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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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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