Houston Texans projected for 38-percent playoff chances by ESPN

Deshaun Watson Houston Texans (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Not many are believers in the Houston Texans for the 2020 NFL season.

With all of the drama that has been a part of the Houston Texans news cycle this offseason, the consensus by many for the Texans is they won’t be repeating as AFC South champions, and furthermore they won’t be making the playoffs.

Since 2014, the Texans have won nine or more games five out of those six seasons, with 2014-16 having three straight seasons of 9-7 with two AFC South championships in those three seasons. The 2017 season was the year where the Texans didn’t have their winning ways with a 4-12 mark after Deshaun Watson was injured at the halfway point of the season.

Since then, the Texans have two more winning seasons with AFC South championships at 11-5 in 2018, and this past season they finished 10-6, also with the division championship. Also in that span of six seasons, the Texans news is they have two playoff wins, making it to the Divisional Round in ’16 and 19.

But times have changed for the Texans since the end of last year, as All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins wanted to leave the franchise and was traded for David Johnson. Brandin Cooks was added to the franchise via trade, Randall Cobb joined the team via free agency, and other moves were made on the roster and overall depth chart.

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The Texans schedule is tougher than what it was a season before, but remember a couple seasons ago the Texans began the season 0-3 and still won the AFC South and made the playoffs. As for an 2020 NFL projections article by ESPN Analytics reporter Seth Walder, it doesn’t see much from the Texans this season.

In his article — as stated that there were “20,000 FPI season simulations” recorded for the 2020 NFL season — the Texans came in 24th-best in the NFL with the following numbers:

"“Projected wins: 7.6 … Chance to reach playoffs: 38-percent.”"

So basically the average simulations see the Texans as average with a season finish of 7-9 or 8-8. The last time the Texans had either of those records was a 7-9 record back in 2004 and two 8-8 records in 2007 and ’08.

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The Texans have been an underrated franchise ever since they’ve joined the league, and this year is no different. We all know the losses the Texans have had this offseason, and we all want to see how they recover from the Divisional Round playoff implosion, and not to sound like a “homer,” but don’t count this ’20 team out just yet.

It is tough to see a team that has Deshaun Watson as their starting quarterback, plus the secret weapons of the offense under Tim Kelly as the offensive play caller is the offensive line and the tight ends. There is so much potential with those two groups, and if they have success, so will the Texans.

Granted, the start of the Texans schedule for 2020 includes opening the season on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, followed with games against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. If the Texans come out of the first quarter of the season with a winning record, well, that will surprise many who follow the NFL.

For Houston’s defense, that is also a huge focal point when they open the season, because that unit, though different in some aspects compared to last season, imploded in the playoff game against Kansas City, and though games like that happen sometimes, the Texans can’t afford to let any game slip away this regular season.

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This Texans team is a mystery, and the AFC South as a whole is tough to project as well, but if this Houston Texans team can just play competitive football at the start and keep Deshaun Watson healthy, they will win more than the 7.6 game projected number by the simulations.