FALCON POINTS

The 5 most embarrassing losses of the Bill O'Brien era

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Sunday's loss to the Broncos was a complete embarrassment. During the Bill O'Brien era, there have been no shortage of losses like this. Narrowing it down to five was not easy. Let's take a look back at the Hall of Shame:

No. 5: Ravens 41, Texans 7, Nov. 17, 2019

The Texans went into Baltimore on a nice roll, hoping to get a huge win and get themselves in position for a first-round bye. From the first possession, when Deshaun Watson had a terrible turnover, the Texans looked like a bad high school team. They had no answer on defense for Lamar Jackson, and the offense was unable to do anything. The Ravens are the best team in the AFC, so the shame level on this one is not as bad, but the effort (or lack thereof) in such a big game makes this one an easy addition to the list.

The next week: The Texans bounced back and beat the Colts in a Thursday night game 20-17.

No. 4: Falcons 48, Texans 21, Oct. 4, 2015

This game was an embarrassment from the beginning. As in many of these losses, they gave up a touchdown on offense early, were down 28-0 at the half and 42-0 at one point before adding some pointless garbage time points, another common theme in the losses. For O'Brien, it proved his team "didn't quit." In real life, it was a complete dismantling and the late scores were meaningless stat padders.

The next week: The dropped a 27-20 home game against the Colts.

No. 3: Dolphins 44, Texans 26, Oct. 25, 2015

Another where you can ignore the final score. The Texans were down 41-0 at one point and were dominated by Lamar Miller. The worst part? In his quest to make the score look better, O'Brien left Arian Foster in the game late, and he suffered a season ending injury. It was a dumb move to mask how unprepared the Texans were. In all of these games, the Texans were not ready, got in huge early holes, had poor game plans, and looked like they did not belong on the field. This was one of the worst.

The next week: They beat the Titans and reeled off four straight wins.

No. 2: Broncos 38, Texans 24, Dec. 8, 2019

The Texans were down 31-3 at halftime and never had any chance. They added 21 garbage time points to make the score look better, but make no mistake, this was a complete dismantling. As in all the other games, they were clueless on both sides of the ball and looked completely overmatched by a team that was 4-8 coming in and was starting a rookie QB. For a team that had high aspirations, the loss was a complete joke and was the kind of game that makes you question whether or not they can even make the playoffs. Leaving Deshaun Watson in to make the score look better was typical O'Brien and completely ridiculous.

The next week: They play at Tennessee in a game that could knock them out of the division lead.

No. 1: Chiefs 30, Texans 0, Jan. 9, 2016

Hopes were high as the Texans had a home playoff game. The hopes ended on the opening kickoff as the Chiefs returned the initial kickoff for a touchdown. Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw four picks, and who can forget the brilliant idea to have J.J. Watt run the wildcat? The thing that stands out about this game and the Baltimore loss? No empty points at the end to make it look better. In fact, no points at all.

The next week: There wasn't one. They were ousted from the playoffs.

The common thread

In every case, the Texans entered with a bad game plan, got in massive holes, and never had any chance, and O'Brien had no answers. Good teams play bad games all the time, but how often do they look completely unprepared and never have an opportunity? In every one of these games, you knew they were beaten by the second quarter. O'Brien has too many of these clueless efforts on his resume. Will they bounce back next week? History says yes, but after Sunday, do you have any faith in that?

The Hypocrisy of Bill O'Brien

Team, in Houston is spelled B-I-L-L

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Due to the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee being suspended, Brown alum Bill O'Brien decided to do us all a favor and spell team for us last week. The hypocrisy in the Texans' general manager and head coach taking on this task is quite overbearing.

As O'Brien attempted to explain how his moves as the general manager were making the team better, I could only smirk, thinking back to the summer of "alignment." It wasn't that long ago that Bill O'Brien had to get Rick Smith out because Smith obviously didn't understand what it meant to be a part of O'Brien's T-E-A-M. When Brian Gaine was brought back to replace Smith, the duo spoke about "alignment" ad nauseam. They looked to build the team the same way, they looked for the same attributes in players...yada, yada, yada.

Fast foward only a year and a half later and somehow Gaine had already forgotten how to spell T-E-A-M. Now enter the man that must have an unmatched vocabulary as his rise to power in Houston is unlike any that I have ever seen in professional football. A former team chaplain and character coach, Jack Easterby, had taken a trip to New England. Alledgely, Easterby and O'Brien felt that Nick Caserio knew how to spell T-E-A-M better than Gaine. While O'Brien and Easterby could spell with the best of them, apparently reading wasn't a top priority for the trio. O'Brien and Easterby haphazardly met with the Texans' owner and convinced him to move on from Gaine and pursue Caserio. This didn't go as plan (or did it) as Caserio had a no-interview clause in his contract. New England threatened the Texans with tampering charges and Houston cowered to their big brothers, once again, embarassing the franchise as a second-tier organization among their piers.

No worries, they still had Gaine, right? Unforunately, the team had decided to fire Gaine the week prior, as they supposedly believed that Caserio was a homerun hire. Needless to say, that was the beginning of a reign that would lead to a new T-E-A-M model being one canvassed in battle red embarassment.

O'Brien and Easterby since the "mistake" went on to become the most powerful man in the organization and his right hand, yes man. Yes, the chaplain, the character coach, was now at the right hand of the czar. Was it a huge coincidence that O'Brien and Easterby's elaborate plan blew up in a way that would benefit the both of them? Or is it more likely that the Ivy league educated O'Brien had orchestrated a scheme that would finally put him in a position to have the power that he had always craved?

O'Brien's flub made him the only officially titled general manager and head coach in the NFL. How could a coach with a resume more similar to Marvin Lewis than Bill Belichick hold both titles at a time in which giving coaches all encompassing power had died off? Yes, O'Brien has won a lot of AFC South titles. Congrats are in order for winning one of eight divisions and being better than at least three teams each year, that happen to be geographically close to the city in which his club plays. Never mind the fact that since O'Brien took over as head coach of the Houston Texans, his team is the only AFC South squad that has fail to advance to an AFC Championship game. Never mind the fact that he holds a 2-4 playoff record with wins over quarterbacks Connor Cook and Josh Allen or the fact that he became the only coach to blow a 20+ point lead in the playoffs and lose that game by 20+.

O'Brien would like his season ticket holders to believe that he's building a true team. However, the blueprint that O'Brien has shown is one that looks more of a dictator. His plan is to seize all power and only surround himself with those who have undying loyalty to him as supreme leader, not the team. In Houston, you spell team, B-I-L-L, if you don't worship at the alter of O'Brien then you will quickly be banished, despite your talent, following, prestige, etc.

O'Brien's Reign:

  • Get Rick Smith out of the way
  • Get Brian Gaine out of the way
  • Become GM
  • Trade Clowney for small return
  • Trade Hopkins for small return
  • Trade for Tunsil without extension
  • Elevate yes men to all positions of authority
It's agree wholeheartedly with O'Brien or fall by the wayside. That's what a team is in O'Brien's eyes.

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