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News » It has been a bumpy ride, but Texans QB Sage Rosenfels has the confidence to get his game back on track Sunday


It has been a bumpy ride, but Texans QB Sage Rosenfels has the confidence to get his game back on track Sunday


It has been a bumpy ride, but Texans QB Sage Rosenfels has the confidence to get his game back on track Sunday
Not to overstate the case, but Sage Rosenfels' reputation as an NFL quarterback and the Texans' season might hang in the balance at Indianapolis this weekend.


The locale seems unfortunate for both, given Rosenfels' recent history against the Colts - never mind his four-interception implosion Sunday against Baltimore - and the Texans' futility in Hoosier country. There are easier stages for the Texans (3-6) and their starter-by-default Rosenfels to pursue redemption.

Still a backup at 30 after eight seasons in the NFL, Rosenfels receives this shot to right his recent wrongs only because Matt Schaub remains out of commission with a torn knee ligament. Also, the current backup, Craig Nall, has never taken a live snap with the Texans, which limits his viability as an option.

After admitting Monday he was concerned about Rosenfels' mindset coming off the Ravens debacle, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Wednesday: "Sage will be fine. He's a tough, strong-willed guy. I promise you, he'll bounce back. He'll play extremely well this week. I have the utmost confidence in that. I'm not worried. Sage will be fine. He is fine."

Rosenfels' r?sum? over three seasons as a Texan is baffling. When he's good, he's great, a man who could start for most of the teams in the NFL. The Texans went 3-1 behind him at the end of 2007 with Schaub lost to shoulder surgery, and he's 4-3 as the starter. Also, who can forget how he came in to pick apart the Tennessee defense last October, flinging four second-half touchdown passes to nearly pull off a miraculous comeback from a 32-7 deficit.

Or what he did for 56 minutes against the Colts six weeks ago, having replaced an ailing Schaub on short notice. Rosenfels' first six series against the Colts on Oct. 5 produced three touchdowns and two field goals as the Texans built a 27-10 lead. But his last three series ended with back-to-back fumbles followed by an interception as Indy mounted a comeback of record proportions, escaping with a 31-27 victory.

Against the Ravens, his first eight series were a mixed bag of three scoring drives, leading to a pair of field goals and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions and Baltimore got a safety on a holding call in the end zone. Yet the Texans remained alive, trailing 19-13, until Rosenfels suffered two more rapid-fire picks late, contributing disproportionately to a 22-point Ravens fourth quarter in a 41-13 loss.

"We all know I made a couple of mistakes in that game," Rosenfels said.

Don't look back

And, although he has hardly forgotten them, he has moved on because he must.

"You have to," he said. "I mean, I can't be out there in Indianapolis in front of 65,000 or 70,000 people going, ?Man, I wish I would have played better last week.' There are 16 games. No matter how well or how bad you played the last one, you have to be as prepared as possible for the next one. Thinking about the past isn't going to help us win it."

Rosenfels won't see the Ravens again soon. AFC South nemesis Indy at least offers a do-over opportunity, and he did enough things well in the first game before disaster struck to believe he can reprise his success albeit in a tougher environment.

"Every time you play a team, it's a whole different beast the next time you play them," he said. "They're not the same team. We're not the same team. You have to take each play separately. You can't take that same read and just assume that it's going to be there this week. You really have to read everything out. But that experience from the last game does obviously help a little bit in this game."

Rosenfels' teammates remain supportive. They see him as something of a gunslinger, a guy who occasionally gets in trouble only because he's trying so hard to make a play.

They'll mention, with respect, the fumble that began the deluge against the Colts last month. Fighting for a first down on a bootleg to keep alive what would have been a game-clinching drive, Rosenfels tried to leap over a tackler instead of sliding safely to the turf.

"We've all been around Sage for a while," receiver Andre Johnson said. "We know what type of person and competitor he is. He takes chances. Sometimes they work out - sometimes he'll save the team that week - and sometimes they don't. Fumbles, interceptions, they're part of the game. I'm pretty sure Sage will bounce back."

Perfect, no; good, yes

Rosenfels said the wagons circling around him aren't a surprise.

"I haven't been perfect," he said. "I've made too many mistakes at different times, but I think having some experience with me playing pretty good Football, for the most part, gives the guys confidence I can play better this week. I think I've played pretty well here for the last three years."

Which Kubiak acknowledges.

"It's my job and (offensive coordinator) Kyle Shanahan's job to continue to coach Sage, to try to build him up, put him in the perfect situations, even though that's almost impossible," Kubiak said. "If you're made of the right stuff as a coach, you take that responsibility."

Texans update

Nov. 9 : Ravens 41, Texans 13.

Record: 3-6.

Sunday: At Indianapolis Colts , noon.

TV/radio: CBS; 610 AM, 100.3 FM and 1010 AM (Spanish).



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 15, 2008

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