How Houston could benefit from a loss against the Colts in Week 18
“Sometimes divorce is a good thing.”
Houston Texans coach Lovie Smith has said this somewhat surprising quote several times over the past year. He mentioned it when the team fired executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby and in comments following the Texans’ offseason trade with the Cleveland Browns. It’s a statement that, at its core, acknowledges that sometimes change is a very necessary thing.
During his tenure, the Texans sit at 2-13-1 and are coming off a humiliating loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that saw the team by such a comfortable margin that a team they had previously won nine straight against chose to go to bench, starting quarterback Trevor. Lawrence well before the fourth quarter.
Houston is an ugly football team that represents what has become an ugly football franchise. The Texans were the laughingstock of the league during their previous two four-win campaigns, and now they’ve gotten somewhat worse. Nothing better highlights the franchise’s irrelevance to the national picture than the national media cringing this week over the potential of the Chicago Bears getting the No. 1 overall pick. 1.
Divorce is an ugly process that, as Smith pointed out, ultimately allows both parties to come out of it in better shape than before. In a very similar vein, Houston is potentially looking at a nice divorce opportunity on Sunday if they want their chance to leave the NFL cellar.
The Texans need to attack during Sunday’s game against Indianapolis.
The loss would secure the first overall pick for the fourth time in franchise history and give general manager Nick Caserio a clear path for a new franchise quarterback. An ugly, embarrassing loss to the Jeff-led Indianapolis Colts Saturday would cement the team’s need to move on from Smith and underscore just how bad the team has been under his tenure.
It would be a terrible way for Houston to end their season, the ultimate collapse of a team that had high hopes for improvement from last season and confirmation of the national narrative that they are the worst in football. It would be embarrassing for Caserio and chairman and CEO Cal McNair that this is the product they put on the field for 2022.
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It would also be the best possible way forward for the franchise.
The first pick in each round, in addition to all the capital gained from previous trades, would make the Texans good to run in the 2023 NFL draft. Caserio would have his choice between quarterback Bryce Young and CJ Stroud for found a signal-caller that could lift Houston into eventual Super Bowl contention.
No further losses can take away from talented young players like Derek Stingley, Dameon Pierce, Christian Harris, Tytus Howard and Jalen Pitre. The coaching vacancy will have its benefits in one of the nation’s biggest football cities, and that vacancy only becomes more attractive with Houston’s ability to control their own draft fate.
That’s all aside from some other benefits such as forcing the rival Colts further out of the quarterback conversation in the draft and potentially encouraging their owner Jim Irsay to re-hire Jeff Saturday.
It’s not a very palatable proposition at first glance, but it’s one that, looking at the whole picture, would seem to be an extremely obvious choice for Texans if they ever want to change their narrative.
Maybe that decision would look like a starter resting the likes of Laremy Tunsil, Steven Nelson and Brandin Cooks. Maybe that decision could revolve around cutting Davis Mills and going back to the disastrous Kyle Allen or Jeff Driskel. There is no perfect path, but there is an obvious best-case scenario for Houston on Sunday.
Sometimes divorce really is the best thing, fans will have to see if the team accepts that on Sunday and decides to move away from their middle identity.
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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire