If the Houston Texans are able to stay healthy, maybe Keke Coutee is correct with his recent comments.
The Houston Texans have many talented players on their offensive roster, including second-year wide receiver Keke Coutee. Coutee is coming off a rookie season that showed the possibilities of stardom, but a season with injuries that cost him valuable playing time.
In 2018, Coutee missed the first three weeks of the regular season with a hamstring injury, but he made an impact in his NFL regular-season debut. In that game, he caught 11 passes for 109 yards, including one reception going for 19 yards in a 37-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts, which happened to be the first win of the season for the Texans.
Fast-forward to the Wild Card Playoff game — also against the Colts — and Coutee, once again, had big numbers, finishing the game with 11 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. His best reception during what was a 21-7 loss to Indianapolis went to 20 yards.
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Those two strong outings by Coutee were bookends for a season where he missed a grand total of 10 games, including seven games from Week 4 through Week 17, which also included the final five games of the regular season.
Granted, the 22-year-old Coutee missed a lot of games, but you also have to admit when he was on the field he made defenses worry about him, helped out the superstar wide receiver of the Texans DeAndre Hopkins in getting a little bit of the coverage off him and made quarterback Deshaun Watson a better player, too.
That said, the hamstring injury hampered the rookie season of Coutee, costing him valuable experience, and it took away what could have been for the Texans offense if all the wide receivers would have stayed healthy. Imagine that type of production from an offense that has not only Hopkins, but Coutee and Will Fuller on the field all at the same time. Just imagine the damage they could do to an opposing defense.
Well, imagine no more, because — barring injuries, of course — the Texans will have all three of those aforementioned players on the field and ready to go in 2019, and according to Coutee, nobody can stop the offense of the Texans.
Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com quoted Coutee about the offense and his expectations of the unit this upcoming season in an article on Thursday:
"“I feel like we’ve got one of the best offenses in this league with the talent we have outside, quarterback, running backs, tight ends as well, so when all of us are clicking and we’re able to not make mistakes, I feel like nobody can stop us.”"
As much as a fan everyone should be of the passion, confidence and high expectations shared by Coutee, the wide receiver had better realize the Texans do have a tougher schedule than last season. There is also the injury aspect of their roster that is always in the back of everyone’s mind, or at least should be.
Last season, not only did Coutee miss 10 games with his hamstring injury, but there was also Fuller, who tore his ACL in Week 8 and didn’t return to the lineup for the rest of the season. Both players seem to be all healed up now, but just how easy is it to recover from those types of leg injuries, whether it be healing all the way properly or getting back to their old playing selves?
On the other hand, if the skill players on the Texans are able to stay on the field much more this season and the offensive line can help keep Watson upright on his feet, maybe Coutee is correct in his assessment of the Texans’ offense. Think about it: what if Hopkins, Fuller and Coutee (even add in a tight end of your choosing) are all healthy and on the field at the same time?
If that occurs, the Texans can be a dangerous football team and be a team that could finally take the next step in the playoffs and not only escape the Wild Card round, but even get out of the divisional round too, something they’ve yet to achieve as a franchise.
At times last season the Texans showcased their skills and showed how good they can play as a complete unit. They also showed how poorly they can play and how poorly their offense can be run from the sidelines.
Even with all of that occurring, the Texans won the AFC South, won 11 games, and now it is time to get past the hump that is the Colts for this franchise. If the Texans have a chance they can play better against their division nemesis, then they might just be able to compete and also get over the hump that is the New England Patriots.
Coutee is helping the Texans show some confidence, and that is never a bad thing, but Houston needs to take this season one step at a time. The Texans really need to make sure they are ready to take on the rest of the AFC, because if you are saying “nobody can stop us,” that is going to awaken a lot of defenses and put a target on the offense of the Texans this season.