On paper, Bill O’Brien is doing a great job leading the Houston Texans to five winning seasons and four NFC South titles in his six seasons as head coach of the club.
They’ve won two playoff games in those six years and one of those wins was last week against a Buffalo Bills team with their quarterback doing everything in his power to lose. Josh Allen threw a deep ball to his fullback in double coverage. Bill O’Brien doesn’t get credit for that W.
And I’d be remiss to not point out that Bill’s other postseason win was three years ago against the Oakland Raiders with Connor Cook as their QB1. Connor Cook plays for the XFL now. So yea.
Cook only had two career NFL starts. One of them was a playoff game in which he completed 40% of his passes with 3.6 yards per attempt on 45 attempts. Congrats, Houston.
Fast forward to this past weekend and the Texans were poised to win their third playoff game under Bill O’Brien against legit competition. They were up 24-0 in the 2nd quarter. They ended up losing 51-31.
It’s impossible to not question some of the decisions that O’Brien made in that meltdown especially on 4th downs as he seemed to have no understanding of when to be aggressive and when to just punt the ball.
Up 21-0 in the second quarter and being stopped in the red zone with an attempt to go up 4 touchdowns and really put their cleats on Kansas City’s neck, Bill O’Brien opted to kick a 31-yard field goal on 4th and 1.
As mentioned earlier, that 24-0 lead didn’t quite take.
I walked with #Texans HC Bill O’Brian from his dressing room to the team bus. One interesting point about not going on fourth-down at KC 11 was he sent in a play for first down, believing they made it, not fourth down. Changed mind during TO go kick FG.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) January 13, 2020
O’Brien said he & Texans went into game believing they needed 50 points to leave KC with a win today. Said he kicked a FG earlier bc they didn’t have a play there that he liked.. #HOUvsKC
— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) January 12, 2020
I’m not even entirely sure what this explanation means but I know good head coaches don’t say dumb shit like this. You don’t have a play for 4th and 1 on the opponent’s 11? I can think of like, 9 right now off the top of my head.
But there’s a moment later in this same quarter that makes the field goal even weirder/dumber.
— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) January 12, 2020
So reminder, the Texans kicked a field goal from the 11-yard line on 4th and 1 in their last possession and then proceeded to attempt a fake punt from their own 31-yard line on 4th and 4. Days later and I still want to fight this man.
What are we doing here?
Being aggressive is cool or whatever but you know what’s even more effective than being aggressive? Knowing when it’s time to be aggressive and when it’s time to just punt the damn ball.
I fully understand that the idea of the fake punt on 4th and 4 on your own 31-yard line is meant to catch the other team off guard but 1.) it didn’t catch anyone off guard and 2.) The Chiefs just scored in less than 3 minutes and now you’re giving one of the most prolific offenses of all time 30 yards to your endzone.
Bill O’Brien essentially handed Kansas a 14-point swing in a matter of minutes. A 21-0 early blowout turned into an eventual beatdown by KC because Bill O’Brien shouldn’t be the head coach of anything.
I can’t stop thinking about his post-game quotes. He said he knew he’d need to score 50 to beat the Chiefs and still elected to kick on 4th and 1. What is this man’s IQ?
This isn’t even including the time out he gave away in the first quarter when he attempted to challenge a defensive pass interference that wasn’t called against DeAndre Hopkins knowing damn well that the refs were not ever going to overturn a pass interference call.
That’s a move you make when your boss walks in and you want to make it seem like you’re working so you start smashing your keyboard extra hard. Bill O’Brien through a challenge just to let everyone know that he was definitely paying attention and coaching like, super hard.
When do the Texans realize they’re wasting Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins because their head coach reads at a 2nd grade level?
Let me make a quick prediction for the 2020 Houston Texans: 10-6 and a loss in the Wildcard Round because Bill O’Brien ran out of timeouts attempting to challenge a missed field goal or some shit.