Houston Texans Have Ownership Of Most Embarrassing NFL Franchise

Cal McNair, Nick Caserio, Texans
NFL Analysis Network

The Houston Texans wrapped up another embarrassing campaign on a high note, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 32-31 in Week 18. There were likely a lot of fans disappointed that the team pulled off that victory, as it cost them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Texans will be picking second while the Chicago Bears, who finished the season on a 10-game losing streak, will pick first.

While the Texans won’t come out and say it, it feels like that is part of the reason that head coach Lovie Smith was fired hours after the victory. He finished the season 3-13-1 and is wrongfully being used as the scapegoat for what has been a disaster from the top down in the franchise.

“We are grateful for [Smith’s] leadership and character, and we wish him the best moving forward,” chairman and CEO Cal McNair said in a statement. “While we understand the results have not been what we had hoped for, we are committed to building a program that produces long-term, sustainable success. Our fans and city deserve a team that they can be proud of.”

Smith lasted one season in Houston as head coach, as he met the same fate as David Culley did following the 2021 season. Culley lasted only one season as head coach of the team, painting a very ugly picture for the franchise. That makes two head coaches in consecutive seasons fired after one season on the job. Making it worse, both were coaches of color, making this an even touchier situation.

That is certainly an odd way to go about producing long-term, sustainable success, which McNair said the goal is in his statement. Even the greatest head coach in the history of football, whomever you believe that to be, would find no success in the environment that the Texans have created.

“I’m constantly evaluating our football operation and believe this is the best decision for us at this time,” general manager Nick Caserio said in a statement. “It is my responsibility to build a comprehensive and competitive program that can sustain success over a long period of time. We aren’t there right now, however, with the support of the McNair family and the resources available to us, I’m confident in the direction of our football program moving forward.”

Caserio should be on the hot seat as much as anyone within the organization as he has whiffed on every decision he has made since coming over to the Texans from the New England Patriots in 2021. Opting to fire Smith is something that will have a lasting impact on this franchise for years to come.

Despite the lack of success when it came to wins and losses, Smith was someone that the roster seemed to respond well to. The players never gave up, playing some good football during the last five weeks of the season. 

They won two of their last three games and gave the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs all they could handle in back-to-back games. Those were two of six losses this season that the Texans suffered that were by one possession.

That is not something you pull the plug on, especially given the disparity in talent nearly every week the Texans took the field. Smith and his staff did what they could with the hand they were dealt and have been given the short end of the stick.

McNair and Caserio will be working together to find the right leader for their football team. Good luck convincing any highly respected and rated coach to take this job with how the last two men who were tabbed as leaders of the team were treated. 

No one is taking this job knowing there is a real chance they are shown the door after one season on the job. The Texans have dug themselves into this hole and have earned the title of the most embarrassing franchise in the league as a result.

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