With high hopes and expectations, the Houston Texans looked primed for a run to the Super Bowl before the season started. As we know, the road ended before we knew it and then came the evaluation period to see what exactly went wrong. Call it scheme, coaching or just general play of players, it was an upsetting end to a promising season.
We looked at the most disappointing Texans of the 2012 season, and here is the short list.
Ben Tate, #44 Houston Texans
After a 942 yard 2011 season, Ben Tate rushed for 279 yards in 2012 and was relegated to nothing but a running back buried in the depth chart. He also missed 5 games with a foot and hamstring issue that seemed to put him behind Justin Forsett on the depth chart. He is vital to the Texans’ run game and, more importantly, to Arian Foster’s workload with the football. Foster’s carries were high with 351 in the regular season and 54 in the playoffs, where Tate only had 65 the entire regular season. The 2013 season is a big season for Tate. Maybe we can see him be more of an option for this team.
This is more of a product on how he was used in the offense than Casey himself. A talented player who can cause match up issues, he was nothing more than a fullback who moonlighted as a tight end, on occasion. Casey had his most productive season as a professional with 34 catches, 330 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was to be the wild card on offense, to be used multiple ways. That didn’t come true in 2012. Casey, for all of the talk of him during preseason, was more of an after thought for the offense, which was disappointing.
Gary Kubiak was talking highly of Jean during the off season but for the talk it was nothing but that. Jean who was supposed to be the new number two receiver for the offense and big play threat, struggled to make a true difference. An MCL injury in week three kept him out until week six of the season, but only six catches on the season was an eye opener. Jean’s snaps decreased as the season went on and was demoted to the team’s 4th wide receiver. Jean will have to get back on track to make sure he has a spot on the 2013 Texans’ roster.
Free Agent OLB, Connor Barwin
Barwin played run defense well this season but his impact as the premier pass rusher for the Texans in 2012 was anything but that. After posting 11.5 sacks in 2011, expectations were high and he only posted 3 sacks in 2012. This season for Barwin was all about getting to the quarterback and causing issues, and quarterback hits are good which he totaled 17 for the season. It was good enough for second on the team, but just not enough to make that impact the defense needed.
First four games of the season, Schaub was on point and looking better than ever. Then in the last 13 games, he threw 12 interceptions which led to an 8-5 record. Schaub needed to step up when the team needed him the most and he didn’t. In the 12 regular season wins, he threw 22 touchdown passes. In the 4 losses, he was shutout through the air. To make matters worse, his completion percentage beyond 21 yards was a red flag too, 21-30 yards he completed 30.8% and 31-40 yards he only completed 23.1%. No Texan player is catching more criticism than Schaub. He has plenty of work to do this offseason and this team will only be as good as Schaub plays.
You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans.