SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Embattled Texans quarterback Matt Schaub might be better off hitting the road and getting out of Houston for the weekend.
Many of his so-called supporters are practically calling for his head. Or, at least, for backup T.J. Yates.
A big sign above one freeway blares “Cut Schaub!”
Fans burned Schaub’s jersey after the Texans (2-2) failed on two overtime opportunities in a demoralizing 23-20 home defeat to unbeaten Seattle last week.
Schaub has thrown pick-6s in three straight games.
Now, things get even tougher as they visit Candlestick Park to take on the San Francisco 49ers (2-2).
“We expect him to go out there and prepare for us all week as if his life relies on it,” 49ers safety Donte Whitner said. “Right now, if he goes out there and makes more mistakes, it probably will.”
San Francisco understands all the scrutiny and sense of panic from fans. It was crisis mode for the 49ers until they snapped a two-game losing streak with a 35-11 road rout of the Rams. That after being held to 10 total points in the first consecutive losses of coach Jim Harbaugh’s tenure.
“The fact of the matter in the National Football League is you lose a couple of games in a row, you’re in a rut, you’re in big trouble,” Whitner said. “They can say that about us a couple weeks ago when we lost a couple in a row, and it was true. Same thing goes for the Texans.”
No identity crisis here
Just when everybody began questioning the NFC champion Niners’ defense — a unit missing linebacker Aldon Smith as he undergoes treatment for substance abuse, and injured All-Pro Patrick Willis — the group came back with a big performance.
With NaVorro Bowman leading the way in Willis’ absence, San Francisco returned to that swarming, run-stopping defense that has defined the team in recent seasons.
Bowman had five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble against St. Louis.
Gore on a roll
Harbaugh is all about getting the ball to Frank Gore. No criticism of his touches now. Not after the 49ers’ franchise rushing leader gained 153 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown at St. Louis.
Gore typically builds off a big game.
“I think it’s a positive. I think Frank knows who he is as a player and what he’s capable of,” Harbaugh said.
Vernon Davis remembers plenty from the last time the 49ers played Houston nearly four years ago. The tight end, then in his fourth NFL season, had his first three-touchdown game in the 24-21 loss.