Now a strong case can be made that O’Brien could be the NFL Coach of the Year.
The Texans started 0-3, but have ripped off nine straight victories as the hottest team in the league. They are the first team to accomplish that in league history, which is a tribute to O’Brien.
I’ve always considered him one of the better coaches in the league, a bright offensive mind who just needed some time to get things going with the Texans. He was limited by bad quarterback play in his first few seasons, some of that by quarterbacks he is said to not even want on the roster. See Brock Osweiler.
Now he has Deshaun Watson under center and the Texans are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. With a fierce pass rush on defense to go with Watson, they have the ingredients to make a deep playoff run.
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If the Jacksonville Jaguars were to beat the Tennessee Titans Thursday night, the Texans can clinch the AFC South by beating the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. That would be a heck of a turnaround for a team that was staring 0-4 in the face in their first meeting with the Colts in Week 4, but rallied to win overtime.
The Texans are up to No. 5 in my Power Rankings this week. They are also pushing the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots for a first-round bye and potential home-field advantage in the playoffs.
Nine weeks ago, that would have been absurd to say.
Give O’Brien credit for turning things around. The September chatter about sending him packing seems laughable now.