Texans losing, nature of losses underscores bigger issues

HOUSTON — One year ago, former Houston Texans coach David Culley stepped to the podium for his postgame press conference with a smile on his face because his team had just defeated one of the best teams in the NFL, the Tennessee Titans.

The victory helped Houston snap an eight-game losing streak. It was only the second win of the season for the Texans, but it gave Houston some hope for the future. The team had something to celebrate and build on, even if it was just for a day.

Fast forward to Sunday, and first-year coach Lovie Smith is still searching for his second win after the Texans lost their fifth game in a row to Washington 23-10.

“We had some disappointing losses this year,” said Smith. “Our fans deserve a lot more than that. We have to put a better product on the football field, and we’ll keep working towards that. Some of your questions, ‘Did you consider changes’ We’re trying to do what we thought we needed to do to give us the best chance to win throughout.”

It isn’t the losses that have the fans disappointed. It is how the team is losing, and that starts with the head coach and trickles down to every player that touches the field.

On Sunday, the offense had their usual putrid first-half performance. Quarterback Davis Mills threw an interception on the second play from scrimmage and watched as Washington cornerback Kendall Fuller went 37 yards for the touchdown.

“Good play by the defender,” Mills said about his interception. “Might have left the ball a hair inside, and he had a really good jump on it and ended up getting away and making a good play. Not many emotions after the play. Got to flush it really fast and go back out there because you’re about to get the ball right back.”

The Texans got the ball back five more times in the half and punted it all five times. By the end of the half, they scored no points and had five total yards of offense.

Is it a play-calling issue? Yes.

Is it a personnel and execution issue? Yes.

Two things can be true at the same time. In the grand scheme of things, the larger question is both perplexing and baffling.

Has Lovie Smith done enough to deserve another year as head coach or defensive coordinator? Should he relinquish one role and solely focus on the other if the Texans bring him back for another year?

The fans who stuck by the organization through Bill O’Brien’s tenure as a general manager, where he destroyed the team from the inside out, deserve better. The diehard season ticket holders who did not waver through back-to-back four-win seasons and the Deshaun Watson fiasco should not have to endure this type of pain and suffering.

Over the next seven games, Houston will play at least four teams (Dolphins, Cowboys, Chiefs, Titans) who will make the postseason. The other three (Browns, Jaguars, Colts) will also be tough opponents as they look to build this season for the future.

With that schedule, the Texans may not win another game this season. If that happens and their record ends up being 1-15-1, no one’s job should be safe, including general manager Nick Caserio.

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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire