HOFFMAN'S HOUSTON

How the crossroads of Astros, Texans, and Rihanna reveals eye-opening realities of viewing trends

How the crossroads of Astros, Texans, and Rihanna reveals eye-opening realities of viewing trends
The fourth quarter continues to frustrate Texans fans. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images.

Here's where we stand, our Houston Texans have played three games against arguably the three worst teams in the NFL (present company excluded) and have zero wins to show for it.

Sunday’s heartbreaking, but thoroughly deserved 23-20 loss to the grounded Bears was a tour de force of futility, a total team collapse for the Texans. Everybody did their share, the offense, defense, coaches, and the Texans left Soldier Field with a loss that shoulda, coulda been a victory. Losing close games is what bad teams do, why coaches get fired.

This was the second consecutive game on the road for the Texans where the home team was booed by their fans - and still beat the Texans.

Here’s an alarming stat: the Texans have been outscored 30-0 in the fourth quarter. More troubling for the rest of 2022: the Texans are a boring, lousy, losing product that will lead to a half-empty NRG Stadium like recent years.

On Sunday, like the week before, I turned to the Astros game on AT&T SportsNet SW during Texans TV breaks and it got progressively harder to return to the Texans game. I wound up watching the Astros live and Texans later on DVR.

Sunday’s Texans game would have been a comedy of errors if the team weren’t so tragically awful. Maybe CBS should run a laugh track during Texans broadcasts.

The Texans now find themselves alone in last place in the AFC South. They’re winless after playing three patsies. Now they get ready to host the Los Angeles Chargers, then head east for the first-place, you read that right, Jacksonville Jaguars and later the 0-3 Las Vegas Raiders. Before the season started, oddsmakers had the Texans as underdogs all 17 games this season. It still looks that way.

Fans and the media are losing faith in Davis Mills as the team’s quarterback of the future. Yes, Davis has been disappointing so far in 2022, with the 30th lowest quarterback rating in the NFL. Mills looks like a young quarterback who’s in over his head and shows little signs of being a firebrand leader. Mills went 20-32 for 245 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on Sunday.

It’s true, teams have won the Super Bowl with lesser talented quarterbacks, like Brad Johnson for Tampa Bay in 2002 and Trent Dilfer for Baltimore in 2000. This just in, however, Houston will not be going to the 2023 Super Bowl.

While Mills continues to cast doubt on his future as QB1, Bears quarterback Justin Fields was stunningly horrible Sunday. At least Texans coaches involved Mills in the offense. The Bears know they have clunker in Fields, who went 8-17 for 106 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns. Those are Air Force vs. Army numbers, unseen in the NFL in decades.

I asked a buddy, is Justin Fields the worst quarterback in the NFL? His answer: “You mean besides our guy?” I don’t know if he was joking or not. Note to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young - your scripts for next year’s H-E-B commercials are in the mail. Stay upright.

Sunday also saw the NFL announce that Rihanna would be the half-time headliner at this season’s Super Bowl. The reveal came with the factoid: Rihanna is the second biggest-selling female recording artist of all-time. OK, trivia buffs, who’s the No. 1 selling female artist?

(Answer: Madonna has sold 335 million records since 1982, while Rihanna has sold 250 million since her debut in 2005.)

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How exciting Houston Texans update sets the stage for free agency win

Come off an incredible start to a new era of Houston Texans football, GM Nick Caserio and Head Coach DeMeco Ryans will look to build off their success and make some important additions in free agency.

Free agency is right around the corner, so the latest update about Texans star rookie receiver Tank Dell couldn't come at a better time.

Aaron Wilson is reporting that Tank Dell is expected to be ready for OTA's in May after suffering a broken fibula that ended his rookie season.

The timing of this news is critical, because the Texans have some big decisions to make in free agency. The legal tampering period starts on March 11.

According to bookies.com, the Texans are the favorites to sign Buccaneers WR Mike Evans. Evans will be 31 years old when the season starts and could command as much as a 3-year deal for $68 million dollars, according to PFF. Similar to Davante Adams' deal with the Raiders.

The Texans have a lot of money to spend this year, but they also have a ton of wholes to fill, especially on defense. Knowing before free agency that Tank Dell should be good to go in May, could shift their priorities this offseason. With Tank Dell and Nico Collins locked in as their top receivers, they don't need to be desperate and overpay for an aging receiver. One could argue the Texans already have a younger version of Evans with Collins.

Instead of spending big on Evans, the team can go after some top defenders on the market, or look to re-sign Jonathan Greenard, Sheldon Rankins, Steven Nelson, or Dalton Schultz.

Be sure to check out the video above for the full discussion.

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