The Sunday morning idea that the Houston Texans should—for whatever comical reason—decline the opportunity to change front-office leadership was an amusing one.
By Sunday afternoon, the reality of a 10-7 loss at Cleveland sinking in, it lost its humor, and surely left Houston fans with nothing but aggravation at the notion that the way for the Texans to get better is to ...
Remain the same.
"We were all disappointed we didn't win the game,'' said Romeo Crennel, the interim coach who holds that very specific title (as does interim GM Jack Easterby) for a reason. "We felt like it was a winnable game at halftime.''
READ MORE: Could Texans Keep Romeo Crennel as Coach?
As has often been the case with the now 2-7 Texans, there were on Sunday flashes of competence. The fact that the score was Cleveland 3, Houston 0 in the third quarter of a game delayed by nasty weather says something positive about the struggling club. Same thing when Houston later trailed 10-7. The Browns' running game alone is scary enough alone to mean that score is cause for surprise, especially given that Houston has the 32nd-ranked run defense in the NFL.
But the score would stay that way. The Browns would rely on the two-headed rush team of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (19 carries, 104 yards) to put the game away, and Chubb's numbers (19 carries, 126 yards) would've even been fatter had he not stepped out of bounds with 56 seconds left after a 59-yard sprint.
That was unselfish ... and wise. Cleveland (6-3) had no reason to give QB Deshaun Watson one more chance to do something spectacular for his Texans.
Watson had been terrific in five straight outings for Houston, and here, persevered through the weather and the lack of Texans talent to cap a 90-yard drive with a 16-yard TD pass to tight end Pharaoh Brown that pulled the Texans within three. The drive included Watson completing an astounding 29-yard pass to Randall Cobb while the QB was being torn to the ground. But for the game, Watson managed just 163 yards passing.
That's a shockingly embarrassing number and an indictment on a Texans organization that is taking lemonade and turning it into lemons.
Listen, when a team's truest highlight is a fake-field-goal punt?
"Every loss is frustrating,'' Watson said. "We've got to go back to the drawing board, learn from mistakes and try to get back to the basics. It's tough to lose.''
The pain of losing is what forces the Houston Texans back to that cliched "drawing board.'' The idea that they might make that trip and come away with the exact same "drawing'' that they have now?
That thought is even more frustrating that this loss.