CONVENIENT TRUTHS: Texans mired in mediocrity, in need of regime change
Four weeks ago, the Houston Texans’ record stood at 5-3 and the team looked like a serious playoff contender.
Sunday, the Texans dropped their second close game to the Indianapolis Colts this season and their third consecutive decision in as many weeks. The loss put Houston in a tie for third place in the NFC South with the Tennessee Titans, and the Texans are again headed for a losing season.
In the seven years since the team first took the field, the Texans have failed to be competitive. To market such a mediocre (and that’s being generous) product to a passionate sports town – while having little enough shame to jack up ticket prices – is inexcusable.
Let’s look at how the other three teams in the South division have fared during that period.
In 2008, the Titans were led to the best record in the league by a starting quarterback who remembers what the league was like when players wore leather helmets.
This season, since handing the offense over to a player who would probably be outscored by Jessica Simpson on the Wonderlic test, the Titans have won five straight games and amazingly enough look like a team that could make a playoff run.
Since 2002, the Jacksonville Jaguars have in no particular order: cut their No. 1 wide receiver for using cocaine, drafted a quarterback at No. 7 overall and subsequently cut him four years later, lost a starting offensive tackle who had to have his leg amputated after being gunned down in a drive-by shooting and released the NFL’s 15th all-time leading rusher.
Despite these setbacks, the Jaguars at 6-5 are in a three-way tie for an AFC wild-card berth, defying the predictions of many so-called experts that they would not be competitive this season.
And then we have the Colts. The perennial juggernaut of the South division, the Colts have been the bane of the Texans’ existence ever since their inaugural season.
After releasing Marvin Harrison, the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions, reception yards, touchdowns and crazy allegations regarding shooting incidents, and despite the retirement of Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, the Colts are yet again at the top of the division. Plus,’ at 11-0, they’ also have the best record in the AFC.
Each of these teams has suffered major setbacks, and yet in the past seven years, each has still managed to make the playoffs. In fact, during that time, the Jaguars are the only one of those three teams to have not played in the conference championship game.
The Texans’ choke in close games because Gary Kubiak is a poor head coach. If Kubiak is still gainfully employed by the team after this season as anything other than a beer vendor, general manager Rick Smith should take his place in the unemployment line.
This team needs a change – an organizational cleansing, if you will. It’s time to purge the coaching staff at least, and possibly management as well.
It might also help the cause to have a half-decent scouting department.
Houstonians deserve a winner, or at least obvious attempts to make one. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to see people trade in their Vince Young Titans gear for a Jimmy Clausen Texans jersey?