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What Do All The Texans' Losses To The Patriots Have In Common?

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Why do the Houston Texans struggle in embarrassing fashion so often against teams like the New England Patriots? Although the coaching staff has changed in the past few years, one thing hasn't.

Rick Smith takes questions Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Back when they were in charge of the Texans, Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips were thoroughly embarrassed when coaching the Texans against the Patriots twice in 2012. In 2013, they put together a more competitive game, but ultimately lost that tilt as well. In 2015, both coaches assumed the same roles they had in Houston with the Denver Broncos and defeated the Patriots twice in a campaign that ultimately led to a Super Bowl championship. The regular season victory was with Brock Osweiler at QB, while the AFC Championship Game win was with Peyton Manning at the helm.

With the dust still settling from Houston's complete annihilation by a Patriots team led by a third-string rookie QB last week, the question turns to this:  "What is the common denominator for the Texans' repeated inability to compete and win against New England?"  Mastermind Bill Belichick and his incredible game preparation is the easy answer (and most likely the correct one), but is there another factor to consider?

The Broncos defeated the Patriots twice last year using the same offensive and defensive systems that failed miserably three times in Houston under Kubiak and Phillips, so was the talent on each roster the difference?  If Bill O'Brien and Romeo Crennel were coaching the Broncos last year instead of the Texans, would they have been able to defeat the Patriots?  If Kubiak and Phillips were coaching this Texans squad, would they also have struggled and lost?

If so, does that suggest that GM Rick Smith can't seem to get Houston the necessary combination of talent that is needed to defeat teams like the Patriots and to advance beyond the divisional round of the playoffs?  For example, personnel decisions in allowing players like Glover Quin and Brandon Brooks to depart via free agency created areas of significant weakness on both sides of the roster that have yet to be adequately addressed. There also continues to be a concerning lack of depth in key areas throughout the roster, which are exacerbated with the inevitable injuries that occur in football.

If he is the common denominator for the Texans' problems against the Patriots, is it time for Rick Smith to go?  Should the Houston Texans find another general manager to take over the personnel decisions for the team?

Or is putting the blame on the GM for the Texans' repeated failures against New England unfair?

Vote and then share your thoughts in the comments below.

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