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Texans’ Bill O’Brien speaks out on subpar performance vs. Chiefs

Bill O'Brien, Texans

The Houston Texans found some rhythm in the second half, but it was too-little, too-late for Bill O’Brien’s team, who lost 34-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday.

The lack of a typical preseason program seemed to affect Houston, which made a slew of significant roster moves since last season. Still, O’Brien was not satisfied with his team’s off-kilter Week 1 performance.

“There’s a lot to fix,” the head coach and GM said after the game via the Houston Chronicle. “We have a long way to go here obviously.”

Chiefs rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (138 yards and a TD) ran all over the field in his NFL debut, and the rest of the Kansas City offense looked in midseason form against a shaky Texans defense. O’Brien cited the team’s run D as a particular area that needs improvement.

 “We had trouble stopping the run. Our defense could not get off the field, so we got down. We have to improve very quickly this week.”

Considering Houston’s Week 2 opponent is Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens—who led the NFL in rushing yards per game in 2019 by a massive margin—the run defense will have the onus placed on them once again.

As a GM, O’Brien came under fire last winter for trading the team’s best player, DeAndre Hopkins, to the Arizona Cardinals for David Johnson, a 28-year old halfback. Hopkins signed a lucrative extension with Arizona this week, then cryptically tweeted his pleasure at watching his former team lose on opening night. Johnson ran for 77 yards and a score, but the Texans’ receivers struggled.

As a coach, O’Brien didn’t exactly do his team any favors on Thursday, opting for a conservative run-heavy game-plan and punting twice from midfield.

“It’s only one game,” O’Brien said. “We have to improve pretty quickly. But it’s only one game. We have to get back to work pretty soon and fix these things.”