The disappointing Houston Texans, who own the league's worst record at 2-11, fired coach Gary Kubiak on Friday, a team source told ESPN.
Expected to contend for a Super Bowl berth, the Texans rallied to win their first two games this season but have lost a franchise-record 11 straight since.
Kubiak's health also has been an issue this season. He suffered a transient ischemic attack, or "mini-stroke," on Nov. 3 while walking off the field at halftime of the Texans' 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He returned to the team after missing one game.
Houston endured its latest loss Thursday night, falling to the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20, a game in which the Texans committed 14 penalties for 177 yards. The Texans have set an NFL record with seven straight losses by seven points or less, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Kubiak, 52, was in his eighth season, having coached the Texans since 2006. He posted a 61-64 record with the franchise.
Kubiak was the the fourth longest-tenured coach behind Bill Belichick, Marvin Lewis and Tom Coughlin.Kubiak, the first NFL head coach to lose his job this season, was on the hot seat following a 2010 season in which the Texans went 6-10. However, he rewarded general manager Rick Smith and Bob McNair's patience, guiding the Texans to back-to-back AFC South titles the next two seasons, winning Coach of the Year honors in 2011.
The roster seemed to be in place to make a run in 2013 after the Texans sent an AFC-high nine players to the Pro Bowl last season. The club features a top-level running back in Arian Foster, two of the game's better defenders in J.J. Watt and the oft-injured Brian Cushing, a solid left tackle in Duane Brown and a still effective Andre Johnson at wide receiver.
McNair stopped short of saying he expected a Super Bowl win or appearance, but said before the season this was the most talented Texans team he'd ever had.
Quarterback has been an issue this season as Matt Schaub has struggled. When Schaub suffered an ankle injury in a 38-13 loss to the Rams, a smattering of home fans cheered. Schaub eventually lost his starting job to Case Keenum. On Thursday, Schaub replaced a struggling Keenum in the third quarter.
It could be argued that things started to go bad for the Texans last season. They entered a Monday night game at New England with an 11-1 record but were hammered by the Patriots 42-14. They lost three of four to end the regular season, then won a playoff game for a second straight season before losing again to New England, 41-28, in the divisional round.