After a wild few years, the Houston Texans are headed to the playoffs

The Houston Texans have had a tumultuous journey over the past few years, filled with numerous sliding door moments that have shaped the franchise’s path. From coaching decisions to the Deshaun Watson controversy, the Texans have faced their fair share of challenges. However, despite the chaos, they find themselves in the playoffs with rookie sensations DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud leading the charge.

The Texans’ rollercoaster ride began with the hiring of David Culley as head coach in January 2021, following Bill O’Brien’s departure. Little did Culley know that he would soon be without a franchise quarterback as allegations against Deshaun Watson started to pile up. Watson also expressed his desire to be traded, but as the accusations continued to mount, it became clear that he couldn’t play for Houston again.

With Watson out of the picture, the Texans’ 2021 season seemed doomed from the start. Culley was let go after just one year, and the team moved on to the 2022 season with the trade of Watson and rumors swirling about Josh McCown potentially becoming the head coach. However, the Texans decided against hiring McCown due to a pending racial discrimination lawsuit filed by Brian Flores.

Instead, the Texans turned to Lovie Smith, who had previously coached college football at Illinois. Smith was given a placeholder season, with ownership believing he could tank the team effectively without a quarterback. And tank they did, but in a twist of fate, Smith and the Texans secured a win in the final game of the season, giving the Chicago Bears the first overall pick in the draft.

The Bears then traded the pick to the Carolina Panthers, who had a difficult decision to make between Bryce Young and CJ Stroud. In a stroke of luck, the Panthers chose Young, leaving Stroud available for the Texans. Stroud had an impressive rookie season, breaking records and leading the team to the playoffs. Meanwhile, Young struggled on the worst team in the NFL.

As for DeMeco Ryans, it’s uncertain if he would have even had the opportunity to become head coach if the Texans had hired McCown. Typically, first-time coaches are given more than one season to prove themselves, unless they are Black or Nathaniel Hackett.

Ironically, McCown served as Young’s quarterback coach in Carolina until he was fired by interim head coach Chris Tabor. The coaching what-if adds another layer of intrigue to the Texans’ journey.

While the Texans’ success can be attributed to a series of fortunate events, they can’t be credited for making the right decisions. The NFL Plinko disc simply fell in their favor. However, despite the disclaimers, the Texans’ journey is an exciting one that is just beginning, regardless of the outcome of their upcoming playoff game.

In conclusion, the Houston Texans have faced numerous challenges and made several crucial decisions that have shaped their path in recent years. From coaching hires to the Deshaun Watson controversy, the Texans have had their fair share of sliding door moments. However, despite the chaos, they find themselves in the playoffs with rookie sensations DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud leading the way. Their journey is a testament to the unpredictable nature of the NFL and serves as a reminder that success can come from unexpected places.

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