As the NFL prepares for the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the defending world champion Seattle Seahawks, the Houston Texans are busy plotting a course for a brighter future. One that includes getting this franchise into the big game.
You just know team owner Bob McNair wants that game to be in Houston in 2017. He won’t say no to 2016, but H-Town is hosting Super Bowl LI that year. And the one thing no franchise has ever pulled off is being the “home team” in a Super Bowl.
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The reason being the Texans have only one real superstar in defensive end J.J. Watt to go along with some rising talent like wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and offensive guard Brandon Brooks. The team apparently needs a lot more firepower on both sides of the ball.
One can argue all you want with their ranking system, as a pure statistical breakdown can be useful. But I think they are misses some pieces.
For starters, the Texans are still missing the most important piece under second-year head coach Bill O’Brien. And that would be a franchise quarterback.
Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was nominally the starter in 2014, however he seems to have reached his talent ceiling. The Texans need to sideline Fitzpatrick and make 2015 the year of “insert that name here” younger quarterback to lead them to the promised land and hopefully playoff success.
The free agency market isn’t all that impressive. And while it’s amusing to think Denver would let a player like quarterback Peyton Manning walk, I don’t believe bringing him in is not the answer either.
The Texans need to really push their three young guns, see what they really have and pick one. Free agent quarterback Ryan Mallett has the most potential of the group, but that’s mostly based on one game against the Cleveland Browns.
In that Week Eleven matchup in Ohio. the fourth year quarterback completed 20 of his 30 passes for 211 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The Texans went on to defeat the Browns, 23-7.
Rookie quarterback Tom Savage has the most pure raw talent of the group but his time on the field was marred by mental lapses.In two appearance in the regular season, the fourth round pick only completed 10 of his 19 passes for 127 yards and an interception. He also fumbled the football twice in his short time under center.
Keenum has appeared in 10 games in the last two years for Houston. But the 26-year old must improve on his career 55.2% completion percentage before he can be considered the Texan’s future franchise quarterback.
The draft has some good talent. But unless the Texans decide to go all in at No. 16 overall, their likely not to see a big name quarterback drop to them. And to move up would mean mortgaging a bit of their future to do so.
The reason to stick with what’s on the table is simple. These guys have time in the system and they understand it.
Plus, the Texans have bigger holes to fill along their defensive secondary, their offensive line, their wide receiver group and their linebackers corps.
My suggestion: Release Fitzpatrick and let the three younger quarterbacks battle it out for who get’s to take the field as the starter. Then allow O’Brien and his coaching staff continue to develop the Texans core team and offensive play style.
I believe that’s how the Texans can begin to move from being on the outside looking in to setting a hosting party for the Super Bowl in 2017.