PREDICTION: “Over”. I expect the Texans to go 10-6 in the regular season and win at least one game in the playoffs.
It’s true that the Texans’ schedule is tougher this year and every team in the AFC South is improved. That means to improve from last year’s record the Texans must play better football…much better. Here’s why I believe they will. What do you think?
There is a designated starting quarterback, not a “competition”. The offense is being built around Brock Osweiler, and he will get starter reps from Day 1. The offense has one leader to rally around; the starting receivers have one passer with whom to bond.
The rookie receivers will contribute significantly by year-end, but they can ease their way into the line-up. The threesome of DeAndre Hopkins, Jaelen Strong and Cecil Shorts, supplemented by Lamar Miller out of the backfield are quality targets to start the season. The new speed guys can contribute their specialty early and mature into complete receivers as the season progresses.
The offensive line will get off to a better start than last year’s injury riddled, shuffled unit and will get even better as the season progresses. Xavier Su’a-Filo, Nick Martin and Jeff Allen will prove to be stouter than last year’s interior starters. There will be less penetration, a cleaner pocket and better goal line performance.
Brock Osweiler will start the year performing at least at the level of a very good game manager and by season end it will be clear the Texans have their franchise quarterback. He may never achieve elite status, but he doesn’t have to. With this year’s offensive weapons and an elite defense all he has to be is competent for the Texans to be successful.
Running backs Lamar Miller and Akeem Hunt will provide breakaway speed from the backfield that the Texans never had even in the heyday of Arian Foster. That’s not to say either will be as good as Foster was at his peak, but defenses will have to be aware that any play could go the distance.
There is no Gronk, but there is enough variety in the skill sets of the tight ends, receivers and running backs that the tight end “function” will contribute positively to the Texans offensive success.
The Texans defense will exceed even last years’ dominant performance. J. J. Watt’s hand is healed and his torn muscles surgically repaired. Jadeveon Clowney is poised for a breakout year. There are capable starters at every position and several competent replacements wait in the wings.
More from Toro Times
- Houston Texans: Can Sean Payton really be the next head coach?
- Houston Texans Draft: Michael Mayer should be a no doubter at pick 12
- Houston Texans already telling fans the Davis Mills era is over
- Houston Texans have hand forced, waste no time in firing Lovie Smith
- Houston Texans: Pros and Cons of keeping Head Coach Lovie Smith
Christian Covington and Devon Still will emerge as a competent 1-2 punch at defensive end more than offsetting Jared Crick’s 2015 contribution.
The back-up inside linebackers have complementary skill sets. Even if a free agent linebacker is not signed Romeo Crennel can mix and match specialty linebackers and safeties to meet the situation.
The Texans aren’t the 2015 Broncos, but they are a mirror image of the Broncos’ proven formula for success. They have an elite defense that can win games on its own and an improved offense that will improve overall field position and give the defense some rest. They are capable of playing ball control offense but can explode on any play. Special teams remain suspect, but adding Coach Larry Izzo and increasing special teams speed give reason for hope.
The Texans have a good locker room which leads to good synergy on the field. Of course, a rash of injuries to key players can derail any good team. But make no mistake. As configured today the Texans are a good team with good depth at most positions. In my next post I will make game-by-game predictions. In the meantime let’s have your comments.
Will Brock Osweiler perform down to the level predicted by the Braddock, La Canfora breed of critics thus ruining the season? Will Jadeveon Clowney spend most of his season in the training room? Tell me if you think I am drinking the Kool Aid.