Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers: Full Roster Grades for Houston

Matt Goldstein@mattgoldstein5Contributor IIOctober 7, 2013

Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers: Full Roster Grades for Houston

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    In a game where many expected the Houston Texans to bounce back from their devastating defeat suffered at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, the Texans did just the opposite.

    The San Francisco 49ers humiliated the Texans on Sunday Night Football, destroying them 34-3.

    The 49ers put the Texans down and crushed them right from the start. Through one quarter of play, it seemed as if the game was already over.

    Here are the grades for the Texans' roster from one of their worst losses in recent memory.


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    Matt Schaub: F

    Pathetic. To sum up Matt Schaub's game, there is no better word. Just completely, absolutely pathetic. It was the worst game of his career, and that's saying something considering some of his horrendous recent ones.

    He threw pick after pick after pick—one of them was a pick six, of course, coming on his first pass of the game.

    Schaub's horribly bad game will only add to his lack of self-confidence and will contribute to his devastating self-implosion.

    T.J. Yates: N/A

    Despite playing most of the fourth quarter, T.J. Yates had few opportunities to display his talent. He handed the ball off to the Texans' running backs for most of the quarter.

Running Backs

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    Arian Foster: A

    As Arian Foster continues to shake off the rust from missing all of training camp, he continues to get better and better. Foster looked like the dangerous one-cut threat of the golden days, slashing through a stout 49ers defense.

    Foster, who consistently fought for extra yardage and was one of the few Texans playing with heart, was the lone offensive bright spot in this embarrassing blowout.

    Ben Tate: C-

    Despite receiving very few carries, Ben Tate was very unimpressive in this one. He had a few decent runs where he displayed his toughness, but he had just as many poor ones.

    What was amounting to be an average performance, however, was shattered when Tate fumbled the football late in the game. It hardly had an impact on the outcome, but it was Tate's second fumble in two consecutive weeks and could be an issue moving forward.

    Greg Jones: B+

    Greg Jones continued to block well for the Texans and helped pave the way for Foster's efficient night running the football.

Wide Receivers

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    Andre Johnson: B

    Andre Johnson didn't put up fantastic numbers; three catches for 39 yards is normally a very poor outing for him. But he can hardly be blamed.

    Johnson was consistently getting open throughout the game; Matt Schaub simply could not hit him. 

    DeAndre Hopkins: B

    As with Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins' so-so performance is hardly worth analyzing. Hopkins, who also was able to routinely get open, was a victim of Schaub's fallacies.

    Schaub, who stared down Johnson on the majority of his throws, barely looked Hopkins' way, and he didn't even attempt to throw it to him until the Texans were down big.

Tight Ends

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    Owen Daniels: B+

    Owen Daniels was his typical self, attempting in each and every way to make life easier for his quarterback set on imploding. 

    Daniels lead the Texans in receptions and receiving yards, and he put together a very solid game.

    Garrett Graham: B-

    One of the Texans' better surprises this season, Garrett Graham didn't make much of an impact in this one. One can hardly expect the second-string tight end on a run-heavy team to put great numbers every week, though.

Offensive Line

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    Offensive Line: B+

    Bafflingly, considering the performance of Matt Schaub, the offensive line actually played very well. Schaub was hit only four times and sacked once.

    But as solid as the line was in pass protection, they were even better when run blocking. They were exceptional against a tough 49ers front-seven; they opened up an incredible amount of running room for Arian Foster and Ben Tate.

Defensive Line

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    J.J. Watt: A

    Even though the Texans were dominated on national television, J.J. Watt still managed to impress. Like Arian Foster, he played with a fire that was missing from the rest of the team.

    When he wasn't being double-teamed, he was virtually unstoppable. He routinely beat Pro Bowl tackle Anthony Davis, fighting his way into the backfield for three terrific tackles for loss.

    Antonio Smith: C-

    Antonio Smith, whose strength lies in his pass-rushing ability, seemed lost on the playing field. The 49ers were committed to shoving the ball down the Texans' throat, and Smith was unable to make any type of defensive impact.

    Earl Mitchell: C

    Neither a stud nor a liability, Earl Mitchell had a very average game. He ate up space and let the other Texans' defenders do what they do best.

    Jared Crick: A

    Due to Antonio Smith's struggles, Jared Crick was given much more playing time than normal. And he made the best of it, channeling his inner J.J. Watt and racking up two batted down passes.


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    Brian Cushing: B

    Although Brian Cushing had some very nice tackles, he disappointed just as much as he impressed. The 49ers were able to easily run the ball on the Texans' defense, and Cushing, who leads the Texans' defensive front, deserves a share of the blame.

    Whitney Mercilus: A-

    Whitney Mercilus, who exploded onto the scene last week, continued his hot streak. He tallied a sack and was one of the Texans' better pass-rushers in their defeat.

    Brooks Reed: B+

    Brooks Reed, who is a far superior run-defender than a pass-rusher, had a decent game. He almost lead the Texans in tackles, and he added a tackle for loss to his total. If Reed can develop into a consistent pass-rusher, he will instantly become one of the best players in the Texans' stacked front-seven.

    Joe Mays/Darryl Sharpton: C

    When an opposing team experiences great success running the ball, blame must fall on the middle linebackers who were unable to fill the gaps.

    Both Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton did nothing to stop the 49ers, and this was the first game this season when both performed poorly.


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    Johnathan Joseph: C

    Don't let the numbers fool you, as they easily can. Although it looks like the Texans shutdown Colin Kaepernick, the truth is that the 49ers hardly even threw the ball.

    And as a result, it looks like Johnathan Joseph had a phenomenal game. But the opposite it true. Joseph, who looked like Kareem Jackson in his rookie year, refused to turn his head and identify the ball in mid-air. 

    That is a major problem for bad cornerbacks, and the Texans cannot afford for Joseph to fall into the destructive habit of refusing to take his eyes off the receiver.

    Kareem Jackson: A-

    Unlike Joseph, Kareem Jackson had a very good game. While the 49ers rarely tested the Texans' secondary, Jackson held his own and didn't give up any major plays.

    Brice McCain: C-

    Brice McCain continued his season of terrible performances in this one.

    First, McCain was called for defensive holding that extended a 49ers' drive. And then he failed to cover Vernon Davis when he was lined up in the slot, allowing Davis to get wide open and haul in a 64-yard touchdown reception.

    In a league that places an increased emphasis on passing the football, McCain is becoming one of the Texans' defensive liabilities.


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    Ed Reed: C

    Ed Reed, who had greatly improved the Texans' secondary in his first two games, only damaged it in this one. In fact, his performance was nearly abysmal, considering the sheer lack of times the 49ers threw the football.

    Reed, who was battling with an injury for most of the game, allowed several catches to be completed his way. He also took a terrible angle on Vernon Davis' touchdown reception, allowing the athletic tight end to sprint into the end zone.

    Danieal Manning: A-

    Unlike Reed, Danieal Manning was both tough against the run and solid in coverage. He had a very good game and proved once again that he has vastly improved from last season.

Special Teams

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    Randy Bullock: D+

    Randy Bullock missed his first field goal of the game, adding to his already awful total of missed field goal attempts on the season. Mercifully, he connected on a 41-yarder later in the game.

    Shane Lechler: A

    Shane Lechler had another great game, booting the ball with powerful force and displaying his accurate touch.