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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The Astros play game one of the ALDS on Tuesday. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

It's October. Fall is upon us. In Texas, that means the high temps won't be above 92 or so. Low temps dip into the low 60s. Your air conditioner only runs for about 50-60% of the time it did during Summer. Well, that depends on your thermostat. NFL and NCAA football seasons are in full swing. NBA training camps and preseason have opened. You get the picture I'm painting here. This is a wonderful time to be a sports fan.

MLB is wrapping up its regular season and the Wild Card series in both leagues are already scheduled. Your Houston Astros won't have to play in one of those. Instead, they'll be waiting to see who they play in the next round (Mariners or Blue Jays). As the team with the best record in the AL this season, they hold home field advantage throughout their stay in the AL playoffs. The path to the World Series will go through Houston.

Seeing this team in this position has become very familiar. Since 2015: they've missed the playoffs once (2016), won their division five times, made three World Series appearances, and have the lone ring from 2017. That ring is lonely because it needs a playmate. That playmate has been elusive. It would also validate the dynasty by helping erase some of the stench of the sign stealing scandal. However, I believe the window may be closing.

For starters, Jim Crane and James Click seem to have some relationship issues. Click is operating without a contract beyond this season. Crane has said he'll address Click's situation after the season. Does this mean they're headed for Splitsville? Justin Verlander will be a free agent. Will he re-sign? If so, how much will he command and will it restrict the team from making other moves? Jose Altuve is getting older. So is Yuli Gurriel (Free Agent), Martin Maldonado, Christian Vazquez (Free Agent), Aledmys Diaz (Free Agent), Will Smith (Free Agent), Hector Neris, and Ryan Pressley. All these guys are 32 years old or older. There are young guns in the pipeline at different positions and on the team already, but they aren't all proven commodities.

That is why I believe the time is now. A sense of urgency must be taken with the opportunity to win it all this year. We can't rest on "we'll be back next year" because next year isn't promised. At some point, things will need to be rebuilt and/or replaced. It took 10 years from their World Series appearance in 2005 and their next playoff spot in 2015. That gap could've been a year or so longer because NOBODY expected them to make it in 2015.

Astros fans have become accustomed to this team being in contention for a title every year. What if the pieces that helped get them get to this point are no longer viable? The fantastic voyage won't last forever. All dynasties come to an end at some point. Unless you're a college team that can consistently reload every year. The one thing I want more than anything else is another World Series win. This would silence the haters by validating 2017, seal some Hall of Fame legacies, and potentially signal the lengthening of the window. They're the John Cena of MLB: their fans LOVE them, their haters HATE them. Ultimately, their time is now.

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