Houston Texans

Texans were controversial call away from being shutout at home again

The Texans were almost shutout in a home playoff game again, which looks really, really bad on Bill O’Brien.

Even though the Houston Texans were embarrassed by the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round of NFL playoffs, losing 21-7 at NRG Stadium, Houston head coach Bill O’Brien may have dodged a bullet.

Thanks to a very questionable call from the officials, the Texans managed to put seven points on the board and avoid being shutout at home. Keke Coutee took a six-yard pass from Deshaun Watson and dove into the end zone in the fourth quarter for Houston’s lone touchdown of the game.

But it appeared that Coutee didn’t have possession of the ball as he crossed the goal line. Though it seemed like the evidence was pretty clear to overturn the call, the touchdown ruling stood, officially putting an end to the shutout.

Avoiding a shutout was pretty significant for O’Brien, who was the head coach of the Texans when they were blanked 30-0 by the Kansas City Chiefs at home in the 2015 playoffs. Since the 1970 merger between the NFL and AFL, only four times has a team been shutout at home in a playoff game.

If the Texans had failed to score on Saturday, they would’ve become the fifth team to join that infamous club, and O’Brien would have been in charge of two of those five teams. Even though O’Brien was able to narrowly avoid that happening, it speaks to how poor of a coach O’Brien is when it comes to the playoffs.

Next: Antonio Brown, Steelers continue down ugly road

Houston seems to have a team talented enough to compete for a championship, but another first round playoff exit raises the question of whether O’Brien is the coach that will lead them over the hump. As the Texans head into the offseason, it’s possible that we’ve seen O’Brien’s peak.

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