
The 49ers are rolling now. After two dominant wins that were backed by strong performances out of the running game and the defense, the team is once again over .500. They look to continue this success next week at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The Texans need a win in the worst way following their third straight loss. They already trail the Colts by two games in the AFC South and currently sit in third place in the division. Once again, the team will need to play efficiently on offense next week against the Rams for them to regain some of that confidence. It will help out if Matt Schaub can avoid turning the football over. In all reality this team is really lucky to be 2-3 at this point in the season, so this is a franchise that is desperate for something to feel good about.