Where is the trust level in the Texans head coach and how can the team recovery from the KC collapse

O'Brien, Texans at franchise crossroads

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

3 Headlines, 2 Questions, 1 Bet as the Texans hit the offseason after an embarrasing loss to Kansas City.

No trust in Bill O'Brien after this

Deshaun Watson may trust him but I don't.

This loss to the Chiefs hit pretty much every spot on the Bill O'Brien bad bingo card. Timeout when they couldn't get a critical 3rd and 9 ready? Check. Timeout when he thought he might have had a first down but it was fourth down and the play wasn't in soon enough? Check. Lacked aggressiveness? Check. Overly aggressive at wrong time? Check. Offense falls apart? Check. Defense isn't instructed to try something new? Check. Weird trick play when you NEED a score? Check. Quarterback has to tell you to not punt and go for it in the fourth quarter? Check.

Bingo.

Unfortunately for Texans fans the prize is another season of Bill O'Brien in control. Every single team in the AFC South has played for an AFC Championship since Bill O'Brien took over as the head coach. His former defensive coordinator is coaching for a trip to the Super Bowl this week. One of his best friends went two years ago.

Each of the past two season the other AFC South team has gone deeper than O'Brien's Texans. And each of them had a tougher road to go further than the Texans did.

O'Brien said after the game yesterday he believed the team was headed in the right direction. Nobody agrees with that.

After talking about just Sunday, lets not forget O'Brien authored a less impressive offense this year despite having a far more talented group of players. They faced less stud quarterbacks than 2018 and somehow had less wins. Houston had a great opportunity to at least threaten for a bye, alas they weren't even playing meaningful football in Week 17.

There's no reason to believe in Bill O'Brien's future as the head coach of the Texans. We just saw the best it gets and it is ugly.

No general manager expected for Texans

Bill O'Brien said he doesn't expect to fire himself. Essentially. I have to imagine the ownership wouldn't make that discussion a lengthy one if they were planning on changing things. Perhaps in his upcoming meeting with ownership it isn't out of the question they suggest a general manager but don't hold your breath.

New direction on defense necessary 

I laid it out on SportsMap Sunday

The problem with moving on from Romeo Crennel is I'm not sure who Bill O'Brien would target. The one year Crennel wasn't the defensive coordinator O'Brien promoted Mike Vrabel to that position. John Pagano has been a two-time defensive coordinator in the NFL with stops coordinating the Chargers and Raiders previously. I believe he will be the new defensive coordinator next year.

Anthony Weaver will one day be a defensive coordinator but I don't expect he would earn the promotion. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to see him move to a more prominent position with another team.

John Butler was O'Brien's defensive coordinator at Penn State and coached defensive backs for him in Houston. He had a messy exit from the Texans though and I wouldn't anticipate he is a possible option.

The New England tree has been picked over quite a bit too. With multiple defensive signal callers from the Patriots now head coaches elsewhere the pool of former Patriots staffers that could be ready to call defense is low.

George Edwards is a free agent after Minnesota moved on from him. He coordinated a regularly impressive Vikings defense and his Vikings exit came as a bit of a surprise. This would include a big scheme change but after nearly a decade running the 3-4 defense something new wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

What would O'Brien give up?

"I think you have to look at everything," Bill O'Brien said about potentially relinquishing some of his duties.

He can't keep doing it the way he is doing it. There is too much on O'Brien's plate. Just can't stay at the same pace. He needs someone to call plays for him. If I could make one change for O'Brien it would be that. Have someone call the plays for the offense and improve at the small details of being a head coach.

If an offensive whiz coordinated for O'Brien he would be more in tune with the flow of the game and perhaps make less mistakes.

I'm not the owner but I would make O'Brien hire someone to take some things off his plate.

Will Watson and Tunsil get paid?

Both of the Texans stars can get new deals this offseason. Tunsil likely would eclipse Lane Johnson's number in Philadelphia or come damn close, and Deshaun Watson would reset the market.

I anticipate Watson trying to wait out fellow 2017 draft pick Patrick Mahomes. Watson hasn't had as good of a career and isn't as good as Mahomes but he is more necessary to the Texans.

I bet the Texans are thankful for this news

Stay tuned for SportMap's analysis.

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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