Are the Houston Texans a realistic playoff team in 2023?

The Houston Texans keep winning, but can they get into the playoffs this
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Houston Texans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Houston Texans weren't supposed to be making noise this year but here they are causing all sorts of a ruckus. The Texans are shockingly 4-4 on the season and possess one heck of an exciting offense led by C.J. Stroud.

They're 8th in the league in passing yards through nine weeks, and while their running game is below-average at best, they're still 11th in the league in points per game, averaging 23.4 per game. That's higher than the Kansas City Chiefs. And while that may be a bold statement to say outloud, here's something even bolder; Stroud is outplaying Patrick Mahomes.

Now, we're not saying Stroud is "better" than Mahomes in terms of talent. We're just saying that Mahomes has 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and Stroud has 14 touchdowns one interception. Mahomes has a 96.7 quarterback rating, while Stroud has a 102.9 quarterback rating. That's it, that's all that's being said.

At least about those two men. The Texans offense, as a whole, is better than it was expected to be. Specifically thanks to Nico Collins having a breakout year and the addition of former cross-state rival Dalton Schultz. Those two men have helped Stroud carry the Texans to a 4-4 record; which is good enough for 9th in the AFC right now.

That means the Texans are two spots out from the playoffs. Are they a playoff team right now? Technically no, but in terms of play, absolutely yes. We're not going to sit here and say the Texans are going to make a run for the Super Bowl in year one of this new era, but we are saying that should the Texans keep pace in the AFC, especially with a beatable Jacksonville Jaguars squad ahead of them in the AFC South, the Texans could qualify for the playoffs.

It also doesn't hurt that the teams ahead of them in the AFC Playoff race aren't great. They have massive holes and huge limitations. We've seen the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Pittsburgh Steelers all play some ugly games this season, and it's very likely all three of them, among others, loses more often than they'd like.

So as long as the Texans are at or above .500 for most of the remainder of the season, then Texans fans should have a post-season to remember.

Texans C.J. Stroud is rewriting NFL history halfway through rookie year. Texans' rookie chasing history. dark. Next