Things must change for Houston on defense

Kansas City collapse proves defense needs new direction

The Texans defense falls apart in loss to Chiefs

Seven straight touchdown drives

The Texans allowed seven consecutive touchdown drives. Seven. No stops in there. The first Chiefs drive was an easy pitch and catch for the Chiefs that saw the Texans totally lose the Chiefs receivers. The next two, maybe a little tougher to criticize. Two short fields though were turned into touchdowns with little effort from Kansas City. There were no fourth down conversions. There were no miraculous highlight plays. Just offense. It worked. Really well. The Chiefs rarely saw third down after two early drops on the key down.

The Lonnie Johnson plan failed miserably

Lonnie Johnson was tasked with defending Travis Kelce. He did little of that. Kelce dropped a play early, but the Chiefs tight end dominated the Texans from that point on. 10 catches for 134 yards and three touchdowns was the day for the Chiefs best offensive weapon.

Yes, Tashaun Gipson and Jahleel Addae were missing but there is no excuse for ineptitude by the defense when defending Kanas City's tight end.

Defensive composition contains same questions as start of 2019

The Texans have all the same questions on defense at the end of their season that persisted before the start of the season.

There is no clear solution at cornerback. Lonnie Johnson has looked lost more often than not. Johnathan Joseph could be close to retirement and finally has had injuries creep up as a concern for him. Gareon Conley is assuredly on the team after the team used a third round pick on him in a trade. Vernon Hargreaves is due nearly $10 million next season and has yet to impress since showing up in Houston.

There is nearly no pass rush. Irregular contributions from Jacob Martin and Charles Omenihu were nice surprises but they stayed irregular. J.J. Watt had a lot of success, and he could be counted on to a degree, but he's another year older. Whitney Mercilus is here to stay with his new contract despite a down season of production.

Historic failure

The above stat says it all.

Romeo's time has passed

It is time for Romeo Crennel to go. The game has now passed him by. There are too may young quarterbacks doing amazing things on offense for a defensive coordinator like him to continue coaching. There are rarely adjustments and any sort of quarterback mobility renders plans useless often.

Bill O'Brien can't stand pat after this type of performance. He has to find someone else to run his defense. They will have to get better with coaching, because there won't be a ton of options to improve their team with draft picks and money.

After the game, Bill O'Brien said he expected Crennel to return to the team.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM

Coming off one of the worst performances of the year, Lovie Smith met with the media and addressed some questions about if the Texans would make any changes to the team or coaching staff this week. Here are some quick observations.

1. Washington was just better. Before taking the first question, Lovie said after watching the film it was clear Washington was the better team on Sunday. The team didn't play well upfront (on offense) and didn't have much of a chance to win the game. He believed the team did some good things on defense and played the run better, but were unable to take the ball away.

2. Lovie made it seem like changes are definitely coming at QB. When asked if any changes would be made this week to the QB or the coaching staff, he basically said he would talk to the players before the media if changes were in the works. Smith said the players were off today and not in the building. He followed that up by saying, “We're not pleased with where we are. Do we need to do some things differently? Yes, and we will.”

3. Hitting that “rookie wall.” Coach Smith was asked if hitting the “rookie wall” could be causing some of the team's struggles. He brought up Kenyon Green's challenges at guard, admitting that taking a “pounding every time” can be tough. But if they have hit the rookie wall, he hasn't “noticed it.”

4. Sometimes you need a spark. When asked if football teams sometimes require a spark, he said yes. “Especially when you've lost as many games as we have.” Davis Mills and Kenyon Green have to be the first names that come to mind, and making a change on the o-line probably doesn't qualify as a spark.

5. At a certain point, you are who you are. Lovie didn't dance around it, he said “What's been put on video is probably who we are now, I acknowledge that.” This is the type of statement the fans really needed to hear. Owning up to what everyone can clearly see and addressing this head on matters. Most fans fully understand the team is in a rebuild, just be as honest as you can with everybody. Not doing this in the postgame press conference on Sunday, had to be a big part of why the media was coming at him with more conviction.

6. Expect Kenyon Green to keep playing despite Sunday's performance. This is why I believe a change will be made at QB this week, and not offensive guard. Lovie talked about if a player is struggling and he's still your best option, they'll have to get their “nose bloodied” and get better. No argument here. Green is a first round pick at guard, he's only going to get better if he plays. Give him some help if he needs it, but has to be out there. And let's face it, he is the best option at left guard.

7. Coaches decide who will play if there's going to be a change. When asked, Smith said the coaches decide who's playing. GM Nick Caserio and CEO Cal McNair will be in the loop, but coaches make the call on who starts.

8. “Kyle Allen can make all the throws.” Lovie was asked his thoughts on the Texans backup QB and said, “He (Allen) has a history of good play in the NFL.” When asked about Mills, he said he's seen some growth from the second-year QB, but it's hard to talk about how much someone has grown after yesterday. Yikes, that says it all right there.

Final thoughts

You really get a sense of the tone by watching the full presser above, so I do recommend it. I came away also feeling this possible switch to Kyle Allen may only last a week or so. But at this point in the season, everything has to be evaluated. Including OC Pep Hamilton. If Kyle Allen plays a game or two and the offense still stinks, some of the blame must fall on Pep. But if Allen plays well and long enough to where it doesn't look like the offense is the problem, you have your answer on Davis Mills. At least this season, anyway.

Of course, many fans want the Texans to finish the season with the worst record, so they get the first pick in the draft. If Kyle Allen does get to play and ends up winning a few games, it could be bittersweet. The Texans do have some cushion in the standings for the first pick. Hopefully, the team can get all their answers at QB and OC while still locking up the first pick in the draft. Alabama QB Bryce Young would be a nice Christmas present for Texans fans after a tough year.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome