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Incompletions: Texans v. Chiefs (Bad Pass Defense Meets Great Offense)

With so much to write and talk about after every game, and person isn’t enough to write about it all, the Masthead joins together and writes about a squandered opportunity.

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images


If you hit me with a pipe Sunday morning and smashed my world dark and invisible, the first thing I would do Monday morning is check my phone and ignore the mountainous bump and all the blood. I’d see Kansas City 51, Houston 31. I wouldn’t be surprised. The Chiefs are a great team with a spectacular passing offense. The Texans are a mediocre team inflated by a 9-3 one score record thanks to Deshaun Watson magic, and a ball control offense that limited the number of possessions their defense faced. Bad pass defense meets transcendent quarterback. 51-31. I understand this.

Then I would watch the game and gasp in horror. A beautifully designed screen pass turned into a vertical route; a play they’ve never run before for 7. BIG PLAY BARKEVIOUS MINGO blocked punt touchdown. I guess the Jadeveon Clowney trade was worth it. Drunken fingers dropping passes. Tyreek Hill muffed punt. I have no idea why they call it that. 21-0. 4th and 1 at Kansas City’s 13. A coward’s field goal.

Mecole Hardman’s kick return opened up the gates of hell, an all-time dumbass fake punt attempt beckoned the demons, DeAndre Carter fumbled into the arms of Darwin Thompson and the evil army began its slaughter. 41 unanswered. The Texans blew a 24 point lead.

It wasn’t that the Texans lost, this was expected based on the talent level and recent performance of these teams, it was that it lost after the gift they received. Houston needed big breaks to pull off the upset. They got this. And still, after all of that, the Texans couldn’t hang. The defense was atrocious, the offense was terrible, and the special teams was incredible until it returned the favor.

In the end, it’s the only way this season could end. The pass defense that limited the Raiders, who barely have a WR#2, the Jaguars, a London flat route passing offense despite having D.J. Chark and sideline throwing Gardner Minshew, the Colts, injured pass catchers and ESTABLISHING THE RUN, the Buccaneers, missing its two best receivers and jumping on Jameis Winston’s nonsense, and Buffalo, who were a few drops away from removing Watson’s heroics altogether, was set up to be destroyed and dismantled in the absolute worst time and space. Here it was. Look upon everything you ignored. See how ugly it really is.

There isn’t a scheme in the world that could make up for it. The talent mismatch was astronomical. The only hope was to limit Kansas City in the redzone. They scored six touchdowns on their seven redzone trips. Bill O’Brien’s offense spent 2019 holding the ball and scoring 24 points a game and wasn’t prepared to catch up once it went down.

The 2019 Texans weren’t a great team, but a mediocre one bathed in glowing light. Despite having Deshaun Watson on a rookie contract, fortunate is the best they came up with. Those things we all feared in August came to fruition this game. The loss doesn’t hurt. It makes perfect sense. It’s the squandering of a rare opportunity that does.


Long form?

Shanahan turned the 49ers from worst to first in 2 years; hosting the NFC Championship with Garoppolo at QB.

Vrabel took the Titans from the basement of AFCS to the AFC Championship in 2 years with Tannehill at QB.

O’Brien in Houston for 6 years and has Watson at QB.

No excuses!! FIRE. Bill. O’BRIEN!



It’s time for a change.


The first quarter looked like it as shaping up to be the greatest game in Houston Texans history - then the Chiefs woke up, Bill O’Brien called a fake punt on his own 30 yard line (who does that?) and once again the Texans got blown out of the playoffs, this time in 3 quarters instead of 4.

It’s highly doubtful we’ll see any major coaching changes for next year, and Houston has no real draft capital to infuse young talent, and a history of acting like free agency is an afterthought, so that leads us to the logical conclusion that this is the end this team is going to see ad nauseam. “You are perfectly designed to get the results you’re already getting”...

Just like Watt’s career was wasted, so will Deshaun Watson’s and DeAndre Hopkins’. But, at least it’s not as bad as some teams that go on multi-year playoff droughts... not that being the #6 loser is any better than being the #26 loser...

But, maybe things will be different this off-season. Maybe Houston will land some more o-line talent, a great pass rusher and some better defensive backfield playmakers... maybe...


Let’s start with the obvious, the better team won. While optimism ran high for many in the Texan fanbase, the reality is that the Texans didn’t have the defensive ability to stop a prime Patrick Mahomes. The first quarter was the absolute best case scenario playing out for the Texans. A fast TD, a few special teams plays and an early lead. It was almost at that point that I began to allow myself to believe there was an actual shot of this upset happening.

Then Bill O’Brien made two really questionable decisions.

The first was electing to kick a field goal instead of going for it on 4th & 1 from the KC 13. The second was the fake punt that the Texans attempted on 4th & 4 at the HOU 31. I want to be clear about why I think these were bad calls. After the game, O’Brien said that they knew they needed to score touchdowns going into the game. That was his excuse for the fake punt call. The problem is that ONE series earlier you decided that it was too risky to go for it on a 4th & 1 deep in the Chiefs territory. It makes no logical sense to say you need touchdowns to compete but to choose field goals, only to then decide you again need touchdowns and try to run a fake punt. It was really bad coaching.

I didn’t actually have a problem with the fake punt call in and of itself. The timing and game management that led to the decision being made is the actual problem AND that has been the problem that O’Brien has had during his entire HC tenure. His in-game decisions and game management miscues have been a big reason the Texans haven’t been able to capitalize on having Deshaun Watson as a QB.

After that it was all Chiefs, all the time. Patrick Mahomes tore apart our defense with precision passing and timely runs. Lonnie Johnson on Travis Kelce was the most unfair matchup in the NFL all season. Kelce looked like the best TE in the league during the game. The Texans simply had no answers. It was a like taking a test you forgot to study for.

One last thing.

It is time for Bill O’Brien to go. He must be fired. I know that he won’t be but there needs to be at least a recognition in the building that he can’t get it done. Since O’Brien has been HC of the Texans, each of the other AFC South teams have made it to the AFC Championship game. O’Brien is constantly embarrassed in nationally televised playoff games. Nobody is taking the Texans seriously when it comes to the playoffs. It’s time the fans began to ask themselves if they are content to winning AFC South titles that mean nothing or if they want a HC who has the ability to make some noise once the playoffs begin.


Texans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. A complete mental collapse occurred in what can only be described as lack of coaching, experience, and control. My article I was ALREADY working on was that O’Brien prefers a close game because he can manage it. He knows how to win a close game at arms length than a complete blowout. That is the difference between him and Belichick.

I think that Romeo has to go. He cannot allow the opposing offense to score SIX TOUCHDOWNS IN A ROW. Andy Reid adapted to his defense by the second quarter. After that a Crennel didn’t make a single game adjustment for three quarters. It doesn’t help that our two players who can stop Kelce - Dylan Cole and Tashaun Gipson jr. we’re both out, but an inability to make adjustments mid game is not deserving of a Defensive Coordinator position.

Overall as others have said, the better team won. Texans got ahead of themselves. Shat a shame. The thought of an AFC championship game in Houston would have brought tears to my eyes.