Is Gary Kubiak Too Conservative and Other AFC South Must-Reads

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistDecember 18, 2012

Yeah, I'd give you a thumbs down, coach.
Yeah, I'd give you a thumbs down, coach.Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Against the Indianapolis Colts, Gary Kubiak didn't take any chances.

Throughout the game, Kubiak called safe plays in long-yardage situations, exposing his team to little risk and piling up five field goals en route to a 29-17 victory that was closer on the scoreboard than on the field.

Today's article of the day comes from Stephanie Stradley of the Houston Chronicle who defends Kubiak's record of conservative play calling.

She argues that Kubiak has not always been conservative but is letting game situations and the quality of his defense dictate his strategy. In the past, he was quick to open it up when context demanded he do so.

There's no disputing the reason why Kubiak chose to play it close to the vest offensively; the only question is whether it was a wise course of action.

On one hand, the Texans did win the game. They avoided the kind of turnovers that have plagued them in past comebacks at the hands of the Colts.

At the same time, they let an inferior opponent hang around by repeatedly settling for field goals. The clock management and play calling at the end of the first half was particularly bad.

What should worry Texans fans is what we saw from the New England Patriots in Week 15. Trailing 31-3, they stormed back on the San Francisco 49ers, eventually tying the game.

Should the Texans get the chance to put a quality opponent away, they should do so when they have the chance.

Whether it's situational or personality driven, the Texans cannot afford a right turn from Kubiak in January or they'll find their road to New Orleans will run out of pavement quickly.


General Interest

Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats looks at Dallas punts.

Chase Stuart of Football Perspective adjusts sack rate for strength of schedule.

The Football Outsiders share their collective Week 15 thoughts.


Houston Texans

Stuart says J.J. Watt broke the record for sacks by a 3-4 end.

Watt talks to Colin Cowherd (tip to Paul Kuharsky)

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans need to win Sunday to clinch the top seed.


Indianapolis Colts

Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star looks at Watt's domination of the Indy line.

Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star says the Colts hope Chuck Pagano returns to the sideline next week.


Tennessee Titans

Tom Gower of Total Titans coins a new word to describe the Titans' win.

Paul Kuharsky of says the Titans let the Texans make the mistakes.

David Climer of the Tennessean says Chris Johnson's shoes told their own story.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union writes that 2-12 makes things unstable for Mike Mularkey.

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports that Maurice Jones-Drew is questionable.