It’s hard to realistically curb fan-based enthusiasm for the Houston Texans 2015 season, and for good reason.
Only his second year as head coach of the Houston club, Bill O’Brien looks to make his mark on the NFL with a smash mouth defense and an offense looking for a new quarterback and identity. The position battle between newcomer Brian Hoyer and incumbent passer, Ryan Mallett should be enough to solve the Texans’ red zone cold streak.
The Texans have a relatively easy schedule this year, if there is such a thing. No doubt their toughest contests will be with the rivaling Colts and the menacing Patriots. The fans will carry over their anger, frustration, hope and desperation from previous years with the still-budding franchise but most of the teams’ current roster hasn’t experienced the championship drought that has struck the city since 1995 when the Rockets won the NBA Finals. Nevertheless, new memories will be made this year but let’s see what’s realistic to expect from the squad.
The Chiefs, Panthers, Buccaneers and Falcons have not posed a problem historically for Houston but let’s assume that a loss occurs somewhere in the first month of the season, leaving us a 3-1 start. The first test will come in week 5 against the Colts. At home. On Thursday night primetime. I think the Texans have done enough building in the offseason to steal at least one game from Indianapolis, notching only their fifth win against them in franchise history.
From there on, until the bye week, it’s the Jags, Dolphins and Titans. All of which, should be wins. By week nine, if all goes to plan, the Texans should be 7-1. 6-2 if they lose either to the Colts or the Chiefs in their season opener.
Coming out of the bye week, the team plays the Bengals, Jets and Saints. The Bengals will be an interesting matchup, one of playoff potential since the two teams have already squared off, only a few years ago in the opening playoff round. The Jets may be one of the only other teams out there who is struggling to find a quarterback more than Houston. The white and blue defense should be a hard enough challenge for the New York offense, for O’Brien and his boys to bring home the win.
The Saints are always a force to be dealt with, especially this late in the season when head coach Sean Peyton seems to always continue to tighten the team into shape.
The Bills, Patriots and Colts will be the hardest stretch in the year for the Texans to face. Only playing at home against the Patriots. Winning against Buffalo is certainly possible, although the Bills have been doing a lot of building as well this offseason.
The Titans and Jaguars finish the year for the Texans and should wind up as two more wins for Houston as they hopefully begin to prepare for the post season, at least as a wild card opponent for someone in the AFC to have to answer to.
All in all, if the Texans do what they should do, it’s possible for them to end up 12-4, optimistically. As a fan, thinking worse case scenario, another 9-7 could be in the works if they drop a few games that they should have won.
Only time will tell, but it sure is fun to predict and try to see into the crystal ball, that is the Houston Texans’ future.