The Texans have been put in a tough position, there is no doubt about that.
No NFL team wants to be making a playoff push with their third-string quarterback. With that said, Winston, the Texans right tackle, is right.
Just because there is a guy under center that doesn't have the experience doesn't mean that the Texans can't win.
The Texans weren't winning because Matt Schaub was putting up 400 yards every game. In fact, the only game that he put up 400 yards in they lost.
But that is a side note to the real point.
The Texans win because they have a defense that is dominating other offenses and a running game that is not only controlling the time of possession but is putting points on the board.
In terms of yards allowed the Texans currently have the top-ranked overall defense, the second-ranked rushing defense and the fourth-ranked passing defense. The Texans are also the second-best team in the NFL when it comes to sacking the quarterback.
This isn't one of the stats that is thrown about all that often but it may be one of the most important stats about this team.
In a league that is driven by the passing game, a defense's ability to get to the quarterback is unrivaled. Connor Barwin has been an absolute revelation this year. When many people doubted him because he had yet to have great success as a defensive end and was coming off of an injury, he has stepped up and performed amazingly well.
In addition to Barwin's performance, rookie Brooks Reed has taken the bull by the horns (excuse the corny Texans pun) and become an impact player in place of Mario Williams. He has a great motor and has done an excellent job of adjusting to the NFL game, as well as a new position. If you are looking for stock to buy low and sell high, Reed is someone you might want to look into.
Can the Texans win with Yates?
When Barwin and Reed aren't on the field harassing opposing quarterbacks, Arian Foster and Ben Tate are running past defensive linemen and over defensive backs. The two Houston Texans running backs have become a dynamic duo that is unrivaled in the NFL.
This is the key to the offense while T.J. Yates, or Jake Delhomme, is under center. Neither quarterback is good enough to carry this team into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. However, with the defense playing like it is and a tandem of backs running like Foster and Tate are, all the quarterback needs to do is not lose the game by making bad decisions.
Thus far Yates has shown that he can do just that. If he gets rattled at some point Delhomme may have to come in to make sure that the team doesn't get too far off track, but either quarterback will be focused primarily on how to hand the ball off to the two stud running backs that they have at their disposal.
As Eric Winston said, "There is no script for how you win in this league." That means that you can get it done with a third or fourth-string quarterback, because this is the ultimate team game.