Food for thought?

Joel Blank: Texans need course in comparison shopping after O'Brien gets better deal than McCarthy

Bill O'Brien came at a steep price. Houstontexans.com

Ever since we've been old enough to make a major purchase, or smart enough to pay attention to how we grocery shop, we all are well versed in comparison shopping. It has been proven that even when we think we have found the best deal, it never hurts to shop around. You also have probably experienced at least once in your life that sick feeling when you find out that you may have paid too much.

It's with that in mind that I present to you the following comparison and ask you, if you are the Houston Texans, did you overreact and overpay to keep your head coach? It has become an unwritten rule in coaching that as you enter the final year of your contract, you -- and more specifically your agent -- are entitled to either an extension or a pink slip because being a lame duck coach has become unacceptable. Both Bill O'Brien and Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers were about to enter the final year of their respective contracts in 2018. Both coaches have a solid resume, and have achieved division championships and other accolades. The difference between the two is one coach got a four-year extension, while the other coach got an additional year to continue to prove he is worthy and deserving of a long term deal. After reading the following statistics, I will leave it up to you as to which team might have jumped the gun and given too much.

Mike McCarthy has had a pretty good run in Green Bay. In his 12-year stint with the Packers ,he has made the playoffs nine of those 12 years, been to four conference championships, won the division six times and made one Super Bowl appearance in 2010, which the Packers won by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. His best season was a 15-1 finish in 2011 and his worst season was a 6-10 campaign in 2008. Last year was a down year for both McCarthy and his team as the Packers finished 7-9, losing Aaron Rodgers to a broken collar bone that caused hm to miss nine of the final 10 games of the year after starting the schedule 4-1. McCarthy has won 63% of his games over his 12-year career as a head coach, and is (121-70-1) over that time frame.

Bill O'Brien just finished his fourth year as head coach of the Houston Texans. He is 31-33 over his career as the head coach of the red, white and blue, including three consecutive 9-7 seasons. He just completed his worst year as an NFL Head coach, finishing 4-12 after losing Rookie QB sensation Deshaun Watson to a season ending knee injury in week 8. The team lost 8 of its last 9 contests after Watson went down. O'Brien has won two division titles and one playoff game in his career as the head coach in Houston. Not a bad way to start your career as a head coach, but then again, not quite McCarthy. 

So, with all that being said, and knowing what you know as even an average football fan, which one of these two men was worthy of a five-year contract extension? Am I the only one that's finds it odd that the coach that has a better winning percentage, more career wins, more division titles, more playoff appearances, as well as four more appearances in a conference championship and one Super Bowl title is the guy who only got a 1 year extension, while the other guy received four more years with his team? Personal feelings aside, the numbers speak for themselves and the contract that O'Brien got seemed to be a textbook case of a team pressing the panic button, believing the hype, and overreacting. Maybe O'Brien should give his agent a raise, because the rumor mill was churning at the end of the season and he was supposedly first in line to succeed Bill Belichick if he retired and also the leading candidate to be the next coach of the New York Giants. We all know that agents have a way of talking to writers and getting their story out there regardless of whether it's true or not. It seems in this case as if they did nothing but back the Texans into a corner and help to secure O'Brien's new deal. Regardless of the how and why, it seems like the Texans need a crash course in comparison shopping.

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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