Thursday, November 02, 2006

Texans at the Crossroads

The Houston Texans have a record of 20-51 since they joined the National Football League, a figure that's not too unusual for an expansion team in the era of free agency and the salary cap. But Doug Drinen observes that they have found a way to win against one team, at least. With their victory against Jacksonville two weeks ago, the Texans are 5-4 (.555) all-time against the Jaguars, but just 15-47 (.242) against everybody else. I'm not sure whether that means anything statistically, but it sure is interesting.

After finishing with a 2-14 record last season, the Texans resisted public pressure to draft Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, as well as the Heisman runner up, Houston native Vince Young. In doing so, they made a strong statement of support for quarterback David Carr, and the fifth year quarterback is having the best season of his career. Still, the team is just 2-5 heading into a tough game against the Giants this week. Thayer Evans of the New York Times calls Carr "an enigma in search of consistency" in an insightful story published this week. It's hard to not root for the guy, but at some point, he's either got to step up or step aside.

Other expansion teams have tried building around a young quarterback, but it's a recipe that hasn't worked. Kerry Collins imploded after three seasons in Carolina, forcing the team to start over. Tim Couch just fizzled in Cleveland, with the franchise's only playoff appearance coming when Couch was injured. If things don't improve for the Texans quickly, it may be time for them to make a change.