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COMMENTARY: A good quarterback for Texans right now? Initials are 'BF'

MINNEAPOLIS Have many of us been duped (at worst) or conditioned (at best) to automatically think about a 42-year-old man who likely is riding a tractor every time there is major injury news regarding a quarterback of a contending NFL team? Yes, ...

MINNEAPOLIS

Have many of us been duped (at worst) or conditioned (at best) to automatically think about a 42-year-old man who likely is riding a tractor every time there is major injury news regarding a quarterback of a contending NFL team?

Yes, that is the power of Brett Favre. The legendary waffler earned that reputation by hemming and hawing and hired gunslinging and aw-shucksing his way through the better part of the final decade of his career. Even when you believe he is done playing, you don't really believe it.

So when the Raiders needed a quarterback midseason, we immediately thought of Favre. Instead, Oakland gave up a ransom for Carson Palmer. Their choice, we suppose.

But after a barrage of QB injuries over the weekend, thoughts of Favre were fresh again. Keep in mind that as of Tuesday afternoon the re-retired Favre hadn't said a peep about wanting to come back. One team, however, stood out as a natural fit for his services: the Houston Texans. Consider:

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--Houston is 7-3 and playing in an AFC in which no clear favorite has emerged. New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and anyone else you can name are flawed. With quarterback Matt Schaub out for a long stretch, perhaps even the entire season, the Texans need a QB who can win now.

--Instead, they have Matt Leinart poised to take over for Schaub. No offense to Leinart, but he never has proven he can win in the NFL. Texans right tackle Eric Winston said this about Leinart to SI.com's Peter King: "He knows, we all know, that quarterback is not an easily replaceable piece. But I believe the guys on this team really have faith he can do it." We say this: Only someone with extreme optimism could view him as anything other than Cade McNown, part II.

--Houston very conveniently has a bye week. If the Texans signed Favre on Wednesday, he would have a week and a half to prepare for his first game -- a span of time also known as a "Favre training camp."

--Ol' Brett is a Southerner at heart. Houston is just a little more than 400 miles from his home in Hattiesburg, Miss., with three home games remaining on the Texans' schedule. Only one potential cold-weather game (at Cincinnati) would loom on the schedule for Favre, who clearly no longer enjoys playing on the frozen tundra.

The only remaining questions are whether Favre is remotely tempted, and whether Houston has the curiosity to match. If either needed final motivation, they should consider the potential to reach the Super Bowl exists. And they just might get to face a certain green and gold team from the NFC if they got there.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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