There are strange moves — and there's benching your promising second-year quarterback in the midst of an already lost season.
That's exactly what Gary Kubiak and the Houston Texans did Sunday afternoon at Reliant Stadium, yanking Case Keenum in the third quarter in favor of . . . Matt Schaub. And you didn't think the Texans season could get any more bizarre?
With Keenum having completed 13 of 24 passes for 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception, Kubiak apparently decided he'd seen enough from his press box perch. He sent Schaub into the game with 2:26 left in the third quarter. The Texans trailed the Oakland Raiders 28-17 at the time.
I t's almost impossible to make sense of the move. Keenum only gets three and a half games to show what he can do?
Yes, in his first game back from his mini stroke, Kubiak goes back to Matt Schaub. Say what?
It's almost impossible to make sense of the move. Keenum only gets three and a half games to show what he can do? For a 2-7 team that needs to find out what it has for 2014, it's hard to come up with a legitimate reason to go back to Schaub. The Texans certainly know what Matt Schaub can do by now. By going back to the veteran, Kubiak essentially blows up the Keenum plan.
And for what? The longshot chance of mounting a comeback against the Oakland Raiders and perhaps moving to 3-7. There's no chance of any real upside.
It's not a bad move because Schaub ends up throwing a no-chance, lame duck of an incompletion, trying to force the ball to Andre Johnson in the end zone, on fourth-and-seven with 1:15 remaining. It's not a bad move because the Texans still end up losing 28-23.
It's a horrid, inexcusable move because there never was a scenario in which it made sense.
Playing Schaub at this point gets the Texans no where even in the best case scenario. And it's not like Keenum completely fell apart in his fourth career NFL start. He completed three passes of more than 30 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown strike to tight end Garrett Graham. He showed the mobility that gives the Texans offense another dimension.
In truth, Keenum played worst last week at Arizona. Keenum needs to play. Pulling him shows a complete disconnect from the current reality of the Texans season. It's like Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie suddenly deciding to trade Michael Carter-Williams for Vince Carter.
Before Keenum was benched, Texans quarterback coach Karl Dorell talked to him on the sideline.
It comes across like Kubiak was just waiting for any possible chance to get Schaub get into a game. The fans booing aren't the only ones who should be questioning Kubiak's wisdom. This is arguably the most senseless move of his whole up-and-down Houston coaching tenure.