Houston Texans 2014 Season: A Step In The Right Direction


After weeks of inner-debate, I have finally decided I am a believer in this coaching staff. Bill O’Brien and Romeo Crennel have taken a horrendous 2-14 team and turned it into a decent 7-7 team. I do believe that despite an easy schedule, the Houston Texans have proven they are a team that should not be taken lightly – an already drastic improvement since last year.

What has really sold me on these two coaches? Last year, the Texans were a lousy 3-12-1 in the 2nd half in terms of overall points. This year under O’Brien, they’re 7-3-3. Take away overtime and garbage time points from opposing teams, and they are 10-1-3. That speaks volumes about the coaching staff and their ability to make the correct adjustments at halftime. Even if the Texans are down going into halftime, I don’t believe all is lost like I did in 2013. They have found a way to stay in every game this season, and have taken most games down to the final minutes.

Now, let me be clear: I have plenty of reservations about this team. The lack of offensive production, particularly the passing game, has been perturbing. Too many times the offense has fallen short on crucial drives that could’ve changed the outcome of the game. When the team needs the offense to step up the most, more often than not, the drive leads to a 3-and-out.

This is an issue that has not been fixed since the change in regime. Although the team doesn’t turn the ball over as much as last year, they still can’t put up the points in order to win the game. That being said, it’s hard to deny that a competent QB wouldn’t take this team to an entirely new level. In which case, I say: Please God, let Ryan Mallett be the answer.

However, even though the Texans’ offense has been has been lacking, it’s worth noting that Coach O’Brien has helped Fitzpatrick accomplish his best season. Fitzpatrick finished with a Passer Rating of 95.3 (career best) through 12 games, and tied for a career low in interceptions (8, T -’05 through 4 games in STL). O’Brien has been credited as a QB guru, and after helping Fitzpatrick get to the best year of his career, you have to get a little excited about those claims being true. I believe that when O’Brien finds the quarterback he has been searching for, they are going to be special combination.

In regards to Crennel and his defense, he has them playing at a very underrated level. Forget the yards they allow per game. This team is first in the NFL in turnovers (31). They are also tied for first in defensive touchdowns with the Steelers (5). Coach Crennel has done an excellent job of getting his guys in the right place to get the turnover. Every single game the defense makes a highlight play that is the sole reason for either the Texans’ victory or coming close to one.

And it’s not like this defense is stacked with talent. Aside from J.J. Watt, who could be considered a solid player? I would say Johnathan Joseph is second behind him talent-wise, but his injuries keep him out too much for me to consider him solid. There are no other Pro-Bowl caliber players that Watt lines up with. Imagine a ballhawk in the secondary like Earl Thomas or Richard Sherman. A player like them paired with Watt and this team would be one of the best defensively. Sigh. We could have it all, Jadeveon Clowney.

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Going forward, I think we have the right coaches in Bill O’Brien and Romeo Crennel. They have given enough reason to make me believe they can do their job in a way that will get this team to a high level. Now, it’s on the players. It starts with this offseason – some guys need to go, and some guys need to be brought in. Whether through the draft or FA, they need players that can make a bigger impact on games. We can’t always count on Arian Foster and Watt saving the day.

That being said, I feel loads better about next year than I did this time last December.

What about you? Do you feel confident in this coaching staff? Let me know what you think in the comments below.