Houson Texans: Team on the Rise?


The Houston Texans are one of the most potent offenses in the league and one of the most exciting teams in the N.F.L., though they have yet to make the playoffs, they should soon.

Last year the Houston Texans averaged 386.6 yards per game on offense. Fourth in passing offense at 259.0 yards per game through the air, and 7th in rush offense at 127.6 yards per game and 9th on offense in points per game. The Texans had two of the most effective weapons in the league last year with the very talented and often under-appreciated Andre Johnson, and the come out of nowhere league leader in rushing yards Arian Foster. The Texans also have solid quarterback play with Matt Schuab who is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league completing 63.8 percent of his passes (8th best in the league last year) while maintaining a high yards per attempt at 7.6 yards per pass.

Last year the defense wasn’t as successful, 30th in the league in yards per game and 28th in points per game. A big part of the defensive woes for the Texans was an inability to create positive plays: 23rd in the league in interceptions with 13 total. I believe Asante Samuel had 9 himself for the Eagles. They were also 31st in the league in fumble recoveries. Also despite having one of the most feared pass rushers in the league, they were only 23rd in sacks.

The Texans started the year well beating their nemesis the Colts at home and then the Redskins in Washington the next week. And things were looking good for the Texans. After they lost to the Cowboys in the “Battle of Texas”, they beat the Raiders to start the season 3-1 and were looking at a big matchup with the Giants in week 5.

What happened in that game turned the Texans season around. The Texans were trounced by the Giants 34 to 10 as Eli Manning threw for 297 passing yards, while Hakeem Nicks racked up 130 yards receiving. After that week the Texans lost the next five games and their season was all but over.

Which brings us to this season. The Texans have yet to attack and fix their defense in free agency, but they have improved their defense greatly. The Texans fired their defensive coordinator and added Wade Phillips. They also spent their first three draft picks on “first round talents” in J.J. Watt, Brooks Reed, and Brandon Harris. The Texans also switched their defensive system to a 43 to a 34.

What’s in store for the Texans:

The Positives

The Texans still have a great offense and a very bright offensive mind in their head coach. They have stable quarterback play, and arguably the best wide receiver in the league. The Texans also have a new look on defense, which can help a team transition from a team being known always about offense. The defense could find itself with some new restored confidence.

They also have a very young defense with very talented young players.

-The schedule is not terribly difficult. Outside of their division, the Texans will play @Mia, @NO, vs Pittsburgh, vs Oakland, @Bal, vs CLE, @Tampa Bay, vs Atlanta, vs Carolina, and @Cin

It seems tough when you have teams like the Saints, Falcons, Steelers, and Ravens on the schedule, but I would not say that the toughest schedule out there.

Each team in a division plays two other divisions: The Texans will play the N.F.C. South (very good division), and the A.F.C. North (two good teams, two bad teams) but so will the rest of their division. The Texans also get the Raiders as opposed to the Chargers, and the Dolphins as opposed to the Pats or Jets.

The Negatives

-Despite his offensive brilliance, I’m not a huge fan of Kubiak the head coach. He often makes puzzling moves and has done a poor job as a head coach in my opinion.

-The Defense is transitioning to the 34 defense which might not be ideally suited for their best defensive player, Mario Williams.

-They have yet to figure out how to be consistent. This MUST change if they are to compete for the division title.

-The Colts are getting older, the Jaguars are transitioning to their future franchise quarterback, and the Titans are also transitioning to their future franchise quarterback, which gives the Texans the perfect time to make a move in their division.

The Thoughts

Every year people pick the Texans to be the surprise team and every year we’re wrong. Well, again I’m picking the Texans to join the playoff party. I had them listed, right now as the 10th best team in my power rankings. Will it turn out that way? I don’t know. But I sure hope so. Who doesn’t love watching a youthful team make their first playoff run? The Texans have a great offense and their defense finally seems to be heading in the right direction. They still have some work to do. They have to figure out if Mario Williams is going to fit well in their new scheme, or if they could even possibly trade him for the moon to some other team. They have to finish filling out their defense. They have to get another good season from Arian Foster and they should look at add a complementary wide receiver to Andre Johnson. Still, I just feel this could be the Texans year to finally make the playoffs, and they are one of my teams on the rise.


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