Was Lovie Smith's strategy in final game a 'middle finger' to Texans brass?

By , Audacy Sports

Lovie Smith's lone season as Texans head coach came to a memorable close on Sunday, when he was dismissed following a win over the Indianapolis Colts.

With the victory, the Texans finished 3-13-1 in what was another forgettable season, but perhaps most importantly, it cost them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Instead, they will have the No. 2 pick, with the Chicago Bears having the first selection.

For Smith, the down year brought his career regular-season record under .500 -- 92-100-1 -- after he came in with a winning record following stops with the Bears and Buccaneers.

Smith's one-and-done tenure with the Texans was yet another bizarre turn for the organization, which hired Smith last offseason amid withering criticism after giving former head coach David Culley a similarly short leash.

Smith, apparently aware that his ouster was in the offing, seemed to coach with an uncharacteristic aggressiveness on Sunday, most notably when he went for the eventual go-ahead two-point conversion rather than settle for a game-tying extra point after the Texans scored a touchdown on a Hail Mary with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.

Many fans and pundits didn't appreciate the Texans' treatment of Smith, and read the famously conservative and defensive-minded coach's late-game strategy as a "middle finger" to the Texans front office in their quest to secure the first overall pick.

But not everyone agreed that Smith's firing was undue.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy Sports
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today