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Why Your Team Sucks

Why Your Team Sucks 2022: Houston Texans

Houston Texans
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Some people are fans of the Houston Texans. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Houston Texans. This 2022 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Houston Texans. The name is its own punchline.

Your 2021 record: 4-13. For the second straight year, the Texans were the first team in the league to be eliminated from playoff contention. Half their wins came against the Jaguars. In the month of October alone, they lost every game and were outscored 155-52. The only time they got one over on a hated rival was when DeAndre Hopkins refused to get vaccinated.

The 2021 Texans were a team that was designed not to be seen. They had no viable replacement for the guy who was sued by 24 women for sexual misconduct, whom they hid in the crawlspace of their depth chart all season long. They had no talent anywhere else on the roster. Their best free agent signing, Christian Kirksey, spent the back half of the season on IR. And their coach was the immortal David Culley. If you ever notice a team like that, it’s because they punted backwards or committed some other immortal fuckup. But no! No, these Texans managed to successfully fly under the radar for 18 blank weeks. In a way, this season marked a return the old-school Texans football: unremarkable, un-newsworthy, and ultimately pointless. VICTORY IS THEIRS.

Culley was still fired at the end of it.

Your coach: What the modern Texans lack in on-field highlights they more than make up for once the season is over. Via Mike Florio:

They believe they need, as we hear it, another team to interview (Josh) McCown in order to legitimate and normalize the notion of McCown going straight to the job of head coach, despite having no experience coaching college or pro football, in any capacity.

FUCK YEAH. Now that’s the patented mix of cynicism and desperation that I’ve come to love about this organization. If you’re just joining us, the Texans fired David Culley for the sin of doing his job to the best of his (albeit limited) abilities. They then conducted a coaching “search” and came down to two finalists: former clipboard holder Josh McCown, and Brian Flores, the latter of whom had just put together two straight winning seasons with the Dolphins. Such a tough decision. Do you go with a coach who has a track record of success dating back to just now, or do you hire one of the bad guys from Double Dragon? Well, if you’re the Houston Texans, and Brian Flores just sued you because he knows his interview with you was a sham, you go URRRR DURRR FUCK IT LET’S HIRE LOVIE SMITH.

And so they did.

When we last saw Lovie Smith running an NFL team in 2015, he was fired by the Bucs for going 6-10. Tampa believed that the key to unlocking Jameis Winston’s potential was to replace Lovie with Dirk Koetter, which is not unlike trading in your old Buick for a Tesla that’s already on fire. In between then and now, Lovie guided Illinois to an impressive-for-Illinois 17-39 record. Lovie also grew a beard so thick and so lush that I want to take a nap inside of it. I feel safe when I see Lovie Smith’s beard. Sheltered. I could tell that beard anything, even things about my peepee.

Lovie, and his beard, are part of three-prong strategy currently being implemented by Texans GM Nick Caserio and VP/Altar Man Jack Easterby. Stage 1 was hiring Culley to preside over a ghost season. Check. Stage 2 was hiring Lovie in a panic so that people wouldn’t get mad at them for hiring Josh McCown. Check. Stage 3 will be firing Lovie and replacing him with McCown five months from now, after everyone has grown numb to not just the Texans, but to life in general. Tell me you feel anything living in this country right now. No sane person possibly could. You could behead a child in front of me and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash. The Texans are counting on such indifference.

Speaking of allergies to caring …

Your quarterback: Stanford boy Davis Mills, who went from Deshaun Watson’s stopgap replacement to the Texans crying out, ACTUALLY JESUS TOLD US THAT THIS YOUNG MAN IS THE WAY AND THE LIGHT. Davis Mills sounds like the name of an outlet mall that keeps catching on fire. Mills took over for a benched Tyrod Taylor early last season—Tyrod Taylor’s whole life is being benched—and then proceeded to have a season that was respectable only if you factor in the circumstances in which he was forced to play. You too would be happy with yourself if you tossed 18 touchdowns after your bosses plucked you out of the nursery to fill in for an alleged sex creep.

Watson is gone now, which means that Mills will have to play like a REAL quarterback this time around. And judging by the nuts and bolts of last season’s performance, in which Mills ranked as the fourth worst quarterback in the league by PFF metrics, he will fail. And he won’t fail in an endearing, sympathetic way. We’re talking about the second coming of Tom Savage here. You are now free to be angry at Davis Mills for being a stiff. Right to hate his fucking guts. But hey, at least their hands are clean of Deshaun Watson’s evildoing, am I right fellas?

The Times’s review also showed that Watson’s conduct was enabled, knowingly or not, by the team he played for at the time, the Houston Texans, which provided the venue Watson used for some of the appointments. A team representative also furnished him with a nondisclosure agreement after a woman who is now suing him threatened online to expose his behavior.

So let’s recap:

  • The Texans draft Deshaun Watson
  • He’s really good; they’re set for at least the next decade
  • But Watson spends the bulk of his free time hunting around on Instagram for full body work from unsuspecting professional and nonprofessional massage therapists alike
  • He’s also playing for Bill O’Brien, who sucks shit through a paper straw
  • They blow a 24-3 lead to the Chiefs in the 2019 playoffs
  • They somehow alienate Watson while simultaneously enabling him. It’s not unlike your parents’ marriage
  • Watson refuses to play for them after the 2020 season
  • They refuse to trade him
  • THE DAVIS MILLS EXPERIENCE
  • A Texas grand jury declines to indict Watson, because assaulting women is legal in that state anyway
  • They trade Watson to Cleveland for three first-rounders and change
  • But they’re still part of this scandal AND they’re fucking terrible

That’s where we stand now. Did the Texans use their motherlode of draft picks to find Watson’s replacement? No. Will they be good, or even relevant, for the rest of this decade? No. Did they “win” their trade with Cleveland? Somehow also no. Do you know how hard you have to work to fuck up this many times in a row? Ken Lay would’ve handled this situation more deftly. Fucking XFL-ass franchise.

The good news for Mills is that Governor Greg Abbott just signed a bill saying that Texans HAVE TO use the shotgun.

What’s new that sucks: Not much. The Texans spent this offseason re-signing many of their own free agents, under the mistaken belief that they have a core. They don’t. They have two potato chips they found on the floor of their car. With the third pick in the draft, they picked corner Derek Stingley Jr., who was a brilliant college player three years ago and has been a perpetual Questionable designation ever since. With their other first-round pick—the one from Cleveland—they traded down and took …

TEXANS FAN: A quarterback? A fearsome pass rusher to replace JJ Watt?!

… a guard. To protect Mills. Join us later this year when we discover that Mills has been using the Texans practice facility to hold rabbits hostage in a sex dungeon.

John Metchie has leukemia.

What has always sucked: This offense has no skill players, unless you count Brandin Cooks’s two impressive games per season. They can’t pass block. They can’t run block. They can’t play defense. Their head coach can’t coach anymore. Their top football executive is a Ralph Reed impersonator whose last actual football-related job before being handed total control of the Texans was as an intern for the Jaguars. Their owner is an aspiring plantation head. They created a situation where, whether they kept Deshaun Watson or got rid of him, they were fucked. And so it has come to pass. This team is fucked. Their fans are fucked. Their city is fucked. Their state is REALLY fucked. Texas is why America won’t exist 10 years from now. Fuck Texas and then outlaw it from aborting the jammed AR-15 it’ll give birth to as a result. You people mean nothing to me. If you all died, I’d pour myself a glass of lemonade.

Ratto says: Jack Easterby (8-25 and running) is still controlling the franchise, and Cal McNair is now an exhibit at the Houston Zoo. Getting out from under the Deshaun Watson debacle is Easterby’s finest hour, and having Davis Mills as the team’s new quarterback is his second finest hour. Neither hour is actually good, though, so you see where the bar is set: in a roadside ditch half-filled with roadkill tossed there by the highway department.

What might not suck: OK, the new helmets are pretty fucking sweet. God forbid the Texans adopt them for every game and not just for Ladies’ Night.

HEAR IT FROM TEXANS FANS!

Jared:

Do you have any idea of the unflinching dedication and effort it took for Jack Easterby to become the most universally and irredeemably reviled snake-headed piece of shit in a city that produced JOEL FUCKING OSTEEN?!

JP:

What a dumb horrible town. Horrible. 

Dustin:

I’ve smashed enough shit to know we always fuck up.

John:

They keep trying to hire Josh McCown to be head coach. He’s got absolutely no coaching experience of any kind, but he does go to the same church as Jack Easterby which means that not only is he a Christian, but he’s the right kind of Christian.

Chuck:

I took my wife and daughter to a Texans game back in the Matt Schaub days. I needed a beer and my daughter needed to go to the bathroom. She was at the age where she was too old to go in the men’s room with me, but kinda not old enough to navigate a crowded women’s room at a football game solo. The family bathroom was locked, so we waited, and waited. After five minutes or so, I figured someone was changing a diaper or a parent helping their kid out or something. Finally, some drunk Texans fan comes stumbling out, mumbles something to us and heads back to his seat. My daughter heads in and takes care of business. She comes out and tells me that drunk guy pissed all over the seat and it was super gross.

There is no real point in this story, just like there’s no real point in having the Texans in the NFL.

Kenneth:

Is there any team right now in more desperate need of a rebrand than this one? After finally moving on from their sexual predator of a quarterback, this is their chance to refresh their bland name and bland color scheme; and doing it on their 20th year anniversary of being in the league. And what do they do? They’re going to have a red helmet during one of their games this season.

Saul:

1. They continue to have the worst name in the NFL. Just the laziest naming convention possible. The Houston Texans. The Houston people who live heres. Bang up stuff, team. 

2. I’m not sure the 2022 version of this team even exists. If you stopped a random person on the street and asked them to name a Houston Texan, they could probably name a random citizen of Houston before a member of this roster. If you put this team up against the inaugural 2008 expansion team version of the Texans, the 2008 expansion team would have a puncher’s chance. 

3. We’re paying a fullback the same amount of money we’re paying Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack COMBINED. 

4. This isn’t saying much, but NRG Stadium might have the least personality in all of pro football. Just a monument to average.

Matt:

I grew up in Houston as an Oilers fan during the late 80s and early 90s, watching them get bounced from the wild card and second rounds of the playoffs for seven straight years. Even after that torment, I was glad the NFL came back to Houston in 2002. There were two big warning signs, though: the godawfully boring name and the fact that the theme song featured the lyrics “Welcome to the greatest city of allllllll!!!!”

I finally stopped watching the Texans and the NFL in 2012, when I realized my Sundays were much more pleasant when I didn’t have to orient my schedule around a team I spent most of my time being mad at.  

Dylan:

It’s amazing how irrelevant the NFL is here now. You used to have threaten to move the team to Nashville before you’d reach this level. I’m pretty sure there’s been more buzz about UH moving to the Big 12.

Nate:

Shortly after my mother-in-law’s fiancé Bill was diagnosed with terminal cancer, they decided to get married as quickly as they could to try and enjoy as much of their remaining time together as they could. When they asked me to perform the ceremony, it was my honor to accept. I am still thrilled that I was able to do that for them. It was a lovely, small ceremony, with family and dear friends in attendance. Afterwards, there was good food and lots of booze, and wouldn’t you know it? The Texans were in the goddamn playoffs! And the game was a fucking corker. The Texans roared ahead early and just couldn’t stop scoring. One of the guests clapped me on the shoulder and said, “This is gonna be our year!”

The Chiefs then scored 51 unanswered points, and it is unclear whether the Texans will ever so much as sniff the playoffs again.

Bill died two months later. Deshaun Watson is an unrepentant rapist (am I sad he is Cleveland’s problem now? No I am not). Jack Easterby is still the answer to the question “What if Rasputin, but at a ‘Disciple Now’ retreat?” COVID isn’t done killing people, the world is (literally AND figuratively!) on fire, SCOTUS is about to do to the very notion of representative democracy what it’s gleefully done to the rights of women, people of color, and the entire spectrum of the LQBT community for the last 40 years or so, and I guaran-goddamn-tee you that when the Texans line up for Week 1 in a stadium named for a shitty and monopolistic power company–assuming the fucking Texas power grid is still intact by then–it will be an announced sellout.

Fuck this team, and fuck me for continuing to watch them. Blue lot sucks.

Submissions for the Defector NFL previews are closed. Next up: New York Jets.