With it being Thanksgiving in the United States, we thought a nice look at why we're thankful this season would be a nice idea. The Houston Texans are one of the biggest stories of the NFL in 2023, and the team is off to a great start, heading into Week 11 6-4, and with a huge matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars for control of the AFC South.
Win or lose, this Texans team wasn't supposed to be here. Not this fast anyway. Not competing for the division this late into the seasonn. But yet, here we are. If any pro team has a right to be thankful for how their season has gone, aside from maybe the Cleveland Browns with their 7-3 record despite not having a viable starting quarterback, it's the Houston Texans.
So today we're going to just look at four reasons we're thankful this holiday season.
The Texans would not be where they are today without C.J. Stroud. It's fair to say we're not buying him as the NFL's MVP, but he is without a doubt the Texans' MVP. His play has at times, nearly singlehandedly, kept the Texans in and then won games. He's among the most dynamic players in the league and he's only a rookie. The Texans lost out on the top spot in the 2023 Draft and seemingly had to settle for Stroud instead of Bryce Young. Young is struggling and Stroud should be on his way to a Pro Bowl nod. Talk about being thankful.
No Deshaun Watson
Let's avoid the obvious low-hanging fruit when it comes to Deshaun Watson and what his crimes are, let's just look at the fact that in two seasons he's completing 59% of his passes, for 2217 yards, 14 touchdowns, nine interceptions, and all in just 12 games. And the Browns have to pay him $46 million starting next season. Better them than us.
The former Houston Texans linebacker came home this past offseason to take over the reins for the team after Lovie Smith was fired. And instantly the former Texans player got the team's offense clipping, established C.J. Stroud as the top guy to watch out and improved the defense with a bunch of rookies. He's easily the Coach of the Year for the Texans assuming the team finishes strong.
The 2023 Houston Texans' rookies
A lot of why the Texans are excelling right now comes down to this past draft. We already know about Stroud but Tank Dell has been one of Stroud's favorite targets on offense, while the defensive pairing of Will Anderson and Henry To'oTo'o has reenforced the defense. And with second-round pick Juice Scruggs ready to make his season debut, the offensive line may get a boost right when they need it the most.