The Houston Texans are in the midst of experiencing a truly hopeless and dreadful campaign. Their latest embarrassment occurred on Sunday, as they were shut out and well-beaten by their AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts by a disheartening final score of 31-0 in front of an uninspiring and fed-up home crowd at NRG Stadium. It represented a new low for Houston in 2021, seeing that it was their first shutout at home since a disappointing playoff game in the 2015 season.
Sunday's lackluster showing dropped the Texans to 2-10, which ties them for the second-worst record in the league with their fellow AFC South basement dweller Jacksonville Jaguars and just ahead of the 1-10-1 Detroit Lions.
Watching the Texans attempt to play offense is an appalling and punishing exercise. Sunday's humiliation served as their second zero-point performance of the season, having been blanked by the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Additionally, Houston has scored nine or fewer points in four other contests this campaign and is averaging a league-low 13.7 points per contest.
Houston is a consistently atrocious football team, and it's led to some rather obvious questions regarding the future job security of first-year head coach David Culley. Although it's somewhat difficult to fault Culley for failing to get more out of a roster that is largely devoid of talent at all areas of the field, general manager Nick Caserio would be wise to admit defeat on this hire and take the franchise in a different direction in 2022.
Caserio was recently granted an opportunity to defend Culley on a local radio show but ultimately plead the fifth. When asked about Culley's future with the team, Caserio responded with the following:
“I’m not going to make any comment on what’s going to happen after the season.”
It can hardly be viewed as a vote of confidence for the 66-year-old Culley, who was undeniably dealt a raw hand when he decided to take control of a franchise in disarray.
Ultimately, Caserio's decision-making process regarding Culley's future may have to include how desirable of a job this is going forward. With former franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson battling legal issues and hellbent on forcing a trade out of Houston if his pro career resumes, the 2022 Texans have their work cut out for them if they hope to be more successful than they've been in 2021. As of now, it's difficult to envision many high-ranking assistants or intriguing collegiate coaches jumping at the opportunity to take this job.
The quarterback position must take center stage. The duo of Tyrod Taylor and rookie signal-caller Davis Mills has performed rather pitifully and is clearly not the answer going forward. If Caserio can sort through and upgrade the most difficult position in all of professional sports, Houston's head coaching job becomes that much more attractive. If Caserio struggles to improve the position (the incoming draft class appears particularly weak), then Culley may retain his job and find himself in a similar position in 2022.