Are the 49ers or Texans under more pressure to win on Sunday?
Gary Kubiak's Texans are 2-2 and coming off a brutal loss to the Seahawks in which they blew a 20-3 halftime lead before losing in OT. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak can draw on his experience of one season with the 49ers to understand how quickly a bad situation can turn around.
Kubiak was the quarterbacks coach under George Seifert and offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan in 1994 when the 49ers got off to a 3-2 start. After a 40-8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Candlestick Park, the 49ers were reeling and quarterback Steve Young was seething upon getting benched.
“The thing I do remember is it wasn’t easy,” Kubiak said on a conference call Wednesday morning with the Bay Area media. “I remember our start and how difficult it was and how we got rolling and overcame it and played extremely well. “
The 49ers won their next 10 games and blew out the San Diego Chargers, 49-26, to win the Super Bowl. Shortly thereafter, the Denver Broncos hired Shanahan as head coach and Kubiak joined him as offensive coordinator.
“A lot of great players; a lot of great people,” Kubiak said, recalling his one season with the 49ers. “George was wonderful to work for. And Mr. (Eddie) DeBartolo was a wonderful man to get to know and great to my family. That crowd in San Francisco was just tremendous. Couldn’t ask for more. It was a one-year stop for me, but it was an enjoyable one, I can tell you that.”
Kubiak, now in his eighth season as Texans head coach, is coming back to Candlestick Park on Sunday with his team coming off, perhaps, the most difficult loss of his career.
The Texans blew a 17-point second-half lead against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and fell in overtime. The Texans received a standing ovation from the crowd at the end of the third quarter. Those cheers soon turned to outrage and boos.
[RECAP: Seahawks 23, Texans 20]
“That makes it tough,” Kubiak said. “When you go out and play pretty darn well and you don’t finish product at the end of the day, that’s tough to swallow. That’s a part of this league.
“Facing (the 49ers), I mean, obviously, a great football team, so we better re-focus real fast to be ready to play.”
Nobody must re-focus faster than quarterback Matt Schaub, who threw a critical interception, which Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman returned for a touchdown. There were reports of Texans “fans” burning Schaub’s jersey in the parking lot afterward.
[RELATED: Texans fans light Schaub's jersey on fire]
“He’s OK,” Kubiak said. “We’re back at it here today. (We) spent a lot of time Monday and Tuesday, and just refocusing on next game and trying eliminate some mistakes and keep your chin and keep battling.”