COACHING DECISIONS

Bill O'Brien: The Kool Aid guide to his coaching

Bill O' Brien might have something up his sleeve. Houstontexans.com

As the leaves change colors and degrees begin to drop, the Texans sit atop the AFC South in a three way tie for first place. While the team is by no means imploding, a rocky 0-3 start coupled with close games being lost at least in part due to questionable play calling has fifth-year head coach Bill O' Brien feeling the heat from fans.

Although most Houstonians are ready for a change at the helm, here are three rationalizations if you want to retain some B.o.B. hope:

Kool-Aid Glass  #1- Teams often play down to terrible teams, and no one knows that better then Billy-O.

We see this every year, a team that’s steamrolling its way through its schedule finds itself in a close game against a rag-tag bunch of inferior players stealing pay-checks from their owner.  Sometimes that group of supposed professionals even rips a win from the better team (Remember the Bills’ out-of-nowhere win against the Vikings earlier this year?). Bill O’Brien could be capitalizing on this inexplicable phenomenon, calling a flurry of seemingly ill-conceived plays until the opposing sideline lets their guard down and starts calling terrible plays of their own.

Just look at the Colts game in Week 4, a risky overtime play call leads to the Colts turning the ball over on 4th down on their own 43. Do you think a Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator makes that same call against a team coached by Mike Tomlin or Sean Payton? Not a chance. But when you’re playing against a badly coached turd burger, you start thinking to yourself “So what if we turn the ball over on downs, there’s no way these idiots have enough time to capitalize on it.” And that’s where B.o.B. thrives, making teams think themselves out of certain victory.

Kool Aid Glass #2 Bill O’Brien’s Texans are playing some of the ugliest football ever in order to dissuade opposing coaches from watching his game tape.

This theory is so plausible it really shouldn’t even be considered a rationalization. You ever watch a team try to get the ball in the end zone from inside the 5 to no avail? It’s gruesome. Now imagine watching that over the course of three or four downs, and then repeat that whole thing several more times. In that moment, if someone offered you a Season 3 DVD of The Jersey Shore, you would probably hit “play” just to cleanse your visual palette. It’s a simple concept, teams can’t prepare well for you if they don't watch tape, and they cant watch tape if it makes them want to throw up every 10 minutes.

Kool Aid Glass #3 Bill O’Brien makes a percentage of Texans merchandise sales, and is setting his young core up for maximum exposure.

This is a full-on Alex Jones-style conspiracy theory, but if you’ve read this far it can’t be that much more of a leap in logic. Bill O’ Brien could be making some cheddar off jersey sales, and perhaps is positioning the team to see its highest volume of television views in order to maximize his players visibility.

Now, the best way to do this would be to make a deep run in the playoffs and capture postseason media glory for your squad. But what is one to do if a playoff run isn’t in the cards, and even a playoff berth is a longshot? Well, you do the next best thing. You try to play overtime games as often as possible.

Already the Texans have played two OT games. However, take a closer look at the four games that ended in regulation. There could have been even more OT games! Most notably the Bills game, which was forecast as an exciting battle of field goal kickers, narrowly missed going to overtime because of a last minute pick-six. And that’s despite B.o.B. doing everything possible to preserve a tie. In fact every game this season has been won or lost by one touchdown or less! Either Billy-o is interested in becoming a lock to cover the spread, or he knows if you play six OT games, that’s one full game of bonus TV time.

 

 

 

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Houston gets back in the win column

Astros end six-game skid thanks to a gem by Greinke

Zack Greinke tossed a gem Saturday night. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After the Mariners roared back Friday night to get a walk-off win over the Astros, dashing their hopes of ending their losing streak, Houston tried to even the series with a win on Saturday night with their ace Zack Greinke on the mound. Greinke would do his part, throwing a terrific game, and the Astros would squeak out one run, which was enough to get back in the win column.

Final Score: Astros 1, Mariners 0

Astros' Record: 7-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Chris Flexen (1-1)

Plenty of hits, but only one run

Although the Astros were racking up hits against Chris Flexen, they had little to show for it. Eight different batters would notch ten hits against him, but the only time it amounted to a run was on a two-out RBI-single by Taylor Jones in the top of the fourth, giving Houston a 1-0 lead.

Greinke spins a gem

Luckily for them, Zack Greinke was making it look like that would be enough. He cruised through the Mariners all night, allowing just four hits while giving up zero runs along with six strikeouts, one of which moved him past 2,700 on his career. He could have attempted to finish the complete-game shutout, but at 91 pitches after eight, Dusty Baker opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly for the ninth. Greinke's final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 91 P.

Houston finally ends their losing streak

With the high-leverage save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered to hold on to the one-run lead. He would do his job, finishing off the win for Greinke and putting an end to Houston's disappointing losing streak.

Up Next: The third and final game of this series will get underway at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will look to make a rebound from his disappointing first start with the Astros, while the Mariners will start Nick Margevicius (0-1, 7.04 ERA).

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