Dalton Schultz is right, all eyes are on the Houston Texans this season.

The NFL won't be caught off guard again.
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

One could make a valid argument that the NFL was caught off guard by the Houston Texans in 2023. They came out of the gates swinging and C.J. Stroud established his reputation early and often. The team could be said to have overachieved at times and in certain positions but overall the team was talented. Led by a head coach who knew how to close games, the Texans took the league by surprise and storm.

Something that won't happen twice in a row. Not only are people well aware of what to expect from the Texans this season, but they made a lot of noise by landing Danielle Hunter and Stefon Diggs. The squad is better, on paper, than it was last year and is being picked by many to not only win the AFC South but push for the AFC Championship game and beyond.

There is no way the Texans sneak past teams again this year, and tight end Dalton Schultz is aware of that. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Schultz revealed that this Texans team is going to have to go through the proverbial front door and can't catch anyone sleeping, saying;

"But at the same time, we all understand it doesn’t matter how much talent you have if you can’t go out there and execute and do what’s needed of you. We know we’re not surprising anybody this year."

This isn't an unfair concern, either. When teams are no longer surprising others, you're left to rely heavily on talent and coaching. Out-playing and out-strategizing other teams is the only way you can win regularly. Sure, pure talent can get you someplace nice, but it can only take you so far before you have to prove that you're as good, if not better than other teams across from you.

Eventually, you can't bully past other teams, you have to outplay them. The Texans have to realize that the further you go in the postseason, the better the teams are that you face. It's good that Schultz is telling people they need to be ready because this is not a team that can sleep through their schedule and still make the playoffs.

Every game has to be played like it matters because you have no idea which one will matter most. No one is sleeping on the Texans this season and they can't afford to sleep on anyone in turn.