The NFL Network is reporting that Matt Leinart suffered a broken collarbone in Houston's Week 12 victory and will likely miss the remainder of the season. Houston Texans fans are frantically trying to research T.J. Yates and Kellen Clemens in preparation for the inevitable debate over which quarterback should now lead the Texans' charge to the playoffs.
It's a tough pill to swallow for Leinart and the Texans especially considering that Leinart was having a pretty good debut in Houston. Now all the Texans can do is hope that the decisions they made regarding quarterback depth are going to be enough to save their playoff lives.
It is probably tempting to say that, with the reemergence of Chris Johnson in Tennessee's victory over the Buccaneers today, the Texans playoff dreams may be close to over, but that seems very premature.
The Texans still have a commanding lead in their division and they also will continue to follow the same offensive mantra that has lead them to their current record: run the ball.
Arian Foster and Ben Tate are tailor made to excel in the running game that Gary Kubiak has implemented in Houston. Their ability to turn the game on the ground was apparent even when Matt Schaub was still in the lineup.
In fact, it might be plausible to say that the Texans chances of winning would only be slightly better in games going forward with Schaub still in over Yates. What it simply comes down to is the fact that all a quarterback really needs to do is protect the ball and keep the running game on schedule.
The Texans' offensive approach should be simple down the stretch. Give opposing defense a steady dose of Foster, change up the pace with Tate and then take a shot in single coverage with Andre Johnson down the field.
Can the Texans expect Yates to do that? Absolutely.
In their remaining schedule it seems unlikely that the Texans are going to face any shootout-style games. The Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers can be dangerous in terms of scoring points, but Houston finally has a defense that they trust and it seems more likely that the offense will only need to eclipse the 20-point mark in a majority of their games in order to win enough to lock the division.
There is not a soul in Texas who would believe Gary Kubiak if he said that he thought something like this might happen this season to the Texans. However, fans should trust him when he says that this offense is built to withstand this kind of problem.
At least until the playoffs start.