Jermaine Every's Every-Thing Sports

Time for Texans fans to face reality

Bill O'Brien is not good at his job. But he is not going anywehere. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Last week, I wrote about NFL fans freak outs after week one of the season. We’ve heard reactions of fans, as well as some in the media, that are upset about Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien and some of his awful decisions. But he was extended four years to mirror the five year deal new general manager Brian Gaine was signed to. They’re not going anywhere. Jadeveon Clowney is up for an extension soon, or he may be franchise tagged, or he could be dealt (highly unlikely, but a possibility nonetheless). Deshaun Watson is here to stay for the next four years whether he fulfills his potential under O’Brien or not. JJ Watt has done enough on and off the field to earn carte blanche status and will most likely retires a Texan.

I say all that to say this: it’s time to grip reality if you’re a Texans fan. This team most likely won’t be going to the playoffs this year as most have hoped. Teams starting their season 0-2 have about an 11% chance of making the playoffs. Since 2007, only 10 of the 91 teams with that record after two games have done so. This is a fact, not hate. They’ve shown very little in the games against the Patriots and Titans that have spoken to an easy turnaround this season. But, there’s always hope.

Watson has only eight starts so far in his career. Watt has had flashes of his former Defensive Player of the Year self. The run game has been a surprising plus considering the offensive line talent. Clowney has to show he can stay healthy and can be the player he thinks he is when he says he wants Aaron Donald/Khalil Mack money. Someone needs to put an APB out for Whitney Mercilus. I’m worried because they say he’s been playing, but I haven’t seen him. Will Fuller V showed what he can do against the Titans, but he too has issues with staying healthy and playing consistently just like Clowney.

The one thing that continues to put a damper on things is O’Brien’s coaching and play calling. He continues to make mistakes managing the game and calling plays as if he’s a first year coach with no prior experience. He needs someone to tear into his ass and light a fire under him. As arrogant as he can be, he’s equally stubborn. Failing to see one’s own faults can be blinding. Get an offensive coordinator and allow him to call plays, or get an assistant coach to be an ombudsman. Something has to give. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result.

Bob McNair has shown in the past he’s willing to give head coaches and general managers a very long leash. Whether it’s being too cheap to make a change, too dumb/proud to admit a mistake, or too loyal to pull the trigger, he’s shown he won’t make any drastic changes. I attribute this to being reactionary instead of being proactive. Too often this organization waits until it’s too late to make these kinds of decisions. Other times, McNair has been too quick to make poor decisions (ex: not firing Kubiak after 2010; extending Matt Schaub, Brian Cushing, O’Brien, and others).

Bottom line: there’s too much this team needs to go right for them to succeed. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it seems the opposing factors are mounting very quickly. I’m a natural born optimist, so I do believe they can turn it around. The more I see performances like Sunday, excuses from O’Brien, and the saltiness in post-game pressers, the more I believe this team is in a funk it can’t pull itself out of.

 

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RAVENS 33, TEXANS 16

5 observations from the Ravens win over the Texans

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Let's be honest; the Texans were not going to beat the Ravens. Baltimore has better players, a better quarterback and a better coaching staff. (And oh, a better kicker). All of that was on display in the Ravens' 33-16 win.

The Ravens move to 2-0, while the Texans dropped to 0-2 after facing the AFC's two best teams.

The Texans will still likely contend for a playoff spot, but nothing the last two weeks indicates they are anywhere near contending in the AFC. A look at five things from the Ravens win:

1) Oh, Brien...It did not take long for Bill O'Brien's goofy coaching to rear its ugly head. Down 3-0 at their own 34 as the first quarter was running out, O'Brien chose to go for it on fourth and one. The play was predictably blown up, the Ravens quickly scored to make it 10-0, and the Texans were instantly in a hole against a superior opponent. You can't give points away against the Ravens. They might have scored anyway with a punt, but there was no stopping them with a short field.

2) Some positives on defense. Despite the score, The Texans looked much better on that side of the ball against an explosive offense. J.J. Watt had two sacks, the team had four total, and they kept Lamar Jackson from destroying them. Seven of the points were scored by the Ravens defense, and O'Brien's gaffe led to seven more. The Ravens wore them down in the fourth quarter, but they played well enough until then to keep the team in the game had the offense been better. They did not force any turnovers, however, and that was one of the differences in the game. They were also blown off the ball on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter that led to the Ravens' 30th points and could not stop the run at all in the fourth quarter. But that's what the Ravens do with a lead, and the Texans offense gave them no breaks by being unable to stay on the field.

3) The difference between real contenders...The Ravens were just so much more skilled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they focused on taking away the run. David Johnson averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Will Fuller had as many catches as you did. The Ravens forced two turnovers on just really good football plays. The Texans don't make plays like that. They might against lesser teams, but if your goal is to compete with the best, it's just not good enough.

4) Deshaun Watson needs to be better. His numbers looked so so on the surface (25 of 36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception). He was sacked four times and added 17 rushing yards on five carries. He did not make plays late when they needed one here or there to maybe get back in the game. With his big contract, it's time for Watson to stop being close to elite and take the next step. His interception was more of being fooled by Marcus Peters than throwing a bad ball, but the Texans were just 3 of 9 on third downs. Throw in the ill-advised fourth down play, and they were just 3 of 10 extending drives. Give the Ravens a lot of credit, but again, to compete with the best, you have to be better than that.

5) Now what? The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who have not been impressive in their two wins. Still, it's hard to see Houston as anything but serious underdogs. They are last in the AFC South, and have a lot of work to do. The defense showed some promise at times, but will have to continue to improve. The offense has a long way to go. They match up better with the Steelers than they do the Ravens and Chiefs, but that does not mean they can win. If you were hoping they would give you some indication they can be more than just also-rans, they failed to do that on any level against either the Chiefs or Ravens.

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