HOUSTON (AP) – The Houston Texans doubled their win total from last season by beating Oakland on Sunday. The defense forced five turnovers, the running game was revived and the special teams were superb.
But coach Gary Kubiak won’t have much time to celebrate because he has to figure out how David Carr finished with negative passing yards and didn’t have a single completion in the second half.
“I feel great about winning the football game, but I’m up there today knowing that we’re not going to get very far if we have those kinds of days throwing the football,” Kubiak said. “That has got to get fixed. We’ve got to take a hard look at that.”
Kubiak said poor protection by the offensive line early in the game started a snowball effect with Carr that was impossible to stop.
“It maybe caused David to lose a little confidence in what we were doing,” Kubiak said. “Then when we did protect well, he was getting a little antsy and not going through his reads. The two together, they don’t mix.”
Houston has lost three starting offensive linemen to injuries this season. Kubiak said the entire line struggled against Oakland, but that rookie right tackle Eric Winston had the most problems while dealing with the Raiders’ veteran defense.
Carr was 7-of-14 for 32 yards, but was sacked five times for 37 yards, leaving Houston with negative-5 yards passing. He also fumbled three times, with the Raiders recovering one of the drops for a touchdown.
Perhaps most disappointing about the outing is that until recently, Carr had been improving under Kubiak’s watch. He started out great and through six games this year, his passer rating and total yards were second in the AFC to Peyton Manning.
The latest performance will give fans who thought the Texans should have drafted Vince Young and gotten rid of Carr plenty to talk about this week. Young and the Titans enter Sunday’s game at Houston with a three game winning streak after an upset of Indianapolis.
Kubiak refused to get caught up in the hype of rating Carr against Young and said that it would be important for his quarterback to rebound this week no matter who the Texans were playing.
“David has got to go right back this week and do things better,” Kubiak said. “I told him: ‘You have to fix it and go back and play. You have to come back and play well this week for us to have a chance to win.'”
Kubiak, who backed up John Elway in Denver for nine seasons, said every quarterback he has been around has gone through ups and downs and he believes Carr can put this game behind him.
“That’s part of being a quarterback,” Kubiak said. “But the key is that David comes out of these things and continues to grow. If you want to be a great player in this league you’ve got to go through that stuff. How you battle through it and how you come is what counts.”
Though it was a virtually a moot point because of injuries, Kubiak made it clear that Carr would continue to be Houston’s starter. Backup Sage Rosenfels was placed on the injured reserve last week, leaving the Texans with only Carr and they signed Bradlee Van Pelt.
Van Pelt had been out of football since September after being released by the Broncos.
Carr was not available on Monday.