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The Texans Can’t Win For Losing

Just when the season started to have a few bright spots...

Houston Texans v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

After your Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars for the second time in 2020, slayed the beast that was the New England Patriots, and then schooled the Detroit Lions so badly Detroit fired their coach and general manager, leading to a movement among their fans to donate $13 each to Deshaun Watson’s charity ($1 for each win Detroit’s now former head coach earned), things were really starting to look up for the Texans. Why is the Patricia news relevant? Because he’s another ex-Patriot, a Bill Belichick disciple, just like Bill O’Brien. If Houston wants to continue their “Patriots South” movement this offseason by pursuing Josh McDaniel and Nick Caserio, expect the pain to continue.

Up until Friday, the sun was beginning to peak over the Houston horizon, clouds were beginning to disperse, and a choir of angels was singing. Then...

Jeff Becerra:

In My Mind I See The Sun Plunge Into The Sea

Someone in the organization got the not-so-bright idea that Kenny Stills was no longer a necessary insurance policy. After all, Will Fuller was having a career year with 879 yards and 8 TDs. Brandin Cooks was finding his way, with 719 yards and 3 TDs. The O’Brien-maligned Keke Coutee was finally reasserting his potential in the lineup with just enough eye-catching plays to excite fans. So, this:

Texans Release Kenny Stills

Everything about this smacks of a Bill O’Brien move even though O’Brien is no longer in charge. Stills was the subject of multiple trade rumors prior to the start of the season and all the way up to the trade deadline, but the Texans kept him. When BO’B hit the bricks, Jack Easterby and Romeo Crennel kept Stills past the trade deadline as well.

Then the Texans cut him at a point that does the organization no good whatsoever. The narrative was it allowed Stills to find a contender to sign with, which seems like a nice thing to do, but this is business and the Houston Texans don’t just do nice things for someone else’s benefit. However, losing Stills wasn’t the biggest blow because the Texans were getting so much production out of Will Fuller.

“Were” being the key word there. The Texans’ “luck of the Irish” kicked in and Fuller announced he was effectively suspended for the rest of the 2020 season for PED violations.

Will Fuller V Suspended for 6 Games

The six-game suspension might even serve as the punctuation mark on Fuller’s career in Houston; he’s set to hit free agency this offseason.

Then, just to make sure the Texans sun really did plunge into the sea - or is that a tidal surge from the next hurricane? - this happened, hot on the heals of the Fuller news.

Bradley Roby Also Suspended For 6 Games

The Houston defense is bad, historically bad, but Roby was one of the lone bright spots. Well, not anymore. 2020 can’t end soon enough..

Kenny Stills has cleared waivers and is now free to sign with any team he likes, including the Tennessee Titans. To put a fine point on all this, Aaron Wilson summarizes for us:

Where things really get wonky is the rumor that Fuller has been appealing his suspension for weeks, which means the Texans could have known they might lose him prior to cutting Stills. If so, it’s just one more nail in the front office coffin, proving everyone who ever shook Bill O’Brien’s hand needs to be jettisoned over the horizon.

For Texans fans, 2020 will forever reign as a season where the sun plunged into the sea.