As we start the second half of the season, the Texans hold a lead in the AFC South at 5-3. After eight games last season, the Texans had a 3-5 record before going 6-2 in the second half of the season to overtake the Colts and win the division. Here is what we at Toro Times predict will happen in the second half of this season:
Josh McSwain, Editor
This season has started much differently than 2015 did. The first half of last season had a revolving door at quarterback, with nobody knowing who the guy would be. This season has not had the instability, but certainly had similar lack of results.
But the Texans are in the driver’s seat in the division once again, after being tied with the Colts at 3-5 through eight games last season. The Jaguars and Titans were 2-6 through eight games last year as well, even though they both faltered down the stretch last year.
So this year the Texans are trying to protect the lead, rather than trying to emerge from a mediocre group.
The toughest game they have left is in Mexico City against the Raiders. With a win over the Broncos on Sunday Night Football, I think the Raiders have erased all doubts about them being a legit contender. Their defense leaves something to be desired, but Derek Carr has been the most valuable player in the league so far in my opinion.
Otherwise, the schedule is not all that daunting. They have road games at each of their divisional opponents & Green Bay (which doesn’t look so hard now) with home games against Jacksonville, San Diego and Cincinnati.
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What is a realistic expectation for the team’s final record? Well, at this point in time I would put my money on a third straight 9-7 finish. I think the Jaguars at home is the safest bet for a win, and both San Diego and Cincinnati are winnable games. But let’s just say they drop one of those two and finish 7-1 at home.
Don’t underestimate the Chargers–yes they are 4-5 but they are a fairly good team stuck in the NFL’s toughest division. With the Bengals, those games are always close and in December they could be fighting for their playoff lives as well.
So with the five remaining games away from home, let’s give a low end estimate and say that the Texans take two of them. I’m not holding my breath on them beating the Raiders, so that means take two of four at Indianapolis, Tennessee, Jacksonville and Green Bay. None of those teams are better than 4-4 right now.
Will a 9-7 record be enough to win the division? I imagine so, giving them the fourth seed in the AFC. The Colts will have a chance in the end, but with games at Oakland and against Pittsburgh likely to be losses, the Colts will have no other room for error. Therefore, the Texans win the AFC South again.