As I said in my Buccaneers piece, every year I pick an NFL team that I think will do well and watch and wait for them to back me up when I defend them to people (Mykhal). Last year, the Houston Texans were my team. Coming off a 12-4 season with a strong defense, one of the few star running backs left in the sport, and a Pro Bowl level quarterback-receiver combination, I just knew they would they repeat as NFC South champions and make a deep playoff run.
Ladies, gentlemen and sports fans everywhere I stand before you, wiping egg off of my face, as a very humbled man. They let me down. The Texans finished Week 2 with a 2-0 record. The Texans finished Week 17 with a 2-14 record.
Their Pro Bowl quarterback became an injured interception machine and was benched midway through the season. Their top-level running back only played half of the season due to injuries of his own. The collective Texans offense is ranked around the middle of the league in all categories. The only high point being WR Andre Johnson’s 109-catch, 1407-yard season.
The strong defense greatly underperformed. They ranked in the middle of the league at best in all the defensive categories as a team and no one player was able to have a stand out year. Brian Cushing also spent the majority of the year on the sideline for the second year in a row.
During the offseason, the Texans didn’t do much. They lost QB Matt Schaub, TE Owen Daniels, S Danieal Manning, LB Darryl Sharpton, DE Antonio Smith and RB Ben Tate to free agency. They signed Safeties Kendrick Lewis and Chris Clemons along with backup RB Andre Brown and stop-gap QB Ryan Fitzgerald. The biggest move being using their first overall draft pick, the man-beast, DE/LB Jadeveon Clowney.
Personally, I don’t expect much out of the Texans this year, but they do have a chance. They play in a weak AFC conference; specifically the AFC South division which second place won’t be a hard goal to achieve. Assuming key players like Foster, Johnson and Cushing can stay healthy, along with Clowney meeting expectations, the Texans could find themselves in a wildcard playoff game.
Houston’s schedule won’t provide them with much stress either. Their AFC South opponents, outside of the Indianapolis Colts, are seen as afterthoughts. The AFC North and NFC East opponents are all mostly question marks. The Texans will also go against perennial bottom-of-the-barrel teams, the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills.
Final Prediction: 6-10