We could have simulated the 2021 NFL season one hundred times for the Houston Texans back in the pre-season.
It’s quite possible that every single scenario would’ve played out negatively due to the uncertainty and lack of talent on the team’s roster.
New head coach David Culley deserves credit for being brave enough to try and power through such a difficult challenge in his first NFL head coaching gig.
The hope for Culley would have been to get his guys to play hard and make life difficult for opponents week in and week out.
While the level of effort is tough to question, the results on the field have been nothing short of a calamity.
The Ingram Trade
With the trade deadline approaching on November 2nd, it’s no surprise that veteran players on a 1-6 team are being discussed as possible trade chips around the league.
However, when a productive NFL player is moved away, it’s tough for the locker room to keep the same level of enthusiasm.
The Texans’ trade of running back Mark Ingram sent a shot across the bow to the rest of the team that winning games is not a main priority in 2021.
Wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who has also had a solid NFL career, did not take too kindly to Ingram’s departure, knowing what it meant for the rest of the year.
This is bullshit. Such a joke
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) October 27, 2021
From a practical standpoint, Ingram’s presence on the team probably never made much sense, and moving him along to New Orleans for something was the right move.
But his absence will be felt in the coming weeks.
The Watson Situation
At the end of the day, whether the Texans win one game, three games, or five games this season really won’t make a difference.
Until they’re able to move out from under the dark cloud created by the Deshaun Watson situation, they won’t truly be able to turn the page.
Their leverage to trade to superstar quarterback was made much more difficult by the tricky legal situation Watson finds himself in.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 29, 2021
Opposing teams who are interested in trading for the three-time Pro Bowler want some kind of idea about when he’d actually be able to suit up for them.
There was a possible narrative Culley could have used this year which painted Watson as the outsider, to motivate his players to win in spite of their franchise centerpiece.
However, that hasn’t come to fruition, and one would have to think that they would be extremely motivated to flip Watson before November 2nd, even if they have to lower their asking price a little.
Tyrod Taylor vs Davis Mills
Even though most fans wouldn’t classify Tyrod Taylor as an elite NFL starting quarterback, he’s still a highly capable player under center who can move an offense.
Taylor’s career has taken a winding turn since an unfortunate incident with the Chargers’ team doctor early last year, but the 32-year-old still has a place in the NFL.
In a vacuum, he’s a much better option than rookie Davis Mills, who has thrown for five touchdowns and seven interceptions so far in 2021.
It’s possible that Taylor truly is not ready to return in Week 8, as Culley named Mills the starter ahead of their game with the Rams.
Against such a formidable opponent, it would have been more prudent to start the veteran Taylor, who appeared to be close to a return.
However, the team will throw the neophyte into a buzzsaw of a matchup against Aaron Donald and company.