Bill O'Brien's team suffered an epic collapse so immense even Texas thought it was too big.
Houston turned a potential walkover win into a 51-31 blowout loss in the blink of an eye. The tide turned largely on two O'Brien decisions: The first was to kick a field goal on fourth-and-inches from the K.C. 13-yard-line up 21-0. The next, and more questionable call, came on the following possession after the Chiefs cut the lead to 24-7 when the coach called for a fake punt on his own 31-yard-line on fourth-and-4 that came up short.
Those decisions, along with a plethora of other head-scratching choices, left many wondering if the coach deserved to lose his job after collapsing in the playoffs once again.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson, however, nurses zero questions that O'Brien is the right man for the job.
"There's no doubt," Watson said, via ESPN's Sarah Barshop. "I mean, you might have doubt, but there's no doubt. I mean, I love that man. I'm going to play hard for that man. Y'all can say whatever you want to say through all the media and all the writing, but as long as I'm at quarterback, he's cool with me.
"He's got my heart. He's going to get all of my 110 percent every time I step on that field. So y'all can say whatever, but [I'll] always be rooting for that man and going to play hard for him."
Watson became the first QB in NFL history to lose a playoff game with 300-plus pass yards, 3-plus total TDs (two passing, one rushing) and 0 giveaways. You can't pin the loss on the quarterback.
No, the Texans lost Sunday because their defense had no answers for Patrick Mahomes, who led his team on seven straight TD drives at one point. Houston's game plan was faulty from the start. The only reason this wasn't a 70-point blowout from the jump was the Chiefs started the game as if they were still brushing out shards of carbonite after a long freeze.
K.C. dropped passes, had a blocked punt, muffed another punt, blew a coverage all leading to the big early deficit. After they cleaned up those mistakes, Houston was no match.
O'Brien didn't help matters with a slew of wonky decisions out of the two big miscues. Bad choices, like having to call timeout on fourth-and-4 late when trailing by double-digits near midfield, haunted the coach after the first quarter.
Despite the open wounds after allowing the fourth-largest postseason comeback in NFL history, O'Brien sees a bright future in Houston.
"I feel like we are moving in the right direction," O'Brien said. "I think we did a lot of good things this year. Not enough, obviously. I feel good about where we are headed."
The coach who helped play general manager this season is hindered by the franchise's choices -- decisions he spearheaded -- to sell off assets and go all-in on this season. Sans a first-round pick, restocking a defense sorely in need of upgrades will be more difficult, especially with massive contracts coming down the pike for Watson and left tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Even with a collapse, Watson shares O'Brien's positive outlook on the future.
"There's no way that I'll be discouraged for the future," Watson said. "It's all positive. We did so much this season. We went through so much -- ups and downs. For us, to be one of the final eight teams is huge. And there's a lot of teams that wish they were in this position to play in this game.
"[There's] no need to be disappointed. Like I said, I'm very encouraged for this organization, for this team, for this city. You might be disappointed, but I'm not. As long as I'm in this organization and I'm in this city, we're definitely going to be in games like this."
With Watson under center, optimism always has a chance to shine. Next time, however, Houston needs to be on the other end of games like Sunday.