FALCON POINTS

Bill O'Brien vs. Bill Belichick: A Tale of the tape, plus a look at why O'Brien and Jason Garrett might have missed their Super Bowl window

Getty Images

When the Texans hired Bill O'Brien, they hoped they were getting the next Bill Belichick. Of course, every team hopes that, and only one actually did it.

It's no secret O'Brien has struggled in his career against his old boss. He is 0-5 against Belichick, and his teams have been outscored by an average of 30-15.

But let's take a deeper look at how the two Bills match up:

Not much of a comparison

So let's get the unpleasant stuff out of the way first, looking at both coaches records head to head:

Overall head coaching record

O'Brien 49-42, .538. Belichick: 271-124 .686

Playoff record

O'Brien 1-3, .250. Belichick 31-11, .738

Super Bowl record

O'Brien 0-0, Belichick 6-3.

AFC Championship record

O'Brien 0-0, Belichick 9-4

Now the good news...

Yeah, so OK, we know that isn't fair. But on the bright side, O'Brien's six years with the Texans actually measure up nicely with Belichick's first six years in the league, five with Cleveland.

Overall head coaching record

O'Brien 49-42, .538. Belichick: 41-55 .427

Playoff record

O'Brien 1-3, .250. Belichick 1-1, .500

Belichick was 5-11 in his first year in New England after the stint in Cleveland. The next year he went 11-5 and won his first Super Bowl. He hasn't had a losing season since. That correlates with the Tom Brady era, of course.

So maybe next year is O'Brien's year? Looking at other first time Super Bowl winning coaches, If it was going to happen for O'Brien, it probably already would have.

Something more apt

First, let's compare O'Brien to another prominent coach who has yet to win a Super Bowl:

Overall head coaching record

O'Brien 49-42, .538. Coach X: 83-64, .565

Playoff record

O'Brien 1-3, .250. Coach X; 2-3, .400

No championship game or Super Bowl appearances.

Record vs. Patriots

O'Brien 0-5, Coach X 0-3

"Coach X" is the man who just faced Belichick and the Patriots, Jason Garrett. In his 10th year, his run appears near an end. He is comparable to O'Brien with a few more years in the books. We throw him in because like O'Brien, his Super Bowl window may have passed and his team just lost to these same Patriots.

So what is the point?

Yes, O'Brien - and Garrett - do not match up with Belichick. Who does? But Belichick wasn't Belichick at O'Brien's stage of his career, either. Had he stayed with the Browns, would he have been the same coach? Who knows? Obviously having Brady has a lot to do with his success. And realistically, no one will ever be Belichick. But can O'Brien achieve success at the highest level after six years on the job? Can Garrett in year 10? A deeper look at recent first time Super Bowl winners says no.

Super Bowl winning coaches

Let's go back to 2000 and look at how many years a coach was on the job before winning their first Super Bowl aside from Belichick:

2000, Dick Vermeil, Rams. Vermeil spent seven years in Philadelphia. He reached a Super Bowl in Year five. After a 15 year break he returned with the Rams, had two losing seasons and won it in Year 3. So technically he was in his 10th coaching year when he won his first Super Bowl, but made it to one in year 5.

2001, Brian Billick, Ravens: He won the Super Bowl in his second season.

2003, Jon Gruden, Bucs: Year 1 with Tampa Bay, Year 5 as a head coach (four years in Oakland with one AFC Championship game).

2006, Bill Cowher, Steelers: Won it in his 14th season, but also went to a Super Bowl in year four.

2007, Tony Dungy, Colts: He won it in his 11th season, his fifth in Indianapolis, his second team.

2008, Tom Coughlin, Giants: Won it in year 12, but year four with the Giants, his second team.

2009, Mike Tomlin, Steelers: Won it in Year 2.

2010, Sean Payton, Saints: Won it in Year 4.

2011, Mike McCarthy, Packers: Won in Year 5.

2013, John Harbaugh, Ravens: Won in Year 5.

2014, Pete Carroll, Seahawks: Won in Year 8, but his third team. It was Year 4 with the Seahawks. He also had national championships at USC between gigs, so he is an outlier.

2016, Gary Kubiak, Broncos: Won in Year 9, but first year in Denver.

2018, Doug Pederson, Eagles: Won in Year 2.

The bad news...

Not a single coach with his first team won a Super Bowl after year five without previously making it to a Super Bowl. Cowher did it in 14 years, but had already made it to one. Dungy, Vermeil and Coughlin all won later in their careers, but not with their first teams. Only Dungy and Coughlin won their first Super Bowl more than 10 years into their careers without having been to a Super Bowl and lost before.

However, Dungy made a conference title game in Year 4 (with the Bucs). Coughlin made it in Year 2 and Year 5 in Jacksonville. Cowher had been to five conference championship games, his first in Year 3, in addition to losing the Super Bowl. Vermeil was in Year 5 with the Eagles when they made the Super Bowl.

The bottom line: Only three coaches have won a Super Bowl since 2000 without an appearance in at least a conference championship game in their first five years coaching in the league.

The exceptions?

1) Former Texans coach Kubiak, who had never made a title game before winning his first year in Denver. He inherited a team that had already been to a Super Bowl, however.

2) Carroll, who took a lengthy break to have success at USC before going to the Seahawks. You could argue the Seattle team he inherited was comparable to the Texans team O'Brien took over. Yet Carroll won in Year 4 and made it back in Year 5. You could also argue national championships should count.

3) Then there is that man again, Belichick.

Belichick, although his career started in the early 90s, is the measuring stick for all since. Year 7 was his first title, and he had not led a team to a championship game before. So there's that to hang onto, even though it was his second team.

Of those three? None were in their first NFL coaching jobs, which means O'Brien and Garrett are up against it. In the simplest terms, if you don't make at least a conference title game by year 5, you won't be winning a Super Bowl with that team.

In reality, what O'Brien and Garrett are hoping to achieve simply does not happen at this point in their careers. Neither has reached a conference title game, which means their window is likely closed, unless they can buck history.

The one positive is O'Brien has accomplished more in his first six seasons than Belichick did in his. But at this stage of his Texans career, he is unlikely to ever win the ultimate prize, at least in Houston.

If history is to be believed, time has run out. But at least there is still a chance to beat his old boss for the first time.

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship good, bad and ugly

Getty Images

The NFL Conference Championship Weekend is their Final Four. You don't get the games played in the same place, but there is a buzz in both stadiums because each team knows theyarethisclose to a Super Bowl. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the real deal. We gawk at his arm strength and ability to make throws in spaces and from angles that'll challenge physics. But his athleticism and escapability are underrated. Prime example was his 27-yard touchdown run right before halftime. Not only did he evade the rush and scramble to the outside, but he tightroped along the sideline, cut back inside, then carried a couple defenders across the goalline. He led the Chiefs in rushing yards with 56.

-49ers running back Raheem Mostert has played on five different teams in his five year career. In his second stint with the 49ers, he's turned himself into an valuable piece of that offense. Although they use a stable of backs, it was Mostert who set a new team postseason rushing record with 196 yards and there was still almost 20 minutes of football left to play!

-We will have a great matchup of coaches in the Super Bowl. Head Coaches/Playcallers: Chiefs' Andy Reid vs 49er's Kyle Shanahan; defensive coordinators: Chiefs' Steve Spagnuolo vs 49er's Robert Saleh. The meeting of the minds with two weeks to prepare should give us a good game. Key word: should. Please guys, no blowouts.

The Bad

-Derrick Henry was dubbed "King Henry" after his recent rushing performances. He was unceremoniously removed from his throne by the Chiefs' defense. 69 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown with a long run of 13 backed up the tough talk from Chiefs' defensive end Frank Clark who said earlier in the week leading up to the game that Henry wasn't hard to tackle.

-Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked a little off. He missed a few key throws, including an interception that ended any hope they had of coming back because it led to the 49ers having a short field and going up by four scores instead of the Packers being down by two scores. It was a minute before halftime, but the way the 49ers were running the ball, that pick was a backbreaker.

-The NFL fined Chiefs' offensive lineman Eric Fisher $14,037 for an unsportsmanlike conduct for his double-fist beer touchdown celebration during last week's win over the Texans. I thought they turned the corner when they started allowing more touchdown celebrations. So let me get this straight: you can choreograph a dance routine with the whole team, but can't pretend to chug beer from a league sponsor? Talk about hypocrisy.

The Ugly

-With the score 28-17 Chiefs with 7:44 left in the game, 3rd&6 on the Chiefs' 40-yard line. Titans' corner Tramaine Brock Sr. fell down and was called for a holding penalty on Sammy Watkins as he was falling. The worst part of that play: Watkins broke open and Mahomes found him for a 60-yard touchdown. Later when they were down by 11 with 3:59 left, Brock was called for a 41-yard pass interference on 3rd&10 with the Chiefs on their own 19-yard line. Those plays sealed the deal for the Titans.

-49ers running back Tevin Coleman was carted off the field in the 2nd quarter with an injury to his right elbow. An arm injury must be pretty damn bad if you're carted off. Thoughts and prayers to the running back I thought the Texans should've signed. Major props to him wanting to come back to the sidelines to be with his teammates wearing a sling.

-The 49ers outrushed the Packers 185 to 51...IN THE FIRST HALF! They were up 27-0 and had "only" passed for 40 yards. That's all they needed since the Packers couldn't stop the run. Mind you, they ran the ball 22 times to get the 185 yards. Packers defense looked like wet brown grocery bags trying to hold two gallons of milk.

And then there were two. Through all the strife and struggle, we have our Super Bowl 54 will be a matchup of arguably the best on their respective sides of the ball: 49ers and their defense vs the Chiefs high octane offense. However, don't sleep on the 49ers' ability to score, or how well the Chiefs' defense has been playing as of late. Ultimately, I have the sads. We only have one meaningful football game left. Hopefully the 49ers and Chiefs give us something to talk about. I won't mind seeing a 24-21 or 31-27 game. As long as we don't get a multiple score blowout, I'm good. Props to the Titans and Packers for putting up a good fight. It just wasn't good enough. From 32 to two. And there will only be one.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome