NFL General Manager Says That Lovie Smith Winning Week 18 Game Is ‘Borderline Malpractice’

Lovie Smith

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An NFL general manager has expressed his discontent over former Houston Texans coach Lovie Smith’s decision to win their Week 18 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The unnamed general manager went as far as to label Smith’s actions as “borderline malpractice,” indicating his strong disapproval of the coach’s choice to prioritize victory over securing the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The remarks were shared by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

The Houston Texans emerged victorious in the final game of the 2022 regular season but lost their opportunity to obtain the coveted first overall pick in the draft because of it.

Instead, it was the Chicago Bears who benefited from the Texans’ triumph, acquiring the top selection by having the worst record. Subsequently, the Bears traded the pick to the Carolina Panthers by securing a wealth of high draft picks and star wide receiver D.J. Moore. The Panthers used the first overall pick to select Alabama’s Bryce Young to be their franchise quarterback.

Following the controversial game, the Houston Texans parted ways with Lovie Smith, dismissing him from his coaching duties. The decision to fire Smith might have been influenced, at least in part, by the criticism surrounding the team’s failure to secure the first overall pick.

In an interview, Breer shed light on a conversation he had with another NFL general manager, who expressed his anger and frustration if he were in the shoes of the Texans’ general manager, Nick Caserio. The anonymous general manager stated that he would be “Furious” at Lovie Smith for not strategically positioning the team to secure the first pick. He firmly believed that, when a team finds itself in a situation where winning a game no longer holds any tangible benefits, it is almost negligent not to take actions to ensure the acquisition of the first overall pick.

While tanking has been a subject of controversy in the NFL and other professional sports leagues, the situation in Houston has intensified the debate.

The fallout from the Texans’ Week 18 game and the subsequent firing of Lovie Smith has not only exposed the conflicting ideologies within the NFL but also serves as a reminder of the high stakes and strategic calculations that occur behind the scenes.

As the league moves forward, discussions surrounding tanking, draft strategies, and the responsibility of coaches and general managers in similar situations are expected to remain at the forefront of the NFL landscape.