The Texans have played well as a unit this year and thus it is difficult to place them in any certain order but that’s what we’ll go for in this season’s first arbitrary list.
10. Shayne Graham
Shayne Graham continues the streak of consistent kickers the Texans have been able to put on the field. While Kris Brown didn’t end his Texans tenure on a high note he did have several good years here and Neil Rackers was consistent while he was here as well. Graham was brought in simply to keep rookie, Randy Bullock, from getting too complacent but he has made the switch to starter look effortless and made the management look really smart in the process.
9. Kareem Jackson
Kareem Jackson has played so much better this year than he has in years past that it’s almost impossible to recognize him. Whether it’s because he’s playing against opposing teams second best receivers, or something finally clicked is uncertain, but what is for sure is that when the ball goes up in number 25′s general direction I no longer groan. He turns his head and makes a play on the ball and scored his first career touchdown as well.
8. Duane Brown
Duane Brown signed a huge contract extension this summer and if you’d asked me then I would have said he was one of the better left tackles in the NFL. Unfortunately, he has shown that he isn’t the best run blocker this year, at least in the Green Bay game. His pass blocking is made easier by the fact that a majority of Texans passes come off of bootlegs and aren’t long developing plays, but he is still a top-ten tackle in the league and a top-ten player on this team.
7. Andre Johnson
Normally I would put Andre higher on this list, and if it was a list of all-time Texans he would without question be number one. However, he is no longer the walking, talking mismatch that he once was and for that reason he slides down the list. At the beginning of the season he may not have even made the list but he has shown that he’s still got it and when Matt Schaub needs a play he is still the first guy he looks to.
6. Johnathan Joseph
Johnathan Joseph has played well for a majority of the year and has done so with the difficult task of shutting down the opposing team’s number one receiver. Joseph has benefited from the Texans exemplary pass rush, but he has also played such tight coverage that it makes it nearly impossible to fit a ball into those windows unless your quarterback is Aaron Rodgers.
5. Antonio Smith
The ninja-assassin is having another stellar year regardless of what his statistics say. He is more of a run-stopper than a pass-rusher and for that reason he fits our scheme perfectly, as it is more of J.J. Watt’s job, along with the outside linebackers, to go after the passer. Smith has been known to get after the passer himself and when he does it makes the Texans defensive front a nearly unstoppable force.
4. Chris Myers
Chris Myers is the leader of the offensive line and when it came down to whether we re-signed him or kept Eric Winston it was a no-brainer. Without Myers this offensive line loses it’s captain and it’s mentor as to how to block in the zone scheme. Myers has proven himself invaluable over the years and continues to do so this year both in the running game and pass protection as well.
3. Owen Daniels
Owen Daniels is having one of the best seasons among NFL tight ends this year, and while that may be because he is leading the team in targets, it also helps that he is feeling 100% for the first time since tearing his ACL a few years ago. Regardless of the reason, Daniels has as much of a case as anyone on the offensive side of the ball for MVP.
2. Arian Foster
Arian Foster is arguably the best and most complete running back in the league today. He represents the Texans best red-zone threat and, unlike most teams in the league, he allows the Texans to have an option of running the ball on 3rd-and-2. That being said he isn’t necessarily a bruiser and is quick enough to break away from tacklers without having to go through them. It helps that Foster is in the system he is, as Kubiak has made many running backs look good, but Foster makes Kubiak look great.
1. J.J. Watt
There was no question when I was putting this list together who the number one player would be. J.J. has not only been the best player for the Texans he has been the best defensive player in the NFL if not overall player. He leads the league in sacks and is in the top ten in pass deflections as a 3-4 defensive end which is preposterous. He is the heart and soul of the defense now that Brian Cushing is out for the year and he is undoubtedly the fan favorite.