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Matt Leinart in For Matt Schaub

LeinartWell it is time to see what Matt Leinart, former Arizona Cardinal and 10th overall Draft pick in 2006,  can do despite being a rather unimpressive name as an NFL quarterback. In his 17 NFL starts Leinart has 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, and he hasn't even seen a mark in a stat sheet since January of 2010, when he threw for two picks and no touchdowns in a 33-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers as a starter for the Cardinals. 

Leinart comes in to play for the Houston Texans as their now starting quarterback in place of stellar Matt Schaub who is likely done for the remainder of the season after a foot injury that occured last week in their game against Tampa Bay. The quarterback said on Tuesday that he was hurt when Bucs defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth fell on his foot during a run. "It wasn't deliberate," Schaub said on Houston radio. "Anytime you run a sneak, there's going to be a pile … I'm extremely frustrated. I'm pretty bummed, to put it lightly, especially on such a small play like a quarterback sneak out of the end zone. If it had to happen, I wish that it had been me diving over a pile." Schaub may be sunk, but there is hope for his team, we hope.

The Houston Texans are currently sitting rather comfortably atop the AFC South after their mind blowing win (39-7) against the Bucs this past sunday. But can they be sure that with Leinart as their new main man they can make their first play off birth? 

For the Texans they have a few things going in their favor. For one, they have the number one offensive line in all of NFL football, and they have been damn good at keeping it that way. One way we saw this is through the teams use of "run-action," which happens on a pass play in which the line fires out as if a run play is coming. This past sunday we saw Schaub throw an 80 yard bomb to Jacoby Jones on the first offensive play of the win over Tampa Bay. That play alone was a perfect example of this teams "run-action" success. 

A second safe haven for the Texans is that their up coming games are against opponents that should give them no trouble. First and foremost the Texans are on a bye-week which allows Leinart to get somewhat up to speed. After that the remaining games on their regular season schedule include the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, and lastly the Tennessee Titans. 

For Leinart, luckily he is coming into an already stacked offense that will lesson the pressure on him. Studs Andre Johnson and Arian Foster are sure to be hugely important in helping that pressure fall elsewhere. 

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, former coach for Leinart at USC, spoke in confidence about Leinart. "It's a great opportunity for Matt," Carroll said on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, it came about through injury, but I've watched all of that very closely. This is that opportunity with a really good football team and a terrific running game and a hot-as-can-be defense. I'm really excited for him and I hope that he'll get moving and things will happen and they'll get off to a great start with him as he gets his chance. He's waited and worked really hard for this and he's been, at times, not as patient as maybe the situation called for. But he was not patient because he's a great competitor and he wants to battle and play, so I'm excited to see what he does."

One thing we have to think is that the Texans are probably quite happy that they didnt have to face quite as big of a downfall as the Colts did when they replaced injured Peyton Manning with Curtis Painter. What a relief. 

One can only hope, however, that Leinart decides to step it up, and helps his team hold on for dear life. 


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