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Houston Texans

Kubiak, Texans look to finish strong


Against the Colts, tight end Owen Daniels extended his personal-record streak of consecutive games with a catch to 18.

After reviewing film of the loss to Indy, head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Monday about how the Texans will approach their final game of the season.

New day, same outlook: Coach Gary Kubiak wears his emotions on his sleeves, and he was noticeably agitated Sunday after his team's loss to Indianapolis.

Watching the film of the game on Monday didn't make Kubiak feel any better about the 38-15 defeat.

"We were soundly beaten yesterday by a great football team," he said. "They're the world champs. They're a heck of a football team and you go into their place and you've got to be pretty close to perfect. We know that in our short history with them, since I've been here.

"We were anything but that. Give them a lot of credit. They had a lot to do with why we played poorly, but we definitely played poorly. Our special teams played good enough for us to win when you go back and look at it. We pinned them four times inside the 10. We returned pretty darn well. Offensively and defensively we were pretty much dominated."

Most troubling to Kubiak was the Texans' lack of execution caused by mental mistakes and alignment issues. The game film looked all too familiar to the Texans' loss at San Diego earlier in the season, according to Kubiak.

"I am concerned, especially after what took place yesterday because there were some things going on the field yesterday that I thought we were over," Kubiak said. "So we'll have to get those things addressed when we come in here on Wednesday morning and be honest with each other. Hopefully, we go back to the way we were doing things there for those couple of weeks."

Jacksonville on the horizon: There's no time to sulk as the Texans welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars to Reliant Stadium this Sunday in the season finale.

Kubiak doesn't need to be reminded that the Jaguars already clinched a wild card spot and have lost only one game since Nov. 11.

"This team coming in here this weekend is a tremendous football team," Kubiak said. "They might be playing as well as anybody in the league right now, so if we don't correct (our mistakes) we're not going to like the result either. So we have our work cut out for ourselves this week."

Playing a team that has nothing to gain from winning, at least from the standpoint of playoff positioning, raises several questions. Namely, how will the team's record and standing affect their personnel packages and playing time given to their starters? Why risk injury to key contributors, some would argue, when the playoffs are around the corner?

That line of thinking couldn't be further from Kubiak's mind. He knows that the Texans must find a way to fix their own problems before worrying about Jacksonville. Besides, the Colts already clinched the AFC South title prior to Week 16, yet they played with the reckless abandon of a team on the brink of postseason contention yesterday.

Kubiak expects to see the same from the Jaguars this week.

"I don't see Jacksonville changing," he said. "They're an excellent football team. You can only suit 45 guys, so it's not like all of a sudden they're going to go find a bunch of new guys to put on that football field."

A division for the ages?: If the Texans win this week, there will be no team in the AFC South with a losing record this season.

Is there any debate which division is the NFL's best?

"I can't ever remember seeing this," Kubiak said of the competition in the AFC South. "If that ends up happening, that would be unbelievable. Our division is a heck of a division. First off, it has the world champs. It's got a first-ballot Hall of Famer (Peyton Manning) running one of the teams, and the other two teams have a lot of great young players.

"Hopefully, we're coming along the same way with our young group. But you look at it and, to me, all of the teams have very bright futures. So I don't see anything happening to (the division) any time soon. I think there are going to be some good teams for many, many years."

That being said, the Texans have faltered against their division opponents this season. A loss to Jacksonville would leave Houston winless in the AFC South.

"It's a tough pill to swallow, but it could very well happen if we don't play better this week," Kubiak said. "Nobody has to tell us how good our division is and how we struggled in it this year. All we have to do is look in the mirror to see that.

"We're not going to find a way to win this division in the future if we don't find ways to beat those teams."

Kubiak on the Pats: With the playoffs approaching, Kubiak shared his thoughts on who could win be the AFC champs. With their pristine 15-0 record and Spygate solidarity, the Patriots are the clear favorite.

"What they're doing and the way they're doing it has just been so impressive in the type of year that they are having offensively and defensively," Kubiak said of New England. "We are all watching history right now, and I don't know if we'll ever see it again. Bill (Belichick) does a great job. It will be interesting to see how that all pans out."

Last year, the Colts game from behind to beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship game before becoming the World Champions. This season, Indy has been plagued by injuries, losing key players like wide receiver Marvin Harrison and defensive end Dwight Freeney. But Kubiak believes the Colts team he saw on Sunday could be headed to the Super Bowl once again.

"What Indianapolis has accomplished this year with some of their issues – they are 13-2 without (Dwight) Freeney and some of the defensive players they've been missing," Kubiak said.

"I think the job that Tony (Dungy) hasdone has been one of the best job's (coaching) I've ever seen."

Schaub still hurting: Quarterback Matt Schaub dressed Sunday as the third-string quarterback, but Kubiak did not plan on playing him.

"I would not have put him on the field yesterday even though he was our number three, Kubiak said. "Just watching him move around with the harness on, I know I have to be very smart with him.

The quarterback injured his shoulder in Week 13 against the Titans and has been sidelined ever since. Schaub has repeatedly said he would like to finish the season with his teammates on the field. Next Sunday's game against Jacksonville will be the quarterback's last chance.

"I think it's important he gets back out there," Kubiak said. "Doctors have said this is not something he would further injure. It's not going to get any worse. From that standpoint, I feel comfortable, but I also have to feel comfortable that he can go out there and do the things he does well."

Schaub will most likely increase his reps in practice this week in hopes of extending his range of motion and proving he can takes snaps as the backup to Sage Rosenfels, who finished with 233 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions against Indy.

"We talked about this as coaches today," Kubiak said. "We'll look at him hard on Wednesday

Other injuries: Right tackle Eric Winston left the game early because he was kicked in the back and will be listed as day-to-day this week.

Defensive end Anthony Weaver will also be day-to-day with a shoulder injury.

Running back Ron Dayne and linebacker Danny Clark did not play Sunday; however, Kubiak expects both players to return against Jacksonville.

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