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

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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