Houston Sports: Three New Year Predictions for 2018

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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 01: Deshaun Watson
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 01: Deshaun Watson /

#1 Rick Smith Fired; Texans make playoffs

The 2017 season showed promise before it ended up going wrong due to injuries and off-field issues. For years, the Texans had struggled with finding the right quarterback to lead them to the promised land. However, internal struggles plus season-ending losses to Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt have ruined the Texans’ chances of a Super Bowl run.

But there is a further complication that involves the relationship between head coach Bill O’Brien and Rick Smith. Reports have surfaced that the relationship has been “toxic”, which surprises no one since we felt there was that tension. It also has gotten to the point where somebody has to go.

My feeling is that Rick Smith should be the one that gets let go. He has not been the best general manager for the Texans. His decisions to acquire players have really led this team to once Super Bowl contenders to mediocrity. Unfortunately, he has the support of Bob McNair, who is also dealing with a controversy of his own after comments he made about the protests reached Sports Illustrated.

Why should Rick Smith be fired?

The players for the Texans love Bill O’Brien, even though his track record as head coach hasn’t been on the same level as Mike Tomlin or John Harbaugh to name a few. Watson has said that he and O’Brien have a great relationship and they work well together. So if O’Brien goes, then where’s the trust of the players for the next head coach? Besides, this season was not O’Brien’s fault because if the Texans were healthy, the Titans don’t make the playoffs.

To make matters more complicated, Smith has a legitimate reason to be let go or resign. He recently announced that his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and he was taking some time away to be with her. As a fellow human-being, I feel bad that he’s dealing with this. It’s never fun and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. But the question I do have is how long will he be out for? If he comes back and tries to help the Texans while his wife his battling to recover, then this I feel will cause even more problems.

Letting Rick Smith go would be the right move because it not only would allow Smith to focus on being with his family through a difficult time, but it will also allow the Texans to refocus and try to build on a potential championship season with a new general manager. Reports have also come out that O’Brien would stay as head coach, which I agree.

Why will the Texans make the playoffs?

Despite giving up a lot just to draft Watson, the Texans have their franchise quarterback. This is the guy that should’ve been rookie of the year had it not been for his injury. He’s a quarterback that’s mobile and he leads his team like a general. It’s his team to lose. If he gets hurt again, the Texans go back to mediocrity. Then there’s JJ Watt, who we can all say we should be concerned and worried that his injuries have possibly stalled his career. He might not have another 20+ sack season, but if he’s effective as before, the Texans are for real. Add Clowney in there and there’s a twosome not willing to budge.

The Jaguars will be given a reminder as to why the Texans were the best team in the AFC South. In Tennessee, the Titans will have awoken a sleeping giant. Indianapolis will still be staring at a giant team.

Now how far the Texans will go will remain to be seen. If Houston makes a deep run to the AFC Title game, Tom Brady might want to retire before the Texans beat him. But even if they don’t, then the Texans’ will have some good days ahead starting with 2018.  This prediction certainly gives Houston Sports fans something to look forward to.