Charlie Pallilo

For what it is worth, Texans are worth a LOT

Bob McNair's Texans are worth 2.8 BILLION. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Forbes Magazine Thursday released its annual valuation of NFL franchises. According to Forbes Bob McNair now holds a property worth four times what he paid for it. McNair’s expansion fee was $700 million dollars; Forbes says the Texans are now worth $2.8 billion. The Cowboys are No. 1 at an even FIVE billion. The Texans come in at number nine. That’s great for generations of McNairs, but if the Texans don’t beat the Giants Sunday the rest of this season will be worth closer to a plugged nickel.

16 games on the week three NFL schedule, Texans-Giants is the only one matching teams that stumbled out of the chute to 0-2 starts. Most years, there is a team that begins 0-2 which winds up in the playoffs. The Texans did it in 2015. An 0-3 start? Call the coroner. The 1998 Bills were the last team to recover from 0-3 to wind up in the postseason. So for late September the stakes are high Sunday. It seems a fair fight. The Texans and Giants both have credible defenses, and atrocious offensive lines that drag down the offenses.

At least the Texans have hope at quarterback with Deshaun Watson. The Giants have 37 year old Eli Manning. Eli has had a fine career highlighted by two runs to Super Bowl victories, but since the second Super win over New England the Giants have made the playoffs once in the last five years. Manning is among many reasons why. Eli is extremely immobile, and while he has that weak o-line he also has what would be the number one tandem picked in a draft of same team running back/wide receiver combos in rookie RB Saquon Barkley and WR Odell Beckham Jr. Some might prefer the speed kills pairing in Kansas City of Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill.

Coaching woes

The evidence mounts that for all his command of a room, Bill O’Brien lacks the goods of big time head coaches. Losing to a Blaine Gabbert quarterbacked Tennessee team was feeble if not a disgrace. Parts of it absolutely were a disgrace. The Texans repeatedly looked poorly coached, unaware, and/or undisciplined.

O’Brien is on his third special teams coach in four years, over which time their special teams have routinely stunk. Gifting the Titans first touchdown by not even covering one of their outside punt coverage guys? You could have justified firings on the spot.  O’Brien’s explanation was lame.

After his “it’s not my job” snorting away questioning of his timeout non-usage at New England, I wonder if O’Brien considers knowing the rules part of his job. It’s a terrible rule, but O’Brien didn’t know the penalty when Gabbert caught his own pass and threw the ball again from behind the line of scrimmage.

On the Astros

While the Texans wallow in franchise mediocrity the Astros close in on back-to-back 100 win seasons for the first time in franchise history, and a crack at getting back to and winning another World Series. The odds are against them winning it all again, but that’s true of any single team. The Astros have as a good a shot as anybody.

I can’t see A.J. Hinch doing it, but if Carlos Correa doesn’t show something at the plate the final week of the regular season there is a case to be made for sitting him against the Indians. In 34 games since returning from the disabled list Correa has been the worst everyday offensive player in the big leagues (OPS a stunningly woeful .480), and it’s not as if he has been trending up of late. Hinch dropped him from the cleanup spot to fifth in the batting order, then to sixth. Correa has three doubles and one homer in 121 at bats. The Indians will start three nasty righthanded pitchers in Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Carlos Carrasco. In his career Correa is a combined seven for 39 against them (.179).

The guess is Hinch would hope Correa finds it out of nowhere and produces. It could happen. Sports! And while Correa is a class act, he has an ego as does everybody. The Astros probably wouldn’t want to tempt any possible hard feelings going forward. Correa’s defense has looked fine so the “he’s still hurting” argument seems shaky, but if Correa isn’t physically right and his play is hurting the team he should sit. Unless his back is really messed up and will be an issue going forward, Correa should get back on a star track next season.

Buzzer Beaters

1. Sure didn’t take long for Patrick Mahomes to zip past Watson as the most exciting QB out of the 2017 Draft. Of course, Mahomes has much better offensive teammates and coaching.  2. If UT wants to matter this season, beating TCU is a must. 3. Best college football fight songs: Bronze-Notre Dame Victory March Silver-Yea Alabama Gold-Hail to the Victors (Michigan)



 

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Houston Texans owner Cal McNair and general manager Nick Caserio will meet with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy Monday via Zoom to discuss the Texans head coaching vacancy. This may be the Texans last, best prayer of keeping star quarterback Deshaun Watson.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, many in the NFL believe that Watson already has taken his last snap in a Texans uniform.

Watson reportedly is angered because he believes the Texans promised he would be involved in the hiring search for the team's new general manager, a job which ultimately went to Caserio without input from Watson and contrary to the advice of a professional search company. McNair's decision to hire Caserio reportedly was steered by controversial team executive Jack Easterby, who has gained enormous power and influence in the Texans organization.

Involving a player in the hire of a general manager is rare in the NFL. League experts are hard-pressed to recall a similar situation. Still, Watson believes he was disrespected and tension between Watson and management was inflamed when legendary Texans player Andre Johnson tweeted that Easterby is to blame for Watson-McNair estrangement, and practically every other problem within the organization.

One step in resolving the situation with Watson would be to allow the quarterback to participate in the Zoom interview with Bieniemy, who is Watson's preferred choice to be the next Texans head coach. Bieniemy comes with the endorsement of Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs record-breaking quarterback and friend of Watson.

Of course, after Bieniemy was left off the Texans' list of candidates for the job, who knows if Bieniemy even wants the job in Houston now?

Watson and Johnson aren't the only current and former Texans who have expressed unhappiness with the teams' direction.

Offensive tackle Tytus Howard was open about his reaction concerning the way Texans front office has gone about dealing with Watson.

Former Texans star wideout DeAndre Hopkins gave his two cents about the mismanagement of Watson - something Hopkins experienced firsthand.

Now the Texans fan base (translation: Deshaun Watson fan base) planned a march to support the quarterback.

There have even been petitions to have Jack Easterby fired.

Watson, being the true professional and blossoming icon of the NFL asked fans to end the march, citing COVID-19 protocols.

One thing is certain. There is only one person holding up the fanbase of the Houston Texans organization engulfed in a dumpster fire: Deshaun Watson.

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