How far away are the Texans from the playoffs?

Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Texans have taken steps to be a better team in 2022.

If there is one thing that can be said about the Houston Texans is they are already a better team than they were last season. Gone is the negativity of the Deshaun Watson situation, the Texans have a quarterback they are a believer in, and they have gone through a step or two in the rebuilding process.

Houston has gone through a draft where general manager Nick Caserio could address the roster with first-round picks, he’s drafted for team need, and the path to improvement seems to be clear, which wasn’t the case last season.

Without a game even having been played, the roster has a better feeling to it, fans seem to be more positive, and there is hope going around, which is something all Houston fans needed after two consecutive four-win seasons.

The coaching is better as the Texans have a head coach in Lovie Smith who has been a part of great success as a head coach himself in the past as he led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl appearance.

Now for the upcoming ’22 season, the question is will the Texans be a surprise team and qualify for the NFL Playoffs in the AFC?

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This is a tough question to answer because the AFC is such a strong conference right now. Look at the AFC North for starters, where the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals are located. They now have to battle with improved franchises like the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens, plus the Pittsburgh Steelers are always in the hunt for the playoffs as well.

There is the AFC South, where the Jaguars added some talent to their roster through the draft, but they are rebuilding too. The Titans will go as far as Derrick Henry takes them, but they could take a step back, and the Indianapolis Colts have a solid quarterback this season with Matt Ryan, so he will for sure be a difference maker.

The AFC West is very strong with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders and now the Denver Broncos have Russell Wilson as their starting quarterback, so things will be very intense in the West.

In the AFC East, we all know the Patriots won’t be an easy team to knock out of the way, the Bills are one of the strongest teams in the entire NFL, Miami has some more work to do, and the Jets had a nice draft as they work to become competitive again.

Texans: AFC will be a tough conference in 2022

All of that was said to say this … the Texans still have a good amount of work ahead of them, and at this point of the offseason before any camps or preseason games even take place, they can’t be placed in any sort of playoff bracket.

The team has to prove on the field they belong in that conversation, and a lot has to occur between now and the end of the season for that to happen. The Texans will be better than four wins, and Davis Mills will take the next steps to be the quarterback leader the Texans need.

In all honesty, the Texans might only be a season or so way from the playoffs again, or even winning a division title. The ’22 season will be fun because all of us are going to see this team play much better football, and though the rookies will have their “growing pains,” they are going to make the roster much better.

Smith is going to eventually get the Texans’ defense straightened out, and don’t be surprised if Houston can be a “spoiler” team at the end of the season.

Give the Texans one season of playing together with this current roster of improved football, and when the ’23 comes around, that should be the time of thinking about the playoffs and higher achievements.

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As for the ’22 season, this is an important part of the rebuild of this franchise, one that once it is all said and done will be looked at as the season where the Texans became a unit, and as the team that helped built prolonged success for future seasons.