Bill O'Brien should be fired after what happened to the Houston Texans on Sunday. After racing to a 24-0 lead, the Texans collapsed, allowing the Chiefs to outscore them 51-7 over the game's final 40 minutes. It was the kind of game that gets entire coaching staffs canned. O'Brien should face that fate.
The call getting O'Brien roasted is his decision to kick a field goal on fourth and inches from Kansas City's 13-yard line with 10:54 remaining in the second quarter. The Chiefs were up 21-0 at the time and the Chiefs were reeling. It was a chance to bury Kansas City, but O'Brien took his foot off the gas and opted for three. It was a huge mistake.
The Chiefs got things going on their next drive, scoring a touchdown. The Texans answered with a four-play drive, during which they foolishly faked a punt, which failed. The Chiefs bagged another quick touchdown and the comeback was on.
How bad was it? Despite trailing 24-0 with 10:54 left in the second quarter, the Chiefs actually led 28-24 at halftime. They went on to score 41 unanswered points, while the Texans flopped on offense repeatedly. O'Brien did nothing to change things up or fix what was wrong.
While the decision to kick on that fourth down will haunt the Texans all offseason, the rest of the game was horrid as well. It appeared Romeo Crennel's defense had no tangible plan for defending Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce. Kelce dominated, catching 10 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns. He also earned a number of key penalties, as Houston's defenders were grabbing and holding him in coverage all afternoon.
As if the defense surrendering 434 yards on just 57 total plays wasn't enough, Houston's offense stalled after the middle of the second quarter. Kansas City's rushing defense ranked 26th in the NFL this season, allowing 128.2 yards per game. The Texans ran the ball just 21 times for 94 yards. They were ripping off 4.5 yards per rush, but instead of pounding the ball to protect the lead in the second quarter, O'Brien's offense opted to throw the ball, playing into the up-tempo game the Chiefs wanted.
O'Brien has been in Houston since 2014. In those six seasons, the Texans have won four AFC South titles and own a record of 52-44 (.542). But O'Brien is 2-4 in the postseason and has failed to take the team past the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He had a golden opportunity to advance to the AFC Championship Game on Sunday -- which Houston would have hosted -- and failed to guide his team there. It was embarrassing to see it happen in real time.
The Texans can do better than what O'Brien has given them. With a stud like Deshaun Watson under center, there's an opportunity to win big for a long time in Houston. But the franchise might need to make some massive changes around its quarterback. The first to go should be O'Brien, who has repeatedly shown that he can't rise to the occasion in the biggest moments.