A position-by-position look at the Texans' 2011 season
Quarterback was the Texans' most volatile position in 2011. They had three different starters and six different quarterbacks overall as injuries sidelined Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart in the second half of the season.
Rookie T.J. Yates, who was inactive for the first 10 weeks, started the final five games of the season. The fifth-round draft pick from North Carolina helped guide the Texans to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.
In 10 games, Schaub finished with 2,479 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 61.0 completion percentage. He led the Texans to a 7-3 record, good for the No. 1 seed in the AFC at the time of his injury. He finished second in the AFC and sixth in the NFL in passer rating (96.8) and third in the NFL in yards per attempt (8.49).
Leinart went 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) for 57 yards and a touchdown, good for a 110.1 rating, in his first and only start. He broke his collarbone late in the second quarter of that Week 12 game at Jacksonville, propelling Yates into the lineup.
Yates went 82-of-134 (61.2 percent) in six regular-season games, throwing for 949 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He had a passer rating of 80.7. In the Texans' 31-10 Wild Card playoff victory over Cincinnati, Yates was 11-of-20 for 159 yards and a touchdown (97.7 rating). He went 17-of-35 for 184 yards and three interceptions (28.8 rating) a week later in the season-ending 20-13 loss at Baltimore.
Jake Delhomme played most of the Texans' regular-season finale against Tennessee after Yates injured his shoulder in the first quarter. He completed 18-of-28 passes (64.3 percent) for 211 yards and a touchdown, nearly pulling off a last-second victory.
Quarterbacks in Review
Starters: Matt Schaub (10 games), Matt Leinart (1 game), T.J. Yates (7 games -- 2 in playoffs)
Newcomers: Yates (fifth-round draft pick), Kellen Clemens (free agent), Jake Delhomme (free agent), Jeff Garcia (free agent)
Injuries: Schaub (season-ending foot, Week 10), Leinart (season-ending shoulder, Week 12), Yates (shoulder, Week 17)
Notable number: 6 – Quarterbacks on the Texans' active roster in 2011. Four saw time on the field, including three different starters.
Key splits: The Texans' offense in 10 games with Schaub (NFL rank in parentheses): 27.3 points/game (5th), 396.2 yards/game (8th), 238.1 passing yards/game (13th), 9 turnovers (t-3rd), 16 sacks (t-7th), 45.8 third-down percentage (6th)
The Texans' offense in six games without Schaub (NFL rank in parentheses): 18.0 points/game (t-24th), 347.3 yards/game (20th), 187.5 passing yards/game (20th), 11 turnovers (t-19th), 17 sacks (23rd), 34.1 third-down percentage (23rd)
Season highlight: Week 14 at Cincinnati – Yates completed 26-of-44 passes for 300 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 20-19 comeback victory that clinched the AFC South title and the first playoff berth in Texans history. In his first-career road start, he led two 80-yard scoring drives in the fourth quarter to help erase a 16-3 halftime deficit. He threw the game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Kevin Walter with two seconds remaining.
Season lowlight: Week 10 at Tampa Bay, Week 12 at Jacksonville – In the span of two games, the Texans lost their top two quarterbacks to season-ending injuries. Schaub suffered a Lisfranc injury in Week 10 at Tampa Bay when 350-pound Albert Haynesworth fell on his foot on a quarterback sneak. That snapped a streak of 46 consecutive starts dating back to 2008. Leinart went down two weeks later with a broken left collarbone after being hit as he threw by Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey late in the second quarter.
Quotable: "He has a significant foot injury that is being evaluated as we speak." – Texans coach Gary Kubiak on Schaub on Nov. 14, a day after the Texans' 37-9 victory at Tampa Bay
"To have this happen with all that in front of us, it's definitely tough, because you saw the transformation of this team and this organization over the last five years. It's a tough pill to swallow." -- Schaub on Nov. 16
"You can see the fire in his eyes, so to speak, (with) what's fixing to come up. What a great opportunity for him in his career." – Kubiak on Leinart on Nov. 21, six days before Leinart's first start with the Texans
"I went from an ultimate high to the ultimate low within a matter of minutes." -- Leinart on Nov. 27, in the Texans' locker room at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, on throwing a touchdown pass to Joel Dreessen before getting injured in the second quarter
"It's been three weeks, three different quarterbacks, but it's the same team." – Kubiak on Dec. 4, after Yates led the Texans to a 17-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at Reliant Stadium
"It's pretty crazy. I know a lot of people in this organization have been wanting this for a long time." – Yates on Dec. 11, after the Texans' division-clinching 20-19 victory at Cincinnati
"What a situation to get put in, (to) start the last eight games for this football team as a fifth-round draft choice. I'm proud of him. He did a heck of a job... He's got a great start on his career." -- Kubiak on Yates on Jan. 16, a day after the end of the Texans' season