2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Without Kubiak, Texans look to end 6-game skid

By BOB BAUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-07 16:38

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Bruce Arians knows what it's like to be an interim head coach. Now he gets a chance to go against one.

The Houston Texans will have Wade Phillips at the interim helm Sunday when they face Arizona in an attempt to end a six-game losing streak. Phillips replaces Gary Kubiak, who collapsed on the sidelines of last Sunday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts and was hospitalized for what was described as a ''mini-stroke.''

Arians, in his first season as head coach of the Cardinals, took over as interim coach of the Colts a year ago and led the team to a 9-3 record, a performance that earned him coach of the year honors and propelled him into the top job with the Cardinals. Now Phillips, a former head coach in Dallas and Kubiak's defensive coordinator, must try to end a skid that has tied a franchise record. The Texans (2-6) never have lost seven in a row.

''It was certainly shocking what happened in the ball game and the aftermath of that,'' Phillips said. ''We're certainly glad that he's getting better. We've had kind of an upside down season. Generally, things haven't been going our way very well. This was another example of that.''

The Cardinals (4-4) had a bye week after a 27-13 victory at home over Atlanta, a team that, like Houston, was supposed to be a lot better than it has been. The Texans, despite their poor record, enter the game first in the NFL in defense and eighth in offense.

''They're extremely well-coached and they're loaded with talent,'' Arians said. ''How they are 2-6 is beyond me.''

Here are five things to watch when the Texans play the Cardinals.

TEXANS MOOD: It's difficult to judge how the coaching situation will affect the Houston players, who were having a difficult season before their coach collapsed during a nationally televised game. The Texans say they have taken developments in stride. ''It's just part of being a professional,'' defensive end J.J. Watt said. ''You're dealt certain types of adversity or dealt certain hands. You just have to go out there and play. You have to deal with the situations that come your way. And right now we're dealing with a situation where Wade (Phillips) is our interim head coach and he's a very knowledgeable guy and knows what he's doing. We're in good hands.''

CARDINALS MOMENTUM: The Cardinals hope their week off doesn't stem the momentum from their victory over Atlanta. Quarterback Carson Palmer says the time off should be beneficial with no problem getting back to work. ''It was great for the entire team to get off their feet for a little while,'' he said. ''I know some guys went home to see family and friends and all that, but it just kind of gives you a chance to recharge.'' The time off gave wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) and running back Rashard Mendenhall (toe) a chance to heal.

HOUSTON'S OFFENSE: Kubiak called most of the plays, and now that duty falls to offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. Arians says that makes defensive preparation for the Cardinals more difficult. ''Once you have a different play caller, that's a change,'' Arians said. ''There are no tendencies. You throw that out the window. There's nothing we have on Rick Dennison other than a half of football (Sunday).'' Dennison downplayed the chance of any significant change in what the Texans do. ''It's pretty much the same,'' he said. ''I just don't have anybody bouncing ideas off me and me bouncing ideas off them.''

KEENUM IN CONTROL: Case Keenum will get his third straight start at quarterback for Houston.

In last weekend's 27-24 loss to Indianapolis, Keenum completed 20 of 34 passes for 350 yards with no interceptions. It included touchdown passes of 62, 41 and 5 yards to Andre Johnson.

Keenum's ability to get the ball downfield has been a big plus for Houston.

''We've had some great opportunities and they've kind of presented themselves in different situations as far as what coverages they're playing and we can attack certain areas,'' he said. ''It's having guys like No. 80 (Johnson) and you feel good about putting the ball up and letting him make a play. He does it more often than not, so you kind of keep looking his way when it's crunch time.''

CLASS OF `04: The Arizona Cardinals had one of their greatest draft classes in 2004 and four of those picks will be on the field Sunday. They are: Fitzgerald (first round), inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (second round), defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (third round) and, now playing for Houston, defensive end Antonio Smith (fifth round). All four played significant roles in Arizona's 2008 Super Bowl season.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group