Texans Festivus: Airing of Grievances, Feats of Strength, and Miracles from 2021

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Festivus is an actual holiday that a writer for the hit 1990s show “Seinfeld” came up with because he felt Christmas was too commercialized.

Sitcom writer Dan O’Keefe’s father came up with the holiday and it appeared in the episode “The Strike.” Festivus, celebrated on Dec. 23, features the “Airing of Grievances,” “Feats of Strength,” and “Festivus Miracles.”

While Santa Claus may be visiting other more successful teams this holiday season with playoff berths and division titles as stocking stuffers, Houston sports fans are left with a “Festivus for the rest of us.”

Here is what a Texans Festivus looks like in 2021.

Airing of Grievances

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Why did chairman and CEO Cal McNair tell Deshaun Watson he was going to have input on the new general manager and coaching hire when he wasn’t? Of course, Watson is a Festivus airing of grievances unto himself, which can’t be meted out here. Nevertheless, McNair bungled the whole thing by misleading his franchise quarterback. Either follow through with the involvement or don’t.

David Culley was the best that Nick Caserio could do? So what if he met him years ago at the combine and he always had an upbeat consistency about him. Is that what the Texans need is a sunshine pumper when an asteroid is about to wipe out the city? Culley has been 2005 Dom Capers level of bad. Weirdly no one on offense has had to be disciplined by him, even though they have had five games with fewer than 205 yards total offense — in the year 2021 when the entire league is geared towards offense.

So Von Miller can net a second and a third round pick, but there was no market for J.J. Watt? Not only do Houston sports fans have to part with one of the iconic faces, but they have absolutely nothing to show for it. Some rebuild.

Whose idea was it to keep giving Tyrod Taylor chances after he proved after the New York Jets game in Week 12 that he was washed up? Davis Mills should have taken over as the starter for the Week 13 rematch with the Indianapolis Colts.

Of all the running backs the Texans signed, no one can run the football? Why were they wasting so many opportunities with the past-their-prime trio of David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, and Mark Ingram? There’s no room for Scottie Phillips? Now, the second-year back from Ole Miss is injured, and fans have to wait until 2022 to see if he’s any good. For now, Phillips seems to be the new Buddy Howell.

Can the Texans just leave Lonnie Johnson alone? His development is getting all messed up jerking him from cornerback to safety to cornerback to safety and back again. Johnson is a second-round pick; he should be a starter in his third year. Richard Sherman at 6-3, 195 pounds was a cornerback in a comparable scheme his entire career, but Johnson, with similar measurables, has to be converted to safety.

Feats of Strength

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texans-last-place-touchdown-wire-nfl-power-rankings

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Center Justin Britt coming back from a year off out of football with an ACL tear is impressive. Britt is also battling a knee injury this season, but has only missed five games. Even so, Britt has played on more game (nine) than he did in 2019 when he injured his knee.

Tytus Howard going from guard to tackle and back again and playing at a high level proves his versatility. Of course, Howard’s best position is left tackle, and the Texans need to figure at way to put the former 2019 first-round pick out on the edges again.

Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill has been a special teamer his whole career and lived on short-term deals and second chances. The former New England Patriots 2016 sixth-round pick has been a stud at linebacker for Houston, leading the team with 94 combined tackles and 12 tackles for loss. Although he was carted off the field in Week 14 with a knee injury, he may have a chance to finish out the season.

Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn hitting a 61-yard field goal to set a new franchise record in Week 14 was especially momentous considering his started off the season with a groin injury. Fairbairn righted the ship and is back to being a consistent weapon for Houston.

Defensive end Jonathan Greenard has 8.0 sacks in his second season with the team. If Greenard can get out of COVID-19 protocol and back on the field, add two more sacks, he could become the first Texans defender with double-digit sacks since J.J. Watt in 2018.

Festivus Miracles

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2022-nfl-draft-texans-pick-4-beating-titans

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

That the Texans beat the Tennessee Titans in the rain on the road with broken Tyrod Taylor at quarterback was the biggest miracle of the season. They could have easily folded and got rolled up 40-0 like they did in Week 4 at Buffalo in the rain.

Davis Mills getting his first win in Week 15 at the Jacksonville Jaguars was also a miracle. Mills was 0-7 as a starter and Houston was also abysmal as a road team. They were even 8.5-point underdogs.

Nick Caserio flipping cornerback Bradley Roby to the New Orleans Saints for a 2022 third-round pick is the type of rebuilding action Texans fans want to see.

Roy Lopez coming on as a sixth-round defensive tackle and giving Houston 22 combined tackles, four tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, 1.0 sack, and a fumble recovery through 14 games, 13 of which he has started, speaks to how well that five-man 2021 draft class might develop.

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