Some important takeaways from the Texans final game of the season

Another heartbreaking loss for Houston. Photo by Getty Images.

Division games are always tough. No matter the records or what's on the line, division games rarely seem to disappoint, especially when it comes down to the end of the season. In this case, we had the Titans fighting for playoff positioning, while the Texans were playing for pride. Turns out, the Titans' playoff positioning and winning the AFC South meant a bit more to them than the Texans' pride meant to them as the Titans pulled out a 41-38 win on a last second field goal that banged in off the upright.

The brightest spot in this mess is clearly Deshaun Watson. He was 28/39 for 365 yards and three touchdowns. The lone interception he threw wasn't all his fault. Watson ended this season with 4,823 yards passing that led the league. He also threw a team record 33 touchdown passes. All those numbers without a true number one receiver, no run game, okay at best offensive line, and a terrible defense. Imagine what he could do if he had improvements in those areas? Some will say he's putting up gaudy numbers on a bad team that was often behind. There is some merit to that, but this kid is special. I believe he could do this, and it could translate into wins if he had improvements in the areas I just listed.

If Anthony Weaver (and to a lesser extent Romeo Crennel) still has a job when you're reading this, The McNairs should sell the team. They gave up 288 yards rushing to the Titans. I understand they're going against Derrick Henry who's arguably the best running back in the league, but dammit man! This defense is nowhere near as talented as other defenses are, so I don't expect greatness. What I do expect are much better performances than the ones this defense has been giving.

For example, setting the edge against the run does not take an All-Pro at defensive end or linebacker or defensive back. It takes discipline. Twice on the Titans' last touchdown drive, J.J. Watt crashed hard down the line and went after Derrick Henry, only for Ryan Tannehill to keep it. One brought the ball to the 1-yard line, the other put the Titans up 38-35. I'm not saying it was his fault, because the keeper certainly could've been someone else's responsibility. Whoever it was, they failed.

Another key failure was the long pass to put the Titans in field goal range to end the game. It appeared as if they were in a cover 2 man and the safety on the right side of the field failed to stay over the top. That, or cover 1 and the single high safety blew it. Either way, they should've been in a cover 4 to blanket the field in four quadrants deep and give them anything they wanted underneath and in front. With 18 seconds left, nothing should beat you...except doing what the Texans' did.

This team has a lot of holes to fill, and not nearly enough materials to fill said holes with. The head coach and general manager search and hire should turn up a notch now that the regular season is over. Black Monday is upon us. So is interview season. I feel bad that this fan base only has the hirings of a new coach and GM as the high point of the upcoming offseason. Here's to hoping they make the right hires in both cases to get this franchise turned around.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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