Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) reacts after a tackle against the New England Patriots during the first half of the AFC divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

10 Houston Texans That Matter in 2013

Greetings Texans Fans!

Today we shall examine the ten more important Texans on the field any given Sunday.

Number 10: Bryan Brahman. He’s a special teams stud, a back up with raw energy and plays like Brian Cushing. Fans love to root for this young man who entered the league with a lot of baggage and has made good on the chance of a lifetime. Here’s hoping we see some more of him on defense during the course of the season.

Number 9: Antonio “Ninja” Smith. The other side of the line from Mr. Watt, Smith has been a consistent pass rusher and a great leader both on and off the field. He’s also quite the character and really, how many teams have a ninja on the D line?

Number 8: Andre Johnson. The man, the legend. He’s quiet, he goes out and gets the job done without any ego. He knows how good he is, he lets his play make the statement for him. However he can’t do it all, and without other players stepping up defenses are free to double cover him. Not that such has ever stopped him.

Number 7: Chris Myers. He’s the man with the ball at the start of every play. Traded from Denver for a 6th round pick, Myers has become of one of the top centers in all of football. Without him anchoring the center of the line, the Texans would be a lesser team.

Number 6: DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins. Yes, he’s a rookie who has never stepped on an NFL field, but the importance of his delivering on the promise of his skills cannot be understated. Andre Johnson is a beast, but he’s been without an effective number two receiver for years. Kevin Walter was a workhorse who lacked speed and flash. “Nuk” has the skills and the Texans need him to free Johnson up.

Number 5: Owen Daniels. Tight End is a position that has really become an offensive threat for many an NFL team, the Texans are no exception. Daniels is effective both as blocker and a receiver, more importantly Schaub trusts him. Daniels is an ever present threat for first downs, touchdowns and slipping away when the defense makes a mistake.

Number 4: Arian Foster. The best dressed player in the NFL who can run like the wind. He’s the critical lynchpin of the offense. Everything the Texans do starts with the run. Not content with just carrying the rock, Foster is effective as a receiver when needed and keeps opposing teams on their heels.

Number 3: JJ Watt. Defensive Player of the Year 2012… all while injured. With the additions of Ed Reed in the backfield and young gun D. J. Swearinger means QB’s will be holding the ball a second longer, and that second is the difference between a completion and meeting Mr. Watt in the backfield, generally while eating dirt.

Number 2: Brian Cushing. He’s the captain of the defense, without Cushing the defense just isn’t as effective. Lost last season in game six to a torn ACL from a bad block Cushing has plenty of motivation to make up for lost time. Playing cheerleader just isn’t his long suit.

Number 1: Matt Schaub. For better or worse, the NFL is all about the QB. Schaub has been criticized as just a game manager and mocked as prone to injury. This is unfair and frankly unwarranted criticism of a great quarterback who has been highly effective for the Texans. He’s a year removed from a season ending Lisfranc Fracture. He had a taste of all post season success and a bitter loss in New England in 2012, now with a revamped line, a new receiver to target and enhanced motivation to achieve this is Schaub’s’ year to bury the critics and bring home the Lombardi trophy to Houston.

Keep your browsers pointed here to the ToroTimes as we move into Training Camp and the kick of the 2013 season!

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