Without doing anything the Houston Texans have some good news, they will have the easiest schedule in the NFL next season. This will allow for optimism to grow among the players and coaching staff. It will also raise the expectation of the fanbase.
The combined record of the Texans opponents from 2017 is 116-140. This is a 45.3 winning percentage. Another term for this is not good. This provides an opportunity for a young Texans team to take advantage and put together a good season.
There is a reason why Houston has such a favorable schedule. The Texans were 4-12 in 2017 and failed to live up to expectations. Injuries were the main culprit as several key players were lost due to injury. Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus just to name a few. The losses in 2017 are their gain in 2018. With a healthy roster expectations for a better season are sure to be present. The full compliment of players should produce better results in 2018.
In addition to players returning form injury, Houston will also add players via free agency. This infusion of talent will take Houston to the next level. Before Watson’s season ending injury, Houston looked like a dark horse playoff contender. The offense was nearly unstoppable and could keep up with the NFL’s elite units. This was a stark contrast to the defense which was rather poor. The offense had to outscore the opponent and simply could not rely on the defense making a stand. The defense was missing key players due to the injuries to Watt and Mercilus.
A playoff run in 2018 is not out of the question. The weak schedule in addition to the influx of talent should allow the Texans to truly take the next step. It will be up to Bill O’Brien and his coaching staff to ensure that the team is up to the challenge. The Texans appear to be contenders sooner rather than later and soon looks like 2018.