Houston Texans: 5 Biggest X-Factors entering the 2020 season

Gareon Conley #22, Lonnie Johnson #32 (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Gareon Conley #22, Lonnie Johnson #32 (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Gareon Conley #22, Lonnie Johnson #32 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Which 5 Houston Texans non-stars will determine the team’s success this season?

Defining a team’s “X-Factors”  like the Houston Texans can be tricky, but for all intents and purposes, let’s say that these are the players that create significant impacts on games without being recognized as the top performers on the team.

When you think of the current Texans, you would likely imagine the highest-profile stars like Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Laremy Tunsil or even newly acquired Brandin Cooks and David Johnson.

However, who would you consider as the unsung heroes whose impacts often go unnoticed? This might include offensive linemen, rotational pass rushers, red zone receiving threats or depth pieces in the secondary. These are the players that traditionally sign mid-level contracts, have steady but unspectacular careers in the NFL and grade highly in terms of analytics but are rarely given credit by the national media.

Since Bill O’Brien became the official general manager of the Houston Texans, he has reconstructed the roster in his image that veers away from dependence on star players and is more well-rounded with depth and very specific skill sets. This is most notable with the new wide receiver group, which lacks a traditional superstar, but now runs four deep in terms of viable options that can all make a play during critical moments of games.

So with those terms set, who are the 5 biggest X-factors for the Houston Texans entering the 2020 season?