Carlos Hyde's huge day helps plus how right was O'Brien to go for it late?

O'Brien's best coaching job to date has Texans rolling

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

3 Headlines, 2 Questions, and 1 Bet after the Texans defeat the Chiefs and get ready for the Colts.

Resiliency rules the day

There is a time where the Texans would have lost Sunday by about 20 or 30 points. We no longer live in that time.

-A broken play touchdown allowed

-Fumble on first play

-Top two corners out for majority of game

-Wideout who had fixed drop problems has drop problems

-Wideout who never drops the ball drops a touchdown

-Quarterback throws two interceptions when he had thrown one all year

-Kicker misses extra points and field goal

That's just a smattering of the things that could have derailed the Texans. In the past, just one or two of these would have doomed them. Instead, they dominated the second half and beat the Chiefs.

It is one of the most impressive wins in Bill O'Brien's tenure. Sure. It is also one of the most resilient wins in franchise history.

The offensive gameplan was awesome and well executed for the most part. The use of timeouts and challenges made sense. The team never spiraled out of control most importantly. Kudos to O'Brien for the successful day with the headset.

Bill "Coconuts" O'Brien

I thought the field goal to go up 10 points in the fourth quarter was the right move for the Texans.

O'Brien laughs in the face of the weak-minded who prefer to trust a shaky kicker over one of the best quarterbacks in football.

The above stats paint the picture of how smart it was to go for it.

I loved the gumption to go for it and the "trust the defense" mentality if the Texans failed to convert. There wasn't a "lose" situation short of a turnover and the Texans on the short and easy stuff had done a great job taking care of the ball.

It was something from a couple of seasons ago where I believe O'Brien would have attempted the kick and lived with the result. I also have faith the Texans defense could have stopped the Chiefs from scoring the way they played in the second half.

Runnin' Hyde

Carlos Hyde was a man on Sunday. He touched the ball 26 times after his fumble. He had 13 of those 26 touches go for at least four yards and six of those went for at least nine yards. He was a workhorse running back and a physical runner than punished the Chiefs.

I never could have seen this coming from him. He is the perfect back for what Bill O'Brien wants to do with his first running back. He's been very impressive and went over 100 yards rushing for the first time in two years.

As for his colorful language, Hyde knew he let it slip.

"With the offense clicking like that, it's so hard to stop us," he said. "I was caught up in the moment right there. I've got to watch my language though. But, I was just caught up in the moment.When our offense is moving the ball like that, things are clicking, it's just hard to stop us."

Is this level of offensive line play here to stay?

No sacks. Two quarterback hits. One tackle for a loss. Woo boy. What a showing from the Texans offensive line. They worked over the Chiefs for a good portion of the game.

Now, the offensive gameplan helped them. Getting the ball out quick helped a ton for the protection but even then, they did amazing in keeping Watson clean and keeping the lanes open for Hyde and later Duke Johnson.

There wasn't even a big drop off when Roderick Johnson came in for the injured Tytus Howard.

Howard is going to miss time, but his season is seemingly not over per Aaron Wilson.

This has been an incredible job by this group coming together and really playing well.

Should we worry about Will Fuller's drops?

Will Fuller didn't have the best day after an amazing one last week.

His first drop came in the end zone and led to the Texans settling for a field goal. It wasn't the easiest catch in the world but it hit his hands. In a close game, they could've used that to start the scoring.

The second drop came trailing by 14 points and again, wasn't an easy catch. I am giving him a pass on this one because it seems like it was a really hard catch to come down with. So, while he could have caught it, I am not sure he SHOULD have caught it.

The third one really hurt. The Texans led by six and had he reeled that one in, there's a chance the Texans blow the Chiefs out with plenty of breathing room on the scoreboard.

I am not worried about Fuller's drops. He had three all season before yesterday and had no drops last season. This seems like a hiccup more than an issue that could be popping up often.

I bet the loss to the Panthers really sticks with the Texans

When I asked Bill O'Brien about the offense and how they attack things quickly he mentioned the Panthers game. He was demonstrating they had bad second down situations that set them up for failure and called out their performance against Carolina by name.

While you can say the Saints and Jaguars games could have gone either way, the Texans absolutely should have beaten the Panthers. Kyle Allen didn't play well that day and the Texans offense has to be sick looking back on that performance. It was also the last time they looked bad on offense, so, if it got them going via fixing things, it is worth the headache.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March. Photo via: NRG Park/Facebook

Football players, coaches and general managers have come and gone, but only one person has been running the business side of the Texans, well, even before they were the Texans. Jamey Rootes has been President of the Houston Texans since 1999, when an NFL team in Houston was still just a gleam in owner Bob McNair's eyes. That's before the team adopted the name "Texans" in 2000, before there was NRG Stadium, which opened as Reliant Stadium in 2000, and before they became serial champs of the AFC South, six titles between 2011-2019.

The precise date was Oct. 6, 1999 when NFL owners voted 29-0 to award the NFL's 32nd and newest franchise to Houston. Not only that, Houston was awarded the 2004 Super Bowl. Rootes, 34 years old with no NFL experience, had his work cut out for him. Before taking the job in Houston, Rootes was team president, general manager and CEO of selling peanuts and popcorn for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.

Major League Soccer, with all due respect, is not nearly a national obsession like the National Football League.

"I wasn't intimidated," Rootes said. "There's a quote that I love, 'Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.' I've always been a purpose-driven person. As for the step up to the NFL, I went from knowing nothing at the start of my time in Columbus to five years later thinking, OK, I've got this sports thing down. Actually, I had a very significant reduction in my responsibilities in Houston. When I was in Columbus, I ran the stadium, I ran the team's business, I was the general manager so I did the talent side of it, too. When I came to Houston, all I had to do was the business, so that was great."

Rootes has captured his remarkable journey from the soccer team at Clemson to grad school at Indiana University to the business world at IBM and Proctor & Gamble to the Clemson Crew, to ultimately being named President of the Houston Texans in his new book, The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success, available next week.

I've known Rootes from his day one with the Texans, but I still had to ask: everybody knows what the general manager does, and what the head coach does. What exactly does the President of an NFL team worth $3.3 billion do?

"I like to use the parallel of a pharmaceutical company to describe my job. There are two sides to that company. First you put scientists in one building and you leave them alone. They create products, which is what our football team is. The football side has a coach and general manager and all the people who prepare the team to play on Sunday. But getting that product to market is done by the business side, traditional business disciplines. Those are the things that fall to me. Basically, everything between the white lines is run by the football side. Everything outside of those lines, I do," Rootes said.

Between 1999 and 2002, when the Texans played their first game (let the record show the Texans defeated the Dallas Cowboy, 19-10), the team was essentially a massive start-up project. First orders of business for Rootes involved building a new stadium, developing relationships with suppliers, contractors and government officials, preparing for a Super Bowl and, most important, developing a relationship with fans.

Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March, but it's really an accumulation of lessons learned and behind-the-scenes stories about building the Texans from scratch into one of the most admired and valuable franchises in all of sports.

"I've always been a meticulous note-taker. I've kept every presentation I've ever done. I took all of my notes and concepts and put those down on paper," Rootes said. "To be a good leader, you need a wild imagination. You can show me a blank piece of paper, but I don't see it as blank. To me, it's a finished product that hasn't been created yet," Rootes said.

Rootes lays out his leadership strategy in seven chapters: Are You a Manager or a Leader, Get the Right People on Your Team, Build a Winning Culture, Create Raving Fans, a Winning Playbook for Adversity and Success, Your Leadership Playbook and Play to Win.

He learned lesson No. 1 the hard way. A friend once counseled Rootes, "your staff doesn't like the way you're all up in their business, you need to back off." Rootes took that advice to heart.

"It was an epiphany. I wasn't a leader. That's when I truly began thinking about leadership. I say this all the time, I don't do anything. All I do is create an environment where exceptional people can be their very best self. I know what's going on. I'm fully informed. I leave every game day exhausted. I get there early. I do the things I need to do. I kiss babies. I shake hands. I present checks. I entertain clients. I'm dialed in. It absolutely wears me out because I love this organization so much. I am so proud of what we've been able to do for this great city of Houston."

I asked Rootes, as someone who lives for Game Day and a packed NRG Stadium, are you devastated by 2020, the year of COVID-19 and small crowds limited by Centers for Disease Control guidelines?

"I don't look at it that way. I think there's a song by 10,000 Maniacs that said, these are the days that you'll remember. I told my staff, I know you're all going through hell right now, but later on in life, you'll talk about this year. Things that are important are memorable, for the positive and those things that leave a scar. You learn from adversity and you're a better person for enduring it. Victor Frankl said 'We can discover meaning in life in three different ways, by creating a work or doing a deed, experiencing something or encountering someone, and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.' Suffering is part of life. He should know, he survived a Nazi concentration camp," Rootes said.

H-E-B President Scott McClelland wrote the forward to The Winning Game Plan. Rootes dedicates the book to late Texans owner Bob McNair. Rootes' book is a fun read. All I kept thinking was, where was this book when I needed it? And before you buy too much into Rootes as a leader, consider that Rootes admits that he had to ask for wife Melissa's permission before he could accept the Texans job.

Personal note: I believe that a big part of leadership is the ability to keep a promise. Several years ago, I was riding my bicycle with my dog Lilly on a leash. It was the only way I could keep up with her. Well, one time Lilly saw a squirrel and pulled me off my bicycle. I tumbled a few times and rolled next to the curb. When I looked up, there was Jamey Rootes. I told him, "There's no need for you to tell anybody about this." He never said a word.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome