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Totally Not Fake News: Week 2, the Houston Texans and pressure

While it is only Week 2, for some, the pressure is building.

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
“Please [DURGA], let me survive at least one more snap.”
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

HOUSTON - At the time of this writing, the Houston Texans sit at 0-2. This is actually their worst start record-wise since 2020. Of all the teams that started 0-2 last season, only the Cincinnati Bengals had that start and managed to turn it around to get a playoff berth. While early, the idea of opening the season with back-to-back losses is not ideal for anyone in the Texans organization.

“Look, we know that the season is young, that we got a bunch of new guys, and that a bunch of players are injured, so things will take time.” Noted one unnamed staffer. “Still, that is not to say that some people aren’t feeling a little stressed.”

When asked to cite some examples, the staffer initially balked. However, after persistent questioning, to include auto-calling said staffer’s cellphone at all hours of the day and night, flooding the staffer’s email inboxes with multiple requests for comments, and a possible, but definitely not confirmed, threat of revealing the internet browser search history of the staffer, Totally Not Fake News did obtain some insider information.

Apparently, the stress level for the team starts at the top. Despite the best efforts of wife Hannah to settle him down, Team CEO Cal McNair will reportedly wander the halls of Texans offices at night, cursing loudly at the air, and having long, in-depth wailing sessions in front of the portrait of his father Bob McNair. Audio recordings of these rantings do not exist, but the general gist of those rantings, from second-hand sources focus on Cal’s fear of his perception by his peers was conveyed by this unnamed staffer:

“Man, he is really, really worried right now. Look, Cal led the Totally Not Fake News poll for Worst Owner in the NFL for two years running, but after this past August, he is obsessed with proving that he is NOT the worst owner in the league. Problem is, that when the Harris group rescued, er, purchased the Washington Whatevers, Cal lost his insurance policy. The douche-baggery associated with Dan Snyder was such that it could drown out anyone else’s incompetence.”

“Actually, sources tell me that Cal actually wanted to vote against the sale of the Washington team for that reason, to keep Snyder as a buffer, However, Cal changed his mind for two reasons. 1) Hannah and Toro tell him that the money would be good for all the teams and 2) Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft told him to vote for the deal or risk them calling him a [KITTEN], Cal buckled. Now...Cal feels like he is next in line for the worst owner award outright. Given the team’s record his decade (11-40-1 at the time of this writing), having four full-time head coaches in four years and declining attendance figures, you can see why...”

Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys
You’ll do exactly what I say, when I say, in those owner meetings. Understood?
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Yet, the front office is filled with others under pressure. Apparently, GM Nick Caserio has been on the phone constantly between Houston, Flagstaff, Arizona and the League offices, vainly trying to argue that he really meant to send the “Cleveland” pick to Arizona for the deal that netting the #3 pick in this past draft. Despite blaming his Microsoft tablet for disrupting the cell service during the call, the League basically told Nick to “deal with it.” Nick did try to ask Arizona for a deal, but all he heard was the following message.”

“We’re sorry, but we cannot take any calls at this time. If you need to reach a specific person in the Arizona organization, please leave a message and contact information and we will get back with you as soon as possible...unless you are Nick Caserio, where, once again, we will make the same counter-offer...’what sized Caleb Williams and Marvin Harrison Jr’s jerseys do you wear, and would prefer Red, White or Black’”

On the field, there is a different sort of pressure. DeMeco Ryans is only the second Texans head coach to start off his first two games 0-2. While the other coach was Gary Kubiak, which could be a potential model for Ryans, who coached him as a rookie, the current head coach does not appreciate all the noise coming with that 0-2 start.

“Mainly it is that text chain he keeps getting from a couple of different numbers. They haven’t let up on him since that home debacle.” another unnamed staffer noted. This staffer then provided a couple of examples:

“0-2? Dude, at least I STARTED 1-1. Probably should have been 2-0, but ah well…and hey, I at least WON my home game debut! Going 0-2? Your [KITTEN] should be working in the concession stand, getting my deluxe nachos ready…”

“Hey, all y’all were dogging me for being a bad, over-the-hill coach, but at least I didn’t start 0-2. 0-1-1 is better than 0-2. The math confirms it. Oh, and at least I didn’t lose to the Colts, and you tell me another Texans’ coach who can say can’t.”

Ryans, when pressed, immediately put executed a textbook WWE backbreaker on one of our reporters and looked up to say “no comment.”

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
Wouldn’t put it past this man to execute a Tombstone piledriver on one of the linemen at a moment’s notice.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Others felt pressure in different ways. CJ Stroud was in discussions with the equipment managers to see if actual suits of armor were allowed on the field.

“Really, we can’t do that? Even if we have them in team colors and get the NFL logo on them?” was his response when the team told him no. “How the [KITTEN] do they expect me to survive? Can you tell them it will be full-bodied NFL-sponsored Kevlar?”

“Don’t worry about it, man,” Offensive tackle Josh Jones observed. “Been reading up on some techniques and I think that soon, we will have perfected our best pass blocking scheme.”

“Really” CJ Stroud hopefully inquired.

“Yeah. Ya see, I’ve been reading that one book that Coach [Matt] Burke left sitting out on his desk, where it talks about this futuristic world and all, and in there, they have people who can use their voices to control and stop people. I figure after some more practice, we’ll have our patented ‘‘Look Out’ Block’ ready to go.”

Stroud, now irate, immediately ran over to Matt Burke, demanding what “[KITTEN] book Jones was talking about”.

“What, he talking about that Dune book again? I just read that to relax. Plus, been trying to tell our DBs that “fear is the mind-killer”. I guess Jones heard me talk about how nice it would be if we could actually imitate the Bene Gesserit. Given all the ‘Look Out” blocks you’ve been seeing, can’t say I’m shocked.”

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
“What do I think about your ‘Look Out’ block call? Are you seriously asking me that right now?!?!”
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Stroud immediately grabbed the book from Burke’s office, found Jones and the rest of the offensive lineman, and threw the volume in their general direction. As expected, the book bounced off all the helmets of the linemen, as they could not get around quick enough to stop the incoming threat.

CJ Stroud then immediately checked his phone, where he received the following from a NFL Analyst:

Then again, the NFL is filled with nothing but pressure for all concerned. Perhaps things will improve for the Texans as the season goes on, but until then, the pressure will at least get that first win, if not survive.