By Brien O’Donal
Well, the season is over and it’s very disappointing. The final record was 4-12 and they have nothing to show for it. It ended without much of a fight and there’s barely even a thought that the team will get better in the offseason. Their biggest exploits were the superior play of DeAndre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney plus the huge upside of a healthy Deshaun Watson. But losing the last four games of the season stings more than all the goodness of those performances.
In each of the last four games the Texans were outmatched right from the start. The 49ers came into NRG on December 10th and Jimmy Garoppolo led his team up and down the field for a 26-16 win. Houston hit the road the next week and never even had a chance when the Jaguars defense and Blake Bortles stomped them 45-7. A Christmas Day beating by the Steelers followed and it looked like the Texans decided not to even show up. The Steelers rolled 34-6 and never looked back. And to finish the season on an even more sour note, DeAndre Hopkins missed the first game of his career with an injury and the offense looked like they didn’t belong in the NFL. The Colts made the Texans the last place team in the division with a 22-13 win.
Now that it’s over I’m sure most of the fans are saying good riddance. There were so many injuries the Texans had to use 77 players this season. What started with promise ended with none. And now that there aren’t any draft picks in the first two rounds it will be up to the front office to fix the roster in free agency. That’s a huge undertaking that just got more difficult.
The rumors about firing Head Coach Bill O’Brien and General Manager Rick Smith got taken care of within hours of the season ending. O’Brien got some assurances about his tenure and Smith took a leave of absence to care for his sick wife. That means whoever steps in to fill Smith’s shoes will have to contend with O’Brien in roster building. It’s anyone’s guess at this point how that will shape up.
There will have to be some big roster changes if next season isn’t going to look like this last one. I hope it works out well and a healthy Texans team can do better than 4-12.