I still remember the 1993 playoff game against the Buffalo Bills well. At halftime, when the Houston Oilers were blowing out the Bills, I went to Double Dave’s for some buffet action, accompanied by a beautiful woman. She would become the future Mrs. bfd.
It didn’t take long for the dread to set in after halftime. The Oilers, “led” by the play of Steve Jackson, were folding faster than Superman on laundry day. I told my date I should probably watch the rest of the game at home, and I did so on a 19” TV.
When the Kansas City Chiefs scored their first touchdown after being down 24-0, the same feeling of dread returned.
The Texans were an extraordinarily lucky team all season: the one score victories, playing backup quarterbacks, stopping Leonard Fournette at the two inch line, playing apprehensive or injured teams, and then meeting Josh Allen in the NFL Playoffs. The luck ended today at Arrowhead Stadium.
Romeo Crennel will take a lot of heat for this game, just one week after keeping the Texans in the game against the Bills and not getting enough credit for doing so. Additionally, for all the hate being directed at RAC, please remember that almost every premium draft pick (Lonnie Johnson Jr. excepted) between 2019 and 2021 has been thrown at the offense. Jadeveon Clowney was traded (sure, the blocked punt and couple sacks were nice, but c’mon). Bradley Roby got a one-year contract, and we picked up Gareon Conley and Vernon Hargreaves off the scrap heap.
RAC has been handed a trash heap with the expectation he’ll turn it into a mansion.
It was only a matter of time before another team exposed the Texans’ pass defense, and today was the day. Johnson was posterized all game. There was no meaningful pass rush. When Andy Reid saw Damien Williams and the run game struggling, he stopped running the ball. Pretty dadgum simple, really.
And then, there’s Bill O’Brien.
The Texans had one legit drive before late in the third quarter, and it was the first drive of the game. The play design on the Kenny Stills TD was beautiful. The special teams first scored a TD, and then gave the offense a super short field thanks to a punt return fumble, which was converted for a TD. That was it for almost two full quarters.
Why? Because of the CHUMs, of course. Carlos Hyde “toted” the rock 13 times for 44 yards, many of those on first down, setting us up with plenty of second down and longs. The offensive line struggled to block, especially Chris Clark on Frank Clark. The route combinations left the Texans covered. Deshaun Watson can’t be a wizard every game.
Without Juan Thornhill and Chris Jones, the KC defense is very pedestrian. Yet Houston’s offense needed a lot of help from theor special teams to look even a little competent today.
Especially since he took over as the General Manager, Bill O’Brien threw all his resources at the offense in order to make himself look better, thus leaving Crennel to his own devices with scraps.
Today was the perfect end result of those decisions.