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Wednesday, October 23, 2013
QB Watch: Houston Texans

By Tania Ganguli

A weekly analysis of the Houston Texans' quarterback play.

Keenum
Keenum
Rewind: Case Keenum made his first career start after spending last season on the practice squad and the previous six games of this season inactive. He handled a raucous Kansas City crowd and a fierce Chiefs' defense with poise. He showed the ability to go deep, attempting just one fewer pass longer than 20 yards than the Texans had in the previous four games combined. His passer rating ranked seventh among starting quarterbacks at 110.6 but his QBR ranked 22nd. It was the lowest QBR (36.4) among any quarterback who ranked in the top 19 of passer rating. Twentieth was Chad Henne, whose QBR was 12.9 last weekend.

Fast-forward: The bye week gives the Texans time to figure out what their next step will be. Matt Schaub, who did not speak to reporters this week, will continue to rehab his foot and ankle. When coach Gary Kubiak declared Keenum the starter, he began by saying Schaub still had a while. This week Kubiak was asked if Keenum provided the team the spark he was hoping he would and Kubiak said "yes." Whether or not the young quarterback starts again will be decided by a combination of factors, including Schaub's health and if the Texans think that spark Keenum provided is worth another look.

Protecting himself: Kansas City's pass rush got to Keenum four times in the fourth quarter. That, Keenum said, was part of Kubiak's main bit of critique for the quarterback. "The sacks are on me, especially when we’re in no-back. They can bring more than we can pick up, so I need to know that and get the ball out."

Prediction: No stats in this, a week of rest and relaxation for the Texans quarterbacks. Well, actually, both Keenum and Schaub will stay active. Keenum, working to learn the things he found out he didn't know on Sunday and Schaub still working to heal his ankle.