McClain on O’Brien: Texans never recovered from playoff collapse in Kansas City

The Texans, who are 0-4 for the first time since 2008, fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien on Monday

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 06, 2020 - 8:32 am
Bill O'Brien Houston Texans

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The Houston Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien on Monday, this after losing to the previously winless Minnesota Vikings to fall to 0-4 on the season.

“The team is terrible,” Houston Chronicle NFL writer John McClain said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They came off a 10-6 record, a fourth AFC South title in five years, they beat Buffalo in the playoff game, and [since] then the Texans and Bills have gone in opposite directions.”

The Bills are 4-0 for the first time since 2008, while the Texans are 0-4 for the first time since 2008.

“The Texans, they’ve been bad on both sides of the ball, they’ve been inconsistent, they’re last in rushing, last against the run [and the] only team that hasn’t forced a turnover,” McClain said. “It’s one thing to lose to three teams that are unbeaten, but then to lose to the winless Vikings at home, 31-23, and look really bad in the process – the owner, Cal McNair, didn’t want to risk a loss to Jacksonville. He told me he thinks they have a chance to turn it around and still win, so he thought this was the time to do it.”

O’Brien, hired in 2014, went 52-48 in Houston and 2-4 in the playoffs. 

Romeo Crennel, 73, will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season. But will it make a difference?

“I don’t think it will,” McClain said. “A lot of their mistakes are not because of talent; they’re because they make stupid mistakes. . . . I could go on and on about what a disappointment this team has been since leading Kansas City 24-0 at Arrowhead Stadium in an AFC divisional round playoff game. They collapsed and they haven’t recovered. DeAndre Hopkins, if he were still here, would he have made a difference in a one-score loss to Pittsburgh and a one-score loss to Minnesota? . . . They’ve got a lot of moves that were made and they backfired.”

McClain won’t be surprised if anonymous quotes bashing O’Brien trickle out in the coming days, but McClain does not believe there was a disconnect between O’Brien and the team or that his players quit on him.

“He is out because of the results on the field,” McClain said, “not what’s going on behind the scenes.”

The Texans will try to get in the win column this Sunday against Jacksonville (1-3). Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.