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Texans & O’s

TeXans and O’s

Reality Check

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I wrote about the Texans had an outside shot at snagging the second seed in the AFC. While I can probably write it off as a post-Patriots victory hangover, I really should have known better.

All week, I kept looking at that Denver game with increasing anxiety. In the Houston Texans textbook, this game is listed in the chapter titled, “Games We Lose.” It even came with the guaranteed Texans loss kicker of Denver starting a rookie quarterback starting his first road game. I wish I could go back and bet on this game. It was a NO BRAINER.

Speaking of no brainer, Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien. He gave another of his trademark post-Texans loss pressers with the tired, “It’s all on me, We’ve got to to better, We need to be more consistent,” drivel.

For maybe the first time in NFL history, Houston and Dallas sports fans can agree, being a head coach of an NFL team in Texas is the sweetest deal in sports! FIRE THESE GUYS ALREADY!

When an 8-4 team gets blasted by 4-8 on their field, it’s the mark of a poorly coached team. We’ve been suffering in Houston with poor coaching since the inception of the team. Dom Capers couldn’t do it, Gary Kubiak couldn’t do it, and Bill O’Brien won’t do it. He was too busy reveling in FINALLY beating Bill Belichek to prepare his team for a Denver team that should have been run out of town.

It’s pathetic and inexcusable. When will management stop putting us through this embarrassment?

Depths of Despair

After yesterday, I have no desire to see the Houston Texans in the playoffs. It’s just going to be another disappointing embarrassment. Don’t believe me? Let me lay it out for you.

In the first round we’re likely to face either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Buffalo Bills. I don’t see us defeating either team. In fact, I expect the same disinterested performance we got last season against the Colts.

However, say sneak out of the first round. Then we’re on the road against either the Ravens or Patriots/Chiefs. Of those three options, none result in anything less than complete annihilation. The Ravens have already beaten us 41-7 this season, and the Chiefs and Patriots will be out for blood for what were clearly lucky wins by the Texans. Sorry, not interested.

Resigned

Part of me was excited about starting my Texans column the week they beat the Patriots. It felt like destiny. Instead, I find myself wanting to quit after two weeks.

I’m committed to the rest of the season, which is why I want the season to end in three weeks. After that, I just don’t have the will to support this team while Bill O’Brien is coach.

I believe this can compete for a Super Bowl next season. However, that is going to be impossible if the Texans continue to operate with their current front office. We still need a General Manager, one that isn’t a Bill O’Brien acolyte. We need a GM who will clean house, starting with the head coach, and bringing in a new coach and offensive coordinator who can instill an offensive scheme to take advantage of our incredible talent.

Don’t mess with my Romeo. He’s one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, and has continually found ways to replace JJ Watt injury and injury after injury.

The Texans are a team lacking in a good team culture. A culture where games like Sunday’s loss are unacceptable and non-existent. A culture committed to winning and representing Houston in a way we can all be proud. This culture has never existed, and it’s time the team’s leadership stepped up.

The Texans kept their first two coaches too long. With another season, Bill O’Brien will become the third. It’s time for a major overhaul of the front office. I just hope we get to see it.

Categories
Texans & O’s

TeXans and O’s

Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

Dragon Slayers

His name is Deshaun Watson, first of his name. Jacker of Jaguars, killer of Colts, and Warden of the AFC South. He is now the Dragon Slayer.

For the second time in franchise history, the Houston Texans defeated the New England Patriots 28-22 behind the heroics of Deshaun Watson. Coming into this game, I had a feelings the Texans were going to finally get over the hump, and defeat the Patriots on national television.

The Patriots have been pretty shaky over the past couple of weeks despite their 10-1 record, and it showed mightily Sunday night. Tom Brady looked frazzled most the night, and often showed his frustration towards his teammates on the sidelines.

The Patriots also lost control of the top seed in the AFC to the Baltimore Ravens. That is a more pressing problem as it seems their chances to go to their fourth straight Super Bowl will require home field advantage. The Ravens are the closest thing to unbeatable in the NFL right now, and appear to be the favorite going into the last month of the season.

For the Texans, the win solidified their chances at winning the AFC South for the second year in a row. It’s not going to be easy. They play their biggest threat, the Tennessee Titans, twice before the end of the season. The good news is the Texans have an easier schedule to close out the season.

Playoff Picture

The playoff picture in the AFC is going to a lot of fun to watch going into the final month of the season. I can see two scenarios where the Texans could make the AFC Championship this season.

The second seed is the less likely of the two, but not completely impossible. It would require the Texans to go 4-0 and the Patriots to go 2-2 to end the season. Since the Patriots have been so shaky recently, culminating in Sunday’s loss, I can see them struggling against the Chiefs and surging Bills down the stretch. In this scenario, the Texans would land a coveted first round bye. That advantage, along with Deshaun Watson puts the Texans in the AFC Championship.

The other, more likely, scenario is the fourth seed. All this takes in the Texans winning their division, and finishing behind Kansas City in the final standings. This will be tricky because there is a strong likelihood these two teams will finish with the same record at the end of the season. In this scenario, the Texans would get a first round home game against, likely, the Pittsburgh Steelers. A win there would send them to Foxboro to face the Patriots. After Sunday’s win, I am not worried about the prospect of knocking off the Patriots on the road in the playoffs. Daunting? Yes, but I feel this victory could give us the confidence we’d need to get a victory at Gillette Stadium.

Super Bowl, you ask? Stop kidding yourself, the Ravens are a lock to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Cleveland Sucks

I’ll close with a story that really just needs to go away, but just keeps vomiting up more garbage with each passing week. Two weeks ago, Miles Garrett swung a helmet at the head of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. As a result, he has been suspended for the rest of this season. Personally, I feel the punishment could have been more severe, but it’s hard to push for much more. In any case, the guy deserved extreme punishment.

The following week, there were reports of Cleveland Browns fans using a Steelers helmet to swing at a Mason Rudolph piñata while tailgating. Such class, Cleveland.

Then, this week, we see an Instagram post of Browns head coach, Freddie Kitchens, wearing a t-shirt saying, “Pittsburgh started it.” This refers to the fact Rudolph was the instigator of the fight resulting in the swinging of the helmet.

Cleveland has sunk to terrible new lows in class and respectability. The Browns came into this season with a great deal of hype, but have become one of the biggest disappointments of the season. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Kitchens. I would also lay part of the blame of the incident on him as well. Well coached players don’t swing helmets at other players. Kitchens claims his daughters wanted him to wear the shirt. What a father!

The incident is about as shameful an act a player can commit on the field of play. The best you can do is accept punishment, and move on. It says a lot about the city, team and fans of Cleveland that they not only don’t want to move on from this embarrassment, they want to revel in it. It’s a look as ugly as their uniforms.