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Why Your Team Sucks

Why Your Team Sucks 2020: Houston Texans

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 10: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs stiff arms Zach Cunningham #41 of the Houston Texans during the second quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on September 10, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Some people are fans of the Houston Texans. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Houston Texans. This 2020 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.


Your 2019 record: I’ve been waiting for this one. I’m so excited to get to that playoff game that I can hardly stand it. But before I do, lemme tease my own hateboner by ticking off a few of the Texans’ earlier fuckups. The appetizer fuckups, as it were:

    • Traded Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle for virtually nothing
    • Lost to the Saints on a 58-yard field goal at the gun. Thought 37 seconds left on the clock wouldn’t be enough for Drew Brees. SURPRISE!
    • Needed a failed two-point conversion to beat Gardner Minshew
    • Lost a game to Kyle Allen
    • Gave up two bucks on the ground to Derrick Henry in the final game of the regular season and then watched Tennessee make the AFC title game despite beating them out for the division crown

Now those are fairly benign goofs for a Bill O’Brien led organization. Almost minimal, especially in retrospect. The Texans even came back from 16-0 down in the Wild Card round to beat Buffalo! Then they hung a 21-0 lead on the Chiefs at Arrowhead! All they had to do after that was convert a 4th and 1 deep in Chiefs territory then make it 28-0! AND THEN…

WHY? WHY DID YOU DO THAT? WHY DID YOU KICK A FUCKING FIELD GOAL THERE? Why did you need to take a timeout to decide? Don’t you know who you’re playing against? Don’t you know what’s on the line? From this exact moment onward, life for the Texans has been the world screaming at them WHAT IN THE LIVING FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!

You know the rest but I’m gonna write it down anyway because it’s worth it. Houston pissed away a 24-0 lead in a Divisional Round game in a span of just under 10 minutes. They faked a punt from their own territory (it failed). They gave up four TD passes to Patrick Mahomes in the second quarter alone. Then they let the Chiefs score another 24 points after that to complete the symmetry. Gaze upon this portrait of disgrace:

The people who engineered this abomination are still here. And the worst part is that this wasn’t even their most embarrassing moment of the past 12 months.

Your coach: Bill O’Brien. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING, BILL? Who told you to call that fake punt? Who told you to call that fucking field goal?

“I just felt like we didn't have a great play there for the fourth down at that point and time"

YOU’RE THE FUCKING COACH! IT’S YOUR JOB TO HAVE A FUCKING PLAY FOR THAT. What coach doesn’t have a play up his sleeve for 4th and 1? With Deshaun Watson at QB, no less? Teams get to 4th and 1 every fucking game. WHY DID YOU HAVE NOTHING FOR IT? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY? This man combines the charisma of Doug Marrone with the game management of Mike McCarthy and Houston won’t fire him! They just keep giving him more shit to ruin! I think O’Brien OWNS the Texans now. I bet he’s gonna end up heading the post office soon, too! I fucking hate Bill O’Brien. Every NFL season features a lone coach everyone despises, and last season he was it. And given that he got his shit pushed in AGAIN by KC in Week 1, I expect him keep his crown of shit-tipped thorns this season as well.

Your quarterback: Deshaun Watson. I say it every year: this man deserves better. He can do everything back there and then explain it all to you with the kind of elegant concision that would make Obama weep. And what does he get for his trouble? Sacked over 100 times in just two years and a coach whose brain is filled with beanless chili. The bad news for Deshaun is that he signed his contract extension. The good news is that Bill O’Brien will probably trade him away this offseason for Jordan Howard and a sixth rounder. That’s because…

What’s new that sucks: AGAIN, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?

DeAndre Hopkins hasn’t dropped a pass in over TWO FUCKING YEARS. And yet, Bill O’Brien traded him for running back David Johnson, all because he didn’t want to pay Hopkins money that Hopkins had so clearly earned. Meanwhile, David Johnson has one of the worst contracts in football, so the Texans stiffed a great player for the privilege of overpaying for a medical school cadaver. They also got a second rounder and a swap of fourth rounders. O’Brien didn’t even get a first rounder out of this transaction. His biggest offseason move and it’s a trade that would be vetoed in any self-respecting fantasy football league. Oh, but he wasn’t done wheeling and dealing just yet. Flush with a whole extra second rounder—OH BOY!—the Texans traded the second rounder they already had to the Rams for Brandin Cooks, who had a whopping 42 catches a year ago. How do you fuck this up?

Randall Cobb is also here from the Cowboys, but what does it matter? Everything from here on out is on the downslope. Lamar Miller is also gone. The right side of the line is a door off its hinges. This roster was compiled using a suction cup dartboard.

What has always sucked: 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31 51-31

If we try hard enough we can make those numbers stick. I’m willing to make the effort, because the Texans deserve to be branded with them, as one might brand a steer. It’s certainly what O’Brien deserves for his terminal allergy to introspection, and it’s what his team deserves for indulging him for this long. Ever since Gary Kubiak’s time here, the Texans have had just enough talent to convince you, on occasion, that they’re a real NFL team. But they’ve never taken the next step past that, because the people running this team are too obsessed with being seen as Men Who Do Serious Things that they fuck up every legitimate opportunity presented to them to actually do those serious things correctly.

No wonder they chose the worst nickname in professional sports for themselves. These are very much Texans. There’s nothing a Texan loves more than telling you AH’M TIXIN YEEEEEEEEEHAWWWWWWW!!! While 57 COVID-19 victims drop dead behind them. Texans ritualistically assert themselves to no greater purpose. Y’all got city hands! That ain’t no way to cook a brisket! Now that ain’t no truck! This Chevy of mine, now that’s a truck! It’s like being dropped into a land of people who don’t know that pro wrestling is fake. This is the year that Texas blustered its way to ruin, with Bill O’Brien handing them the blueprint for it. Leave it to that man to make moving to fucking Arizona feel like salvation.

Fuck J.J. Watt’s arm brace. You’re not a cyborg, kid.

What might not suck: You have my permission to become Cardinals fans. What’s stopping you? How long have you been a Texans fan, eight days? Follow Hopkins to the desert and enjoy your life for once.

Ratto says: “Bill O'Brien's time as the wackiest general manager in sports seems destined to never end, so the entertainment derived by watching Deshaun Watson is mitigated somewhat by the O'Brien roster decision that is most likely to imperil him. O'Brien's carefully thought-out 'DeAndre Hopkins, my ass' strategy will either make him look like a mastermind or do the same for Kliff Kingsbury, depending of course on whether he signs at all, but at least we'll know there was no coherent strategy behind it. But in good news, J.J. Watt isn't injured. Yet, I mean. I mean yet.”



Bill O'Brien. 


The head coach engineered an historic playoff loss and got a promotion. When I texted my friends about the DeAndre Hopkins trade, not a single one believed me. 


Somehow Bill O’Brien has become one of the most powerful people in football. 


Our city’s most beloved resident is the Vince McMahon of tacky furniture emporiums.


Absolute power on football related decisions sucks absolutely. Fuck me to death.


This franchise has already ruined Andre Johnson’s, Arian Foster's, and JJ Watt's primes and is on the way to doing the same with Deshaun Watson. The Bills gave up more for Stefon Diggs than the Cardinals did for Hopkins. In what universe does that make sense?


We traded our perennial all-pro WR for an RB who hasn’t had an effective season since Obama was president all because Bill O’Brien has a hardon for the nuclear family. We replaced him with a concussed Tyreek Hill and Randall fucking Cobb. Maybe Will Fuller will have one good stat line before his hamstring explodes. The Chiefs have embarrassed us twice in the last four playoffs. We don’t have a first-round draft pick until 2022. Fuck Bill O’Brien.


Let’s remember some guys:

- Deandre Hopkins- Jadaveon Clowney- Duane Brown

Boy, those were some guys. Whatever happened to those guys?

Fuck Bill O’Brien in the chin with JJ Watt’s rusty, mangled arm brace.


I write you before every season in a frenzied attempt to convince you and your readers that Houston does have a football team worth mocking, if only to direct your scorn at those of us stupid enough to waste even a fleeting moment of our lives on this milquetoast Madden Create a Team. But it's pointless. This is a franchise that exists to be cannon fodder for a fanbase that expects nothing better going all the way back to the 1970s and the Oilers. Opposing fans see "@ Houston 7:25 PM" and know that their team gets the chance to look like a juggernaut on national television while Cris Collinsworth slides into the screen faster than a linebacker speeding into Deshaun Watson's field of vision. 

The worst part of being a Texans fan isn't knowing that nobody cares about this team. It's that you barely care about them yourself. Dehsaun Watson pulled a rabbit out of his hat in overtime that was spectacular enough to make everyone forget how much of a slog the entire game was up until that point. Our reward as fans for this small moment of magic? A 51-31 shit-kicking courtesy of the Chiefs, who spotted the Texans 21 points in the first quarter. And any honest Texans fan knew they were always going to lose to Kansas City despite the 21-0 lead. It's the destiny of this "happy to be there" organization. The real kick in the nuts? Not only was Bill O'Brien not catapulted into the Gulf of Mexico, he was empowered to trade away the best wide receiver in football for a broken-down running back with an awful contract.

This team's destiny is replacing the Titans against the Jaguars on Thursday nights and appearing in the first week of the WYTS series instead of going 9-7 and making us wait three weeks to see you make some snide remark about how Houston has all the charm of an abandoned shopping mall. Only we get to say that about our fetid marshland home. 

Fuck trash cans. Fuck Greg Abbott.


It cannot be emphasized enough that the Texans responded to a monumental collapse by getting worse by choice. We managed to somehow get fleeced badly in big trades TWICE this offseason! Maybe the one good trade BOB has ever made was made redundant after he waited until he had no leverage on the Tunsil extension. You could probably get this man to trade a danish for a doorstop.

I have been watching this team since our first game, when I was in 2nd grade. I am now 25 years old, and in that time they haven't even managed to get to one AFC title game, whereas the rest of our division has. The Jags have experienced bigger highs during this time! The Jags! We had once in a generation talents in Andre Johnson and JJ Watt and then squandered their best years. We are gonna do it again with the first great QB we ever had. I could have just rooted for my mom's team, the Chiefs, instead.

It feels very fitting that both the Texans and Astros followed monumental chokejobs with two of the most embarrassing offseasons in recent memory. The one good thing to happen in this city since I was an infant is gonna have an asterisk next to it forever. I got to experience the euphoria every fan longs for, but now I’m cursed to sound like a deeply insecure Patriots fan any time I talk about baseball.

Fuck the McNairs, I hope that dumb racist Bob McNair enjoys hell.


The stadium has a retractable roof which is never open because it's always too fucking hot, and is always sold out and invariably filled with gullible idiots overwhelmingly cloaked in cheap conterfeit team gear and Blue Lives Matter Chads throwing drunken haymakers in the rafters. The fans are the fucking worst. You know exactly what you're getting when you see a shitty lifted pickup with a gigantic Texans sticker in the back window. At least Astros fans have a sense of shame.

Their most significant contributions to the league are the Rosencopter and gifting other teams generational talents at wide receiver. The banners they hang are glorified participation trophies for simply existing in the AFC South.

Bill O'Brien's only talent is screaming into the zebra void. I hope this team and everything associated with it gets sucked into the blackhole that is his butt chin.


I honestly WANT to walk away from it, but I can’t. Football has been a love of mine since childhood and the only game I could physically dominate my cousins (they were skinny and perfect for basketball). And I have been a homer since the “Luv Ya Blue” days. When the Oilers left for Tennessee I left football and didn’t come back until the Texans were announced. I thought I could have something amazing to come back to, only to be sucker punched by forces that I swear are punishing us for running the previous team out of town. And yet, here I stand. No matter how much this team is run into the ground I will be the unwilling cuck, watching my team get screwed before my eyes, and not only powerless to do anything about it, I’m constantly asking for more.

O’Brien traded away the 2nd best WR the team has EVER had for 7 grains of rice and a salami roll all because of his “character.” Hopkins gives a ball to his blind mother every game for God’s sake.

We will spin a wheel around week 3 to see what injury will take JJ Watt out of action for 2/3rds of the season.


Every year, I revel in the fact that Bill O'Brien will be on your list of coaches sure to be fired. And there's usually a number of asterisks next to his name because he's sure to be a mid-season firing. But then at some point Deshaun Watson will have a game where he breaks a bunch of offensive records and reminds everybody that he's as talented as Patrick Mahomes. And not only does the asterisk disappear, but O'Brien's name completely disappears from your list! As if Coach Potatoface has anything to do with a Texans win! I can't even enjoy a stellar performance in a win because all I see is the inevitable contract extension for Bill.

Speaking of Bill, he has somehow become a worse GM than the last guy (whose name I have successfully repressed from memory through intense hypnotherapy). Bill was ahead of the national curve and lost his mind on day three of the quarantine when he traded DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson. That's like trading a Mike Trout rookie card for a pile of Beanie Babies. Hopkins and Clowney (arguably two of the team's four best players) are gone. The players that replaced them are Barkevious Mingo (now with the Bears), Jacob Martin, David Johnson, Gareon Conley, and Ross Blacklock. I couldn't pick any of those guys out of a crowd, and I once identified an ex-girlfriend by her earlobe when I was Facebook stalking. Bill trades for backup RBs the way Andy Dwyer trades for all the other countries' lions during the Pawnee Model UN.

The only good thing about this year is that the Texans are finally losing some of their miserable fans because all the Karens in town are mad that JJ Watt got married, and all the racist uncles refuse to watch now that the team plans to kneel during the anthem. The fans are all flag-humping Trump voters who have refused to wear masks during a pandemic and refuse to wear deodorant during the Texas summer, which is eight months long. I don't think any store in town has ever sold any Texans jerseys smaller than an adult XL.

I used to take solace in the city's other sports teams when the Texans would inevitably let me down. But thanks to the Astros and their cheating revelation, the one bright spot of my Houston fandom has been retroactively destroyed. So now everything sucks.

I sat down with my 12-year-old son and watched the Texans play the Chiefs in the playoffs. We had a blast in the first quarter as the Texans scored three times. My son is a bit of a defeatist, so he started to lose faith when the Chiefs scored their first TD. I successfully calmed him down because it was still a 24-7 Texans lead. It was harder to assuage his fears at 24-14. It was nigh impossible at 24-21. By the time the Texans lost the lead, he was straight-up angry and starting to cry. But I still calmed him down during halftime. We had a snack, I told him we'd get right back on top, and I told him it was all gonna be okay. He smiled weakly and we sat down to finish the game. By the time the game was over, he wouldn't speak to me anymore. The Texans' implosion was my failure. The disappointment he felt was aimed at me instead of his team. It was all my fault. I had let him down. Our last positive father-son moment was that weak smile during halftime. The Texans hurt our very relationship, and I'll never forgive them for that.

Submissions for the NFL previews are closed. Next up: Seattle Seahawks.

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