At 8-3, Houston most likely only has to win two out of their five remaining games to clinch the first playoff berth in franchise history.
However, their new starting quarterback is a rookie named T.J. Yates. Promising proposition? Not so much.
But what are their other options? The Texans just signed 36-year-old Jake “The Mistake” Delhomme, who in his last truly meaningful game had six (yes, six!) turnovers in a playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Delhomme beat out 41-year-old Jeff Garcia (three years removed from NFL) for the gig.
But it gets worse. Their current backup, Kellen Clemens (career 59.7 passer rating), is a perpetual non-starter. Remember, if Brett Favre-to-the-Jets never happened in 2008, Clemens was on pace to lose the starting quarterback battle to a guy named Brett Ratliff.
Speaking of Brett Favre... his name is getting tossed out there, despite the fact he hasn’t picked up a football in months.
So my question is this: Why all the scrambling? Yes, T.J. Yates is Houston’s new starter, but didn’t they just draft him in the fifth round this past year? If they never wanted to play him in the first place, why even draft him? Plus, with Houston’s running attack (currently third in the NFL in yards per game), the offense will be catered to the conservative side (even if Leinart never got hurt) anyway.
Isn’t it better to go with a complete unknown than an already-known-to-be-shaky re-tread? Why waste time on a Delhomme or Clemens when they can find out right now what they have in the 24-year-old Yates?
You never know — he could be the next Tom Brady. Conversely, he could also be a Curtis Painter, but at least Houston will know for sure in the next few weeks.
At least they didn’t call Daunte Culpepper.