Houston Texans: Super Bowl Hopes Shattered Without Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart

Chase SummersCorrespondent INovember 28, 2011

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 13:  Defensive tackle Brain Price #92 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sacks quarterback Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans as linebacker Geno Hayes #54 cleans up during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

I cannot think of a more unfortunate franchise in the NFL than the Houston Texans. Year after year, they were the AFC South doormats, consistently being throttled by the Titans, Colts and Jaguars.

Recently, things had changed. The offense became a juggernaut and with the addition of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator, they became a superb defensive team as well.

They were poised to win the AFC South this year by a wide margin.

With the Jaguars and Titans in rebuilding mode, and the Colts without superstar Peyton Manning, the division is weak and the Texans were strong. With all the talent they had, people began to whisper about the Super Bowl.

Then, like it always does for the Texans, something went horribly wrong.

Matt Schaub broke his foot and is done for the year. Yesterday, in the game after Schaub went down, backup Matt Leinart broke his collarbone and he too is done for the year.

Now, Houston is feeling pretty glum. They still have a good team, but with rookie TJ Yates as their starter they may be in trouble.

I think they will make the playoffs. The Titans are a decent team, but they just cannot match the Texans' run game and defense.

Once they make the playoffs, though, things will go south very quickly for Houston.

If the playoffs started today, the teams for the AFC would be Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Oakland, New England and Baltimore. Assuming Houston will be a one dimensional rushing team, I cannot see them beating anyone of these teams except Oakland.

Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati are all in the top 10 in run defense, and New England is ranked 12th. Each of these teams also have offenses that can counter the Texans' No. 1 defense to some degree.

I just don't see the Texans scoring much with Yates at QB. Even if Arian Foster gains 100-120 yards every game, they still won't be getting much help from the passing game.

Sure, Andre Johnson can be good no matter who is throwing to him, but no one else on that offense is a pass-catching threat without a decent QB.

That will kill them against teams like New England, who can score at will, and ultimately will crush the Texans' once-strong Super Bowl hopes.

If that won't convince you, I have one more stat. A rookie quarterback has never won a Super Bowl, and I don't think a fifth round draft pick from North Carolina will change that.