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Who's Worse? Dolphins 17, Houston Texans 9 Defines the NFL Basement

Fourteen games in a row. Fourteen losses in a row. Texans at Dolphins meant somebody was going to Stengel forward.

Fourteen games in a row. Fourteen losses in a row.

Entering Sunday’s NFL Week 9 clash between the Houston Texans and the Dolphins in Miami, that ridiculous number - 14 - marked yet another of the entanglements between the awful Texans and the awful.

Dolphins, Texans means Houston is more awful.

“It can always get worse,” Houston defensive lineman Jonathan Greenard said during the week. “So that’s the thing ... we’ve got to have in the back of our head.”

Yes, it was going to “always get worse” for one of these two dismal programs, both of which entered Sunday with 1-7 records and on seven-game losing streaks.

And now, for coach David Culley’s Houston Texans. … it just did.

And Greenard was right about something else, too, about what is in the “back of the heads” of players and coaches trapped in this downward spiral …

“We’re losers.”

That’s not a cheap shot - it’s just a mathematical fact stemming from Miami 17, Houston 9. 

This outcome comes on the heels of another Texans/Dolphins entanglement … and another failure, if you will, as they couldn’t get done their long-discussed trade involving embattled Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson

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Maybe that happens next year.

Also entangled here is Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa, part of the complicated trade talks that ended with last Tuesday's NFL deadline. And yet Miami didn't even need him to dominate, as Tua sat with a fractured finger, leaving the quarterbacking to journeyman backup Jacoby Brissett, who just beefed up his mediocre resume by beating a less-than-mediocre team.

Not even the QB return of Tyrod Taylor helped the Texans, as they still cannot score on the road or even, really make offensive plays of significance. Receiver Brandin Cooks keeps trying, but here, by the time Taylor had tossed three interceptions and by the time the running game totals nothing and by the time the passing game totals nothing ...

Well, any individual success is a very relative thing.

The last Houston team that lost eight straight games in the same season was the 2013 Texans, who ended their season with 14 consecutive losses. 

This "culture-changing'' crew, assembled by first-time GM Nick Caserio and first-time head coach David Culley, in demonstrating that it cannot even be competitive with another awful team that is playing with a last-second backup QB, is completely capable of chasing that dubious record.

The Texans entered the game ranking last in the NFL by averaging 14.9 points a game. They entered next-to-last on defense, ranking them 31st by allowing 30.1 points. 

Coming into Sunday, in other words, Houston was statistically football's crummiest team.

Coming out of Sunday, it's been verified. The Miami Dolphins are now less awful. The 1-8 Houston Texans are now the definition of "awful.''

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