2016 NFL Preview: Houston Texans

The Houston Texans were one of the surprising teams of last season. With some new upgrades on offense and the same dominant defense expected back this season, should we expect big things from these guys this season?

Can Brock Osweiler be the franchise QB the Texans have lacked for years?

Can the defense keep their impressive reign of terror going?

Will the Texans make a return to the playoffs and actually score some points this year?

Let’s find out!

 

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Houston Texans

The Stats:

Record Last Ten Seasons: 9-7 (2015), 9-7 (2014), 2-14 (2013), 12-4 (2012), 10-6 (2011), 6-10 (2010), 9-7 (2009), 8-8 (2008), 8-8 (2007), 6-10 (2006)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2015 Wildcard vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Last Playoff Win: 2012 Wildcard vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Super Bowl Titles Won: 0

Passing Leader for 2015: Brian Hoyer (2,606 yards, 19 touchdowns, 7 interceptions)

Rushing Leader for 2015: Alfred Blue (698 yards, 2 touchdowns)

Receiving Leader for 2015: DeAndre Hopkins (1,521 yards, 11 touchdowns)

The Head Coach:

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Bill O’Brien

Overall Record (as a head coach): 18-14

Record With Team: 18-14

Previous NFL Jobs: New England Patriots Offensive Assistant (2007), New England Patriots Wide Receivers Coach (2008), New England Patriots Quarterbacks Coach (2009-2010), New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator (2011)

My Grade: B-

The Team:

(Depth Charts will change as training camps progress obviously….)

Player Grade Guide:

Blue = Elite Player

Green = Really Good Player

Orange = Average Player

Pink = Meh

Red = NO THANKS

Gray = Rookie

Offense:

QB: Brock Osweiler

RB: Lamar Miller

FB: Jay Prosch

WR: DeAndre Hopkins

WR: Will Fuller

TE: Ryan Griffin

OC: Greg Mancz

OG: Xavier Su’a-Filo

OG: Jeff Allen

OT: Derek Newton

OT: Duane Brown

Defense:

DE: J.J. Watt

DT: Vince Wilfork

DE: Christian Covington

LB: Jadeveon Clowney

LB: Whitney Mercilus

LB: Brian Cushing

LB: Bernardrick McKinney

CB: Johnathan Joseph

CB: Kareem Jackson

SS: Quinton Demps

FS: Andre Hal

The Schedule:

vs. Chicago Bears (September 11)

vs. Kansas City Chiefs (September 18)

vs. @ New England Patriots (September 22)

vs. Tennessee Titans (October 2)

vs. @ Minnesota Vikings (October 9)

vs. Indianapolis Colts (October 16)

vs. @ Denver Broncos (October 24)

vs. Detroit Lions (October 30)

BYE WEEK

vs. @ Jacksonville Jaguars (November 13)

vs. @ Oakland Raiders (November 21)

vs. San Diego Chargers (November 27)

vs. @ Green Bay Packers (December 4)

vs. @ Indianapolis Colts (December 11)

vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (December 18)

vs. Cincinnati Bengals (December 24)

vs. @ Tennessee Titans (January 1)

The Prediction:

7-9

Brief Synopsis:

The Houston Texans were one of the surprise teams of last season. They had low expectations coming into the season as everyone expected the Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC South and the Texans to be an after-thought. Well, that didn’t happen. The Texans managed to go on to win nine games, take home the AFC South title and make the playoffs for the first time in four years. They definitely surprised a lot of people last season. Unfortunately, it all ended on a disappointing note as Houston’s lack of offensive power was apparent when they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs 30-0. With such a disappointing performance in the playoffs, Houston needed to rejuvenate their offense and that’s exactly what they did this off-season. But was it enough? Let’s take a closer look.

On the offensive side of the ball, things are going to get interesting for Houston. There’s a new quarterback in town named Brock Osweiler. The Texans are paying a lot of money to a guy who hasn’t proven a lot in the NFL. Osweiler has only played in 21 games in his 4 years in the NFL and has looked very average in the short time he’s been on-the-field. It’s far from a sure thing that Osweiler is going to pan out in Houston and be the franchise QB the Texans have been searching for. As for the rest of the offense, it should be better than last season. Lamar Miller comes in from the Dolphins and he’s an immediate upgrade over anyone the Texans had on their roster last season (sorry Arian Foster). Miller is going to be a dominant running back for Houston and will finally help give De’Andre Hopkins some breathing room in the offense. Speaking of Hopkins, the Texans desperately need one of the young wide receivers to step their games up and become a true #2 for this team. Whether that player is Jaelen Strong or this year’s first-round draft pick Will Fuller, one of them needs to make a statement this season if this team is going to continue to improve offensively.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Texans are still pretty good. They have J.J. Watt who is one of the most dominant defensive players in the league. Watt anchors a front seven that is one of the best in the league. With guys like the ageless Vince Wilfork, Jadeveon Clowney (who still isn’t an elite player, but is starting to come into his own), Whitney Mercilus, and Bernardrick McKinney, the Texans aren’t going to struggle to get to the quarterback. The secondary in Houston is also pretty good. Johnathan Joseph is quietly one of the NFL’s best corners and the Texans safeties are decent as well. There’s a reason the Texans had the third ranked defense last season. They’re pretty good and that trend will continue this season.

So, what should we expect from the Houston Texans this season? Frankly, a lot could happen. If the new offensive pieces come in and actually can make a difference, this team could potentially be dangerous. That’s a big “if” though. I personally don’t have a whole lot of faith in Brock Osweiler coming in and being the next big thing in Houston. I’m sure he’ll be decent, but if you’re expecting big things from him as a Texans fan, you’ll likely be disappointed. However, a team with Lamar Miller, De’Andre Hopkins, and this defense is definitely a playoff contending team in my opinion. Unfortunately for the Texans, the AFC South is much improved this year with the Colts and the Jaguars expected to contend for the division title. Are the Texans good enough to sneak back into the playoffs? I would honestly be a little surprised to see that happen this season.

2 thoughts on “2016 NFL Preview: Houston Texans

  1. Pingback: Casual Fan Preview: AFC South – The Ultimate Sports Blog

  2. Pingback: Full NFL Coverage – The Ultimate Sports Blog

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