St. Louis Rams vs. Houston Texas: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Houston
The implosion has continued; the Houston Texans are on the brink of a full-out collapse.
Another loss like this 38-13 one to the St. Louis Rams could send the Texans spiraling down a path from which there is no return.
The Texans suffered a complete team failure in this one; the Rams dominated the Texans in nearly all facets of the game.
After last week, it seemed impossible that things could get much worse for this horrifyingly bad Texans team.
But it has. Here are the game grades from another terrible loss.
Matt Schaub: C+
You know the saying, "The stats don't lie"? In many cases, it's almost always true.
But when it comes to Matt Schaub's performance against the Rams, it's completely wrong. Schaub's numbers, which appear to be halfway decent considering Schaub missed much of the second half with an injury, do not tell the full story about his performance.
Schaub was hesitant on many of his plays, throwing short when he needed to go deep. He was afraid to challenge the weak Rams defense, and when he came under pressure, he unsurprisingly folded.
Schaub did not have a miserable game as he has had in recent weeks, but he did nothing to help the Texans.
T.J. Yates: D
Once Schaub went down with a leg injury, it was T.J. Yates' time to shine—his time to show that he can lead the team if Schaub is ever benched.
Yates, though, failed to impress in his most important game since 2011. In fact, he was downright bad. He threw two interceptions—one of which went for a pick-six, of course.
All in all, Yates looked inexperienced and unsure of himself and certainly did not look like he was ready to take over the Texans.
Arian Foster: A
Amidst one of the most embarrassingly bad defeats in Texans' history lay Arian Foster, the one shining gem in a pile of coal.
Foster was absolutely dominant; he put on one his best performances in recent memory. The Rams' defense could not contain him, and he rushed for over 140 yards, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. He also added 54 receiving yards to his incredible total.
There is no excuse for the Texans to lose when Foster is running so well, but they somehow allowed allowed the Rams to destroy them.
Ben Tate: C-
Throughout most of the first half of the season, Ben Tate was above and beyond one of the best backup running backs in the league. In fact, he was much, much better than many starters.
In this one, though, he looked unworthy of handling third-string duties. He picked up only 12 yards on 10 carries, and he did little to spark the Texans.
Greg Jones: A-
Foster's re-emergence this season has been partially thanks to Greg Jones, the first legitimate lead blocker Foster has had in a long time.
Jones, who is extremely physical, is excellent at plowing the way for Foster, opening large amount of running room for the star tailback.
Andre Johnson: B+
After a poor game last week, Andre Johnson looked like more of himself against the Rams. He led the Texans in receiving and often got open for the Texans' struggling quarterbacks.
Johnson, who has already shouldered so much of the load for this franchise, must continue to play at a high level like he did in this one if the Texans are to salvage their season.
DeAndre Hopkins: C
DeAndre Hopkins was shaping up to a very good game, for the first time since taking over against the Tennessee Titans.
He was getting open with ease, and he hauled in several big receptions for the Texans offense. But then, after another nice catch, he fumbled the football, halting a Texans' drive that had the potential in ending with six.
James Laurinaitis scooped up the ball and returned it for 43 yards into Texans territory, killing any momentum the Texans were building up.
Garrett Graham/Ryan Griffin: D+
When it became public that Owen Daniels was going to miss a significant amount of time with a fibula injury, it was a nightmare for Texans fans, as Daniels plays such a major role in the offense.
Well, that nightmare became reality Sunday.
The Texans' backup tight ends, Garrett Graham and Ryan Griffin, hardly made an impact on the game. They could not consistently get open for Schaub, which definitely hurt the rhythm of an offense that was already on its last legs.
Offensive Line: A
During the Texans' epic collapse that began at the end of last season, much of the blame was placed on their offensive line, as it should have been.
During that time period, the line was terrible; it was unable to protect Schaub, and it made life impossible for Foster.
But this week, it was unbelievably good. Schaub had all the time in the world to throw the ball, and Foster ran all over the Rams.
The Texans should not struggle on offense when the line is executing to the best of its ability. It honestly should just not happen.
This poses a serious question: When the much-maligned offensive line plays extremely well, who is at fault for the Texans' offensive issues, Schaub or Gary Kubiak?
J.J. Watt: C
A C?! For J.J. Watt?!
Like many of you, I'm in shock. For the first time in a long time, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year failed to make much of a noticeable impact on the game.
Although Watt beat the Rams offensive line on many occasions and easily got into the backfield, he never took advantage of his opportunities. He missed several tackles that would have resulted in tackles for loss, and—like the rest of the Texans' pass-rushers—failed to consistently pressure the quarterback.
Earl Mitchell: B+
As the nose tackle in the Texans' defensive scheme that never gives much love to the position, Earl Mitchell has a surprisingly good game. He tallied four tackles and had one of his better performances this season.
Antonio Smith: B-
Antonio Smith, who was decent against the run, did not make an impact in the area where the Texans need him the most: rushing the quarterback.
All game long, Sam Bradford was hardly being pressured, and Smith's inability to beat the Rams' line was a major part of that.
Brian Cushing: C+
Throughout the start of the 2013 season, Brian Cushing was absolutely dominant. He attacked opposing running backs with a force that was amazing to watch, and he was effective rushing the passer.
This week, though, Cushing looked like a shell of his great self. He, as the Texans' primary run-stopper, was a major cause of the Rams' ability to pound the ball down the Texans' throats.
As evidenced by this game, the Texans cannot afford for Cushing to struggle, and they desperately need him to get back on track.
Whitney Mercilus: C
After two very good games in the past two weeks, Whitney Mercilus' name was hardly mentioned in this one. He applied nearly no pressure on Sam Bradford and was ineffective against the run.
Brooks Reed: B-
By far the best player of all the Texans' linebacker in this one, even Brooks Reed failed to do much. He led the team in tackles, and he was definitely the best pass-rusher, but he really didn't do anything to stop the Rams offense.
Joe Mays/Darryl Sharpton: D+
When Brian Cushing struggles, the poorer aspects of Joe Mays' and Darryl Sharpton's games are much easier to see. Both linebackers struggled to bring down Zac Stacy and were certainly liabilities for the Texans defense.
Johnathan Joseph: A
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not believe the Rams completed a single pass on Johnathan Joseph.
Joseph, who is the Texans' No. 1 cornerback, is experiencing a renaissance this season after playing inconsistently for most of last season.
Kareem Jackson: B
Kareem Jackson, too, had another very good game in coverage for the Texans defense. But his pass-interference penalty—which was admittedly questionable—set up a Rams score early in the game and immediately put the Texans offense in a hole.
Ed Reed: A-
Ed Reed was solid in coverage and was not a liability as a tackler as he has been in recent weeks. He hasn't made much of a noticeable impact, but he definitely causes quarterbacks to think twice before throwing his way.
Danieal Manning: C
Despite playing well against the run, Danieal Manning was poor in coverage. He allowed several throws to be completed his way, and he struggled to keep up with the Rams' receivers. At one point, he got burned deep for what surely would have been a long touchdown, but the ball was fortunately overthrown by Sam Bradford.
Randy Bullock: A
Randy Bullock hit both of his field goals and fortunately did not add to the Texans' struggles this week.
Shane Lechler: B
Shane Lechler, who has been absolutely incredible for all of this season, had few opportunities to show off his talent in this one. He only punted twice, but neither one was anything spectacular.
Keshawn Martin: F
As the season continues to progress, it is becoming more and more confusing as to why the Texans' coaching staff have not pulled the plug on Keshawn Martin's returning career.
He continues to take out kicks when he his deep in the end zone, and he continues to be shaky when carrying the ball.
Against the Rams this week, Martin displayed both of these terrible tendencies. After wrongly returning a deep kickoff, he lost the football, which resulted in a touchdown for the Rams' special teams unit, killing any chance for the Texans to mount a comeback.