Nick Scurfield (2:20:46PM): Thanks for stopping by for my weekly live chat. A couple of quick reminders before I begin: Texans running back Ryan Moats will be at the Go Texan Store at Reliant Stadium to sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. tonight. Quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver David Anderson will be behind the counter at a local Taco Bell (11623 Shadowcreek Parkway in Pearland) from 6-7 p.m. for an event that helps to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Now, there are a ton of questions already on the board, so let's get down to business.
BlaineJuergens - Livingston, TX, US: How many more losses will end the chances of a Wild Card spot in the playoffs? I think the Texans will go undefeated for the remainder of the season if the can overcome the New England Patriots in Week 17.
Nick Scurfield (1:08:22PM): I just posted a blog entry about the playoff picture on HoustonTexans.com. The Texans are 1 game out of the wild card right now with 5 games to play. The Broncos currently have 1 wild card spot with a 7-4 record, and there's a logjam of 7 teams including the Texans behind them at either 6-5 or 5-6.
Chandralynn Livous - Houston, TX, US: Hello, We would like to know if one of the Houston Texans can visit our class to read a story? I am a Life Skills (special needs) Teacher at The Ninth Grade College Preparatory Academy. A. Johnson #80 etc. Thanks C. Livous
Nick Scurfield (1:06:35PM): Please direct all player appearance requests here: /community/PlayerAppearances.asp
Amy - El Campo, TX, US: What is up with the Texans??? I really thought they were gonna win this game. It was so disappointing to see the end result. Who do you think is more responsible for the loss?
Nick Scurfield (2:22:17PM): Amy- Schaub said that the lack of execution falls on the players. But Kubiak took all of the blame after the loss, saying it's his job to find get the team to find a way to play consistent football for 60 minutes.
Frank - Round Rock, TX, US: Hey there Nick, One question. What aren't we playing Moats anymore? Seems to me we were doing pretty good with him in there.
Nick Scurfield (1:13:07PM): Kubiak has said a couple of times that when the coaches got together and watched film during the bye week, they decided they needed to get Chris Brown more involved. They've gone with Brown and Slaton as their tandem since then, and Moats hasn't had any carries since the bye week. The Texans averaged 5.1 yards per carry against the Colts on Sunday.
Rene Guevara - Clute, TX, US: How are you going Mr. Scurfield? Look am a big time Houston Texans Fan and my apt has everything with them. My question is way cant Houston finish the game. Its like thay give up all the time. Wil thanks for ur time. GO HOUSTON TEXANS!!!!!
Nick Scurfield (1:15:00PM): Mental mistakes, lack of execution, etc.... it all goes back to playing consistent football for a full 60 minutes. The first half of this week's game might have been the Texans' best of the season. The opposite could be said of the second half.
Pat - La Grange, TX, US: Nick, Do you think Gary Kubiak's job is in jeopardy? He doesn't tackle or run the ball for the Texans, but I feel he might take the fall for this up and down play..What do you think?
Nick Scurfield (1:17:43PM): Kubiak took all of the blame after Sunday's loss. I can tell you that he's only focused on winning the next game - and if he does, the Texans will be right in the thick of the playoff race in the month of December.
Paul Rivera - Houston, TX, US: Whats wrong with Dunta is he hurt or something ? LQQKING at the games he just dont look like the Dunta ive watched over the years. Also, whats up with the playcalling with a lead it looks like we take the foot off the gas when we have a lead...THANKS FOR YOUR TIME ...GO TEXANS
Nick Scurfield (1:20:30PM): In Dunta's defense, Reggie Wayne had only three catches for 19 yards on Sunday. And I think the Texans were being pretty aggressive in the second half - some of the calls just didn't work out. Take, for example, the deep pass off of a play-action for Andre Johnson early in the third quarter. Kubiak and Shanahan thought they had an opportunity for a big play. Unfortunately, something went wrong and the play resulted in an interception.
mike alston - houston, TX, US: What is wrong with the texans why dont we run the wildcat teams would be caught off gaurd by it and this next game against jacsonville is a must win if we lose do think we should just not try for the rest of the season so we could get a better draft pick wow thell get your hopes high and then rip your heart out ..... the texans
Nick Scurfield (1:23:19PM): I'm obviously not Kyle Shanahan, but In regards to the Wildcat, the Texans have a top-10 offense with the third-ranked passing attack in the league. Their offense thrives on the play-action, which naturally would be diminished if they ran a lot of plays out of the Wildcat.
William - Ft Huachuca, AZ, US: I like to be the optimistic guy,even if I am the only Texans fan that is anymore, but I am losing faith in Kubiak lately. I undertand we were playing the Colts and Manning. But why abandon the run in the second half when we still had a six point lead? There was no reason to go deep with our offense clicking the way it was. Oh and I like how the penalties went the Colts way AGAIN!! I still have faith that we can run the table, but its gonna take a major memory lapse by the entire organization, fans included.
Nick Scurfield (2:16:03PM): Kubiak and Shanahan script several plays at halftime. Kubiak said that when they looked at things, they saw what they thought was an opportunity for a big play with Andre. According to Kubiak, Johnson got a little bit tangled with the cornerback on the play, and we all know how the play turned out.
NATE - stockton, CA, US: im a DEC. BABY 12-4 AND ALL MY GIFTS(X-MAS&B-DAY) COME AT ONE TYME. SO THE GIFT I WANT MOST IS THE HAVE WINNING SEASON, IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK? and REMEMBER GO TEXANS!
Nick Scurfield (1:25:03PM): I don't think it's too much to ask. The Texans have shown that they can play with anybody. They've just got to find a way to finish. Speaking of finishing, the Texans went 4-1 last December and are 10-5 in December since 2006.
Kyle - Dallas, TX, US: Watching college football over the past weekend, Toby Gerhart stood out to me as a great fit for the Texans in the future...looks like a young Mike Alstott! Do you think he'd fit in, and would the team spend the likely first day pick necessary to get him?
Nick Scurfield (1:30:09PM): I'm a USC grad and went to the miserable USC-Stanford game a couple of weeks ago, so unfortunately I've seen Gerhart first-hand. He's a tough, downhill runner who should be a Heisman finalist, in my opinion... not sure where he'll end up in next year's draft, though.
nj - spring, TX, US: i had a very bad feeling schaub would struggle in he 2nd half. a. johnson seems very frustrated. y is schaub not throwing the ball to him lik he used to? he used to throw to him alot. AJ my fav player. if colt mccoy is available in the next draft would the texans draft him? cuz i was thinking we could schaub the 1st half and colt the 2nd. i think slasher got his confidence back. but the big quesion is CAN THE TEXANS STILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS? IT IS STILL POSSIBLE? GO TEXANS!!!!!!!!! WE STILL BELIEVE!!!!!!!!
Nick Scurfield (1:33:06PM): Yes, the Texans can still mlake the playoffs. They're one game back in the Wild Card standings right now, and I'm sure the team appreciates your support. By the way, Johnson was targeted 9 times in the game- more than any other Texan. Johnson said after the game that he was very disappointed in himself, but he's still confident in the team.
Paul - Midland, TX, US: Do you think our team is mentally tough enough and coached well enough to go on 5 game run like the Titans did? At this point every game is a playoff game. On another note, what happened to the run game in the 2nd half?
Nick Scurfield (1:34:59PM): The Texans won three consecutive games earlier this season and four straight last season, so yes. Running game: The Texans had a hard time sustaining drives in the second half until late in the fourth quarter. Give credit to the Colts' defense, which has done a great job this year under Larry Coyer
Troy Dale - Pearland, TX, US: Why did Kubiak go away from using Ryan Moats in the backfield/running game? But then decide to turn to Chris Brown for the bulk of carries? Moats was "key" to the running game, in the two previous weeks. And, then throws Moats in the game to bust-walls on the kick-off team. Kubiak has made poor coaching decisions and NFL Teams find his "Play-book" very predictable Troy Dale
Nick Scurfield (2:25:01PM): Please see previous answer to this question. Coaches decided that they needed to get Brown more involved during the bye week, when they watched film of the first half of the season and determined that Brown had been effective, both running and in pass protection.
Rob - Brenham, TX, US: Did any Texans players take accountability for their lack of attention to the game as they celebrated Dunta's big hit and gave up the big play to Collie on Peyton's quick snap? Lance Zerlein breaks down the play well on his blog and it looks like only 4 or so Texans defenders were lined up at the point the ball was snapped. Did anyone own up to this lapse? http://blogs.chron.com/fantasyfootball/2009/11/thiswillprobablybethe_game.html
Nick Scurfield (2:25:41PM): Yes- defensive end Antonio Smith said in the locker room yesterday that it was an example not having poise in a situation you should. Kubiak told the players that play was an example of the Colts and the Texans - one team celebrating a big play and the other lining up to make another big play - driving across the point that the Texans have to maintain their focus.
Joel - Ventura, CA, US: If the Texans beat Jacksonville, and the texans, titans, and jaguars, have the same record, who gets the higher ranking in the division, plus the possible playoff berth? and thanks a lot!
Nick Scurfield (2:26:55PM): The tie-breakers in that case would be: 1. Head-to-head, 2. Division record, 3. Common games record, 4. Conference record. If the Texans beat the Jags and if the Titans and Jags both lose their remaining game with Indy, then all three teams would be 1-1 against each other and 2-4 in the AFC South. So it'd go to their common games record at that point for the tie-breaker.
Eric G - Memphis, TN, US: Two weeks in a row, Smith has gotten unsportsmanlike ( and very un-Texan like) penalties. First, the elbow to Mawae, then the shot on the interception return.( I am not counting the slap to Manning's facemask). Is frustration boiling over?
Nick Scurfield (1:45:43PM): I don't think so, because neither penalty in Sunday's game was malicious. On the penalty on the INT return, Smith was called for hitting Dallas Clark behind the ball. Smith said after the game that he was "just playing football" and trying to make a block
ta - houston, TX, US: is andre going to leave if we dont make playoffs and we need a big ntto plug up the middle
Nick Scurfield (2:17:19PM): >Andre said before the MNF game that he wants to retire as a Texan and that what his uncle said in the ESPN The Magazine piece were his uncle's words and not his own. He went so far as to call GM Rick Smith after the article came out to make that clear with team management.
Eric G - Memphis, TN, US: Any fallout for Robinson celebrating while Mannning scorched us for 30 ?As someone would say, cooome ooooon maaaan.
Nick Scurfield (1:51:44PM): Kubiak used that play to try illustrate to the team the importance of keeping their focus. He said they should've been excited to make that play, but it's their job to do things like that and they have to have the mindframe of immediately focusing on doing it again.
Raul Torre - Corpus Christi, TX, US: In my opinion, the Texans could have and should have won the 5 close games this season. How much of the blame should be placed on the coaching in the critical times of those games?
Nick Scurfield (1:53:17PM): That's a very debatable question, but Kubiak has taken all of the blame. He holds himself accountable for the team's mistakes and is working hard to find a way to get the Texans to play a consistent game from start to finish.
Eric - Memphis, TN, US: Personal fouls and celebrating while the other team is lining up are killing our Texans, and my soul. How is that addressed? And, what are Cushing's chances of rookie of the year? He deserves it!! Go Texans!
Nick Scurfield (1:55:09PM): Got a few questions about that play. It was addressed by Kubiak in front of the entire team- please see earlier answers. Cushing leads the AFC (all players, not just rookies) with 99 tackles and has three INTs this season... he's certainly building a strong case to join Ryans as the 2nd Texans LB in 4 seasons to win DROY honors.
Alex - Spring, TX, US: Why haven't we seen more of Ryan Moats? He was doing great...
Nick Scurfield (1:56:20PM): Another popular question. Answered earlier, but Kubiak's explanation is that they decided to give Brown more carries after watching tape during the bye week. And he's said multiple times that for the Texans to be successful this season, they need Slaton to be a part of what they're doing.
paul - laporte, TX, US: hey nick im die hard texan fan.houston was leading 20-14 why didnt they pound the run game at the ind they where running at there best all season.
Nick Scurfield (2:18:02PM): Kubiak and Shanahan saw something at halftime that made them think they had a chance for a big play with Andre on the pass that ended up being an INT
Iteaf Graham - Virginia Beach, VA, US: Hey Nick, maybe I'm an eternal optimist but I just wanted to interject that the Texans have 5 winnable games left on our schedule. With a 10-6 record and splitting with the Jags and Titans where would that put us in the wild card race?
Nick Scurfield (2:18:27PM): It's too hard to say where that'd put the Texans because of the other tiebreakers involved. Please see this blog entry I did just before today's chat for an in-depth look at the playoff picture: /blog/index.asp?post_id=807
Nick Scurfield (2:02:25PM): I'll hang out for one or two more questions before I've got to run. Trying to get to as many of your questions as I can...
paul - laporte, TX, US: hey houston has only 1 win on a winning team this year and 1 win in the divion.and still can be in the playoff hunt with a win this week,does that shock you
Nick Scurfield (2:07:22PM): Paul- what shocks me is how tight the AFC is this season. Seven teams at 6-5 or 5-6 with a chance for the final wild card spot, and Denver isn't far ahead in the other WC spot at 7-4. Who knows which direction all of those teams will go over the final five weeks of the season
Mike - Houston, TX, US: Nick, How much is the absence of both the team's starting guards hurting this team in the run game. I feel like so many people are taking potshots at other areas of the team (particularly the backfield), but their absence seems to be most critical because it affects all phases of the offense (run game, pass pro, etc).
Nick Scurfield (2:10:05PM): It hurts any time you lose one starter, let alone two, on the o-line. Studdard and White have stepped up their game in Pitts and Brisiel's absence, though, and the line was really blowing the Colts off the ball in the first half on Sunday. Perhaps the Texans have finally found their running game
Nate - Stockton, CA, US: GOOD MORNING NICK, ITS BEEN A TOUGH TIME FOR US THESE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS! I LISTENED TO COACH AND HE SOUNDED LIKE I FEEL. LIKE A SINGLE DAD TRYING TO TEACH HIS ONLY SON EVERYTHING AND HE SEEMS TO JUST NOT GET IT. I THINK COACH IS DOING A GREAT JOB & YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THAT. BUT AS A REAL FAN OF THE TEXANS I CAN NEVER GIVE UP ON THEM,(PLUS THIS TATTOO WONT LET ME). SO IF YOU CAN TELL AS MANY OF THE GUYS AS YOU CAN, REMEMBER THE GUY IN OAKLAND LAST YEAR HE NEVER GAVE UP AND NEVER WILL! SO NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY RIDE US,WE ARE BULL HEADED TEXANS AND WE STILL HAVE A CHANCE TO BUCK'EM OFF! KEEP PUSHING TEXANS FA LIFE!
Nick Scurfield (2:19:58PM): Last question- going out on a positive note, as always. Nate- thanks for the feedback and for your support of the team.
I'll be back next week for my weekly live chat- same time and place. Thanks for joining me today, and hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving.