The scenario where the Texans finish with the worst record but fail to get the No. 1 overall pick

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Houston sports fans will hold their noses and swallow the “process oriented” approach that Texans general manager Nick Caserio mentioned on Sept. 1. Houston fans can accept a 2021 replete with heartbreak and beatings so long as the team secures the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

Not so fast.

According to Seth Walder from ESPN, the sports entertainment network ran a series of simulations for the 2021 season. In one of them, the Texans do finish with a 5-12 record, tied with the New York Giants, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, and Carolina Panthers for the worst in the NFL. However, a series of tiebreakers award the Panthers with the No. 1 overall pick while Houston slips to No. 5.

There was a moment, early in the season, when it looked like the Sam Darnold experiment was going to work out and that offensive coordinator Joe Brady had fixed the mess that Adam Gase (Darnold’s former coach in New York) had made. The Carolina Panthers opened the season 4-1, first beating Darnold’s old Jets team in Week 1 and then going on to earn wins against the Saints, Texans and Eagles (with a loss to the Cowboys). But those opponents were not that tough, and the 4-1 record was a mirage.

Coach Matt Rhule’s team would win just one more game the rest of the way (against the Falcons) and end the season at 5-12 and in a dramatic five-way tie for the NFL’s worst record. Carolina needed to lose in its final week to win the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker and earn the No. 1 overall pick — and it did, as the Bucs beat Carolina 33-7.

Not only would the Texans pick fifth, but the Jets would have embarrassment of riches as their top-5 selections went in consecutive order 3-4.

Those are the results Texans fans don’t want to see after a season of watching process orientation on the field.