Houston Texans finally not last on a preseason list

Houston Texans, Brandin Cooks

Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the Houston Texans rank ahead of the Detroit Lions on a preseason team list before the start of the 2021 NFL season, as it was a Pro Football Focus list that didn’t make the Texans last in a “power rankings” list.

The PFF list referenced is one by the staff at PFF.com where the Texans are 31st overall in the preseason power rankings, just ahead of the Lions. Granted, being just one spot ahead of Detroit isn’t that great of an accomplishment, it is something to celebrate at least, and even a very small victory is better than being ranked last.

The article has the Houston Texans with very little hope to win the Super Bowl this season, and has the Texans’ highest graded player on the roster being Brandin Cooks, the No. 1 option at wide receiver for the Texans.

Cooks is coming off a season where he totaled 81 receptions for 1,150 yards receiving (12th in the NFL in ’20) with six touchdowns (tied for 29th in the NFL in ’20). Cooks has been a welcome addition to the Houston roster after they traded away DeAndre Hopkins before the start of the ’20 season, but this year he won’t have Will Fuller to work off on the opposite side.

Fuller left for the Miami Dolphins, but a ray of hope is rookie Nico Collins, and once he gets used to the NFL, he could be a big addition for the Texans as they selected him in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft (89th overall) this past spring.

Houston Texans news: Can Cooks have another 1,000-plus yard season?

Brandin Cooks will be a force for the Houston Texans offense in ’21 because he’s a talented player, but it will most likely be tougher for him to gain a second straight 1,000-plus yard receiving season in a Texans uniform. His starting quarterback will most likely not be Deshaun Watson, and like mentioned before, Fuller won’t be around to make things a little easier for the veteran receiver.

One plus is Houston still has Tim Kelly as their offensive coordinator, meaning Cooks will most likely be in the same offense once again. Cooks will be the player to watch for the Texans in ’21 at wide receiver, because if he plays well, that means the rest of the offense will be playing well as well.

Maybe the Texans offense can surprise some folks in ’21 even without Watson as the starting quarterback. Maybe Tyrod Taylor steps in for Week 1 and shows why he was going to be a starting quarterback in ’20 for the Los Angeles Chargers before a crazy injury occurred before Week 2.

No matter how you are looking at the upcoming ’21 season, not being last in a power rankings list is a small victory for the Houston Texans, and it is some sort of positive before the start of training camp.