Two gems from ESPN’s Adam Schefter today: the Houston Texans will keep Gary Kubiak as coach and Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis, whose contract is up after this year, makes demands if the Bengals want to re-sign him.
Kubiak’s records in his five seasons with the Texans: 6-10, 8-8, 8-8, 9-7, 5-10 (with one game left). This season, after starting 4-2 and jumping out to an early lead in the AFC South, the Texans lost eight of nine to end their season to clinch last place in the division. The streak in detail:
Week 8 – Indy 30, Houston 17. The Texans never really compete despite coming off a bye and owning a dominant victory over the Colts in Week 1.
Week 9 – San Diego 29, Houston 23. The Texans lost at home after leading 23-14 in the second half.
Week 10 – Jacksonville 31, Houston 24. The Texans lose to their division rival on a last second hail mary.
Week 11 – NY Jets 30, Houston 27. The Texans rally from a 23-7 deficit to take a late 24-23 lead. After a Mark Sanchez interception, the Texans had the ball on the Jets 10 up by 1 with 1:48 left in the game. They manage to lose when Mark Sanchez leads the Jets on a 45-second, 5 play, 68 yard TD drive with no timeouts.
Week 12 – Houston 20, Tennessee 0. Houston wins their only game of the streak over Tennessee and rookie third-string quarterback Rusty Smith in his first career start. This is the only game of the season that the Texans hold their opponent to less than 24 points. In their defense, Rusty Smith is definitely one of the top-five quarterbacks in Florida Atlantic history.
Week 13 – Philadelphia 34, Houston 24. Houston again blows a three-point fourth quarter lead in a ten-point loss.
Week 14 – Baltimore 34, Houston 28 (OT). A unique loss for the Texans. Schaub leads the Texans back from a 28-7 deficit on back-to-back fourth quarter 99 and 92 yard drives against the vaunted Raven defense. Naturally, Schaub throws a TAINT in overtime to lose the game, providing one of the most exciting covers (Baltimore -3) of the year.
Week 15 – Tennessee 31, Houston 17. At least no one expected the Texans to win a game again after the Week 14 nail in the coffin. Houston falls behind 24-0 and never recovers in this loss.
Week 16 – Denver 24, Houston 23. Again, not really Houston’s fault as no way would God allow Baby Jesus to lose in his first career home start. Nevertheless, it could have been less painful – they led 23-10 going into the fourth quarter.
For those keeping score, that’s one win, eight losses, and seven fourth quarter ties or leads. And Kubiak keeps his job. There’s three and only three possibilities for this:
A. Tired of finishing a mediocre .500 every year, Owner Bob McNair wanted to finally set a record: most unlikely coach to ever keep his job after an epic collapse;
B. Kubiak threatened to blackmail McNair with the penis shots that McNair texted him earlier this year; or
C. There will be a work stoppage next season and McNair drew the line at paying two coaches.
My first inclination is that this is one of the surest signs yet that there will be a lockout. We’ve heard from the players’ union, which advised the players to save their last three paychecks in case there isn’t a 2011 season. But this is one of the first signs from an owner that the potential work stoppage is actually driving decisions; otherwise the decision to keep Kubiak is completely inexplicable. However, I’m not willing to rule out the penis shot theory.
Just when we think that we’ve had our hilarious coaching news of the day, I read this quote from Schefter’s article on Marvin Lewis:
“People who have spoken to Marvin Lewis say that, as much as he’d like to stay in Cincinnati as the Bengals’ coach, he believes it’s time to move on from his current job — unless the team makes changes they’ve been unwilling to make for years.
Lewis, whose contract expires after this season, will meet early this week with Bengals president Mike Brown, according to league sources.”
Wait, what? Here’s Lewis’ year-by-year record as coach of the Bengals: 8-8, 8-8, 11-5, 8-8, 7-9, 4-11-1, 10-6, 4-12. Maybe you should ease up on those demands there, champ. What’s the thought process for Mike Brown on that one? “Hold on – you’re telling me that we can get rid of our loser coach without firing him and all we have to do is continue to be cheapskates? Gimme a second to think about that one…yeah, it’s been real, Marvin.”
Schefter’s not done: “If Cincinnati is unwilling to budge on these issues — and there is no indication they are — then Lewis will not return to Cincinnati next season and he will become the latest desirable coach on the open market.”
The NFL: where you can coach your team to a winning season a quarter of the time, finish with a 60-67-1 regular season record and no postseason wins and be a desirable coach on the open market!