Bill O’Brien has had a myriad of situations that have enabled him to deflect blame away from himself, but this year that will no longer be the case.
The Houston Texans are coming off their best year under coach Bill O’Brien, as he led them to an 11-5 record in the regular season. The Texans went on a nine-game winning streak before losing to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14 of the regular season.
However, seven of those nine wins actually came against non-playoff teams, which is why O’Brien downplayed the streak. Despite the streak, the Texans came out flat in the playoffs against Luck and the Colts for a second time, eventually losing 21-7, ending their season.
The loss was embarrassing to have, especially at home in the Wild Card round, and especially considering the fact that the Texans had more penalties (eight) than third-down conversions (three).
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This is a new season and there is obviously no Luck in Indianapolis, although Jacoby Brissett is still undefeated against the Texans, having won all three games he’s started against them. Either way, Indianapolis is certainly compromised without Luck so there’s no longer that excuse for O’Brien and the Texans.
In addition, the Texans are loaded with weapons on offense, which is O’Brien’s specialty. The Texans have without question the best receiving corps in the league, as they already had a lethal trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee, but that got even stronger with the addition of Kenny Stills.
Stills was the addition to the Laremy Tunsil trade that everyone was constantly overlooking because of the magnitude of having Tunsil on the offensive line at left tackle.
Stills has had over 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns over the course of the last three years and will be yet another weapon for Watson, hopefully making Watson an even better quarterback than he already is.
In addition, Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde should form a thunder-and-lightning duo the Texans have actually never had at running back. Johnson could also line up in the slot as well and play on the field at the same time as Hyde. In addition, Watson will surely have more time to throw as they’ve addressed the offensive line situation, especially with the addition of Tunsil to protect Watson’s blind side.
The defense has added pieces to address their secondary, which was the biggest gap as well. The secondary will continue to be the biggest hole on defense more than likely. The Texans retained defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, who has been a mainstay on the defense and has several titles under his belt as a defensive coordinator.
In addition, O’Brien has been running the front office and calling the shots, so he’s got the ability to cut ties with players he doesn’t want and the ability to go after players he does want. This is why O’Brien is out of excuses this season, and now he must take the Texans to the next level.