The Texans' slow start is at least partially due to quarterback Matt Schaub's shaky play, and if there was any question before, it's been answered now—the fans have officially turned on the 32-year-old signal-caller.
With the Texans trailing 31-6 in the third quarter, Schaub went down on a sack by Rams defensive end Chris Long, suffering an ankle injury in the process.
Then, the fans at Reliant Stadium let the QB have it. Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle tweeted:
Texans fans may have erupted into cheers when T.J. Yates entered the game under center, but those cheers didn't last for long.
Yates threw a 98-yard pick-six to linebacker Alec Ogletree on his fifth attempt—the fifth consecutive game in which an interception has been returned for a touchdown against Houston.
A few things come to mind in this scenario. Karma is one. The old saying "be careful what you wish for" is another.
The behavior of the fans didn't sit well with several of Schaub's teammates, according to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com.
Linebacker Brian Cushing called the cheers for an injured Schaub "barbaric," while left tackle Duane Brown said, "[F]or the fans that cheered when he got hurt, that's disgusting. You can feel how you want about him as a player, but this is his livelihood. This is how he provides for his family."
Cornerback Jonathan Joseph was decidedly more blunt:
"You don't cheer about nobody being injured—I don't care who it is. Guys lay their bodies on the line out there on that field," wide receiver Andre Johnson added. "Some guys get injuries, and it affects them their whole lives. To cheer about something like that, it just shows they have no class."
It's also worth noting that while the Texans were in a huge hole when Schaub got hurt, he hadn't played terribly in the game.
Unless Schaub is playing both ways, it's not his fault the Texans gave up 38 points.
Matt Schaub wasn't made available to the media after the game, but Ganguli points out that Schaub was pacing the sideline during the fourth quarter, his ankle heavily wrapped. Schaub's status for Week 7 isn't known, but even if the veteran can play, it appears that the reeling Texans have come to a fork in the road.
Head coach Gary Kubiak has a decision to make. If Sunday was any indication, the fans have already made theirs.