WHAT TO WATCH FOR
All eyes with be on Schaub as he is starting to see the tide go against him. He has thrown for 1,193 yards with eight touchdowns this season, but has been picked off six times and sacked 11.
Schaub knows the only thing he can do is go right back to work on the field.
"It was one play the other day and it was a very important play, but we'll be better when we get back into that situation again. You just go right back to work and get right back in the film room, get right back out onto the practice field and go to the next one," said the quarterback.
Houston is ranked fifth in total offense, but just 19th in scoring as Schaub continues to make back-breaking mistakes. Kubiak, though, doesn't see it as a lack of confidence.
"I don't see a lack of confidence. I see some poor decision-making situations, some that he has to handle and some that we can help him handle. But there are a lot of good things that are happening too, but the problem when you to play that position, if there's three or four glaring mistakes, they can be the difference in winning and losing," said Kubiak.
Not helping Schaub last week as the fact that All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown was inactive due to a sprained toe, but he did participate in practice on Wednesday.
Houston now goes up against a San Francisco defense that ranks fourth in the league in yardage allowed and held St. Louis to just 18 yards rushing on 19 carries.
The 49ers held the Rams to just 188 yards in the victory despite playing without two of their top linebackers, though Willis has a chance to return this weekend.
"They've got a great pass rush, very good defense up front, good secondary," said Schaub. "Much like we faced last week and the week before for that matter. They're a good group and have been for a couple of years. We're going to have to be at our best come Sunday night in their building."
Waiting for Houston will be safety Donte Whitner, who picked up his first interception of the season last weekend as well as a fine for an unnecessary roughness penalty.
Whitner confirmed on Wednesday that he has in fact filed paperwork to change the spelling of his last name.
"From here on out until I retire, my name will be Donte Hitner, without the 'W.'"
Kaepernick is also looking to put some struggles behind him and was able to avoid the big mistake and move the ball down the field at times versus St. Louis. He hooked up with wide receiver Anquan Boldin on a 42-yard catch while completing TD throws to the wideout and tight end Vernon Davis.
He awaits another challenge in the form of a Texans defense that has yet to give up more than 300 yards of offense in a game this season. Houston also had five sacks and two takeaways versus Seattle.
Linebacker Whitney Mercilus had 2 1/2 sacks and end J.J. Watt was credited with eight tackles and a half-sack. The two lead the club with 3 1/2 sacks on the season, while defensive end Antonio Smith has notched at least a half-sack in four straight games dating back to last season.
In all, Houston's defense is giving up just 254.3 yards per game.
"J.J. Watt is one of the top players in this league," noted Harbaugh. "Strong, great ability to rush the passer, get passed blocks and then on the quarterback almost immediately when he's able to that. He's able to run and use his length. A lot of really good things to his game."
Watt is second on the club with 25 tackles behind only linebacker Brian Cushing, who has 33 but also left the previous game with a concussion. Kubiak said that Cushing is doing good and participated in things on Wednesday, but had yet to fully go through the league's concussion protocol.
Schaub is facing the possibility of going from the frying pan into the fire.
The embattled signal-caller goes up against another defense that can put a quarterback on his back, though the 49ers don't have a secondary as deep as the Seahawks. Still, Schaub's decision making will be put to the test by the bay.
It hasn't been as rough for Kaepernick, who has a demeanor that is tough to crack. He to will have to be on his toes with Watt looking to knock both him and the ball down.
This should come down to confidence, something the Niners certainly have an edge in.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: 49ers 20, Texans 16