Even though the Texans wrapped their 2017 campaign winners of just four games, Houston enters its 2018 campaign with a 8.5 game season win total. Early futures bettors scoffed at linemakers originally opening the number to beat at 9.5. That just goes to show how much more bullish bookmakers are on the AFC south reps than the betting public, and that shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt.
Bottom line, the Texans were a bona fide Super Bowl contender with Deshaun Watson at the helm of the offense. There wasn’t a game they couldn’t compete in with the former Clemson Tiger under center. Unfortunately, he went down with a season ending knee injury incurred in practice, and with it went the rest of Houston’s season. Houston went on to lose nine of their final 10 games after he got hurt.
For 2018, the core group returns. That includes J.J. Watt. That includes Whitney Mercilus. That includes Watson. That includes Bill O’Brien. There will be no scheme changing. That in and of itself is huge! For all intents and purposes, when the back drop rises on the 2018 season, the Texans should hit the ground running as a pissed off group looking to make up for lost time.
Whether that translates into five or six more wins remains to be seen. With no first or second round picks in the NFL Draft, Houston did as best they could. However, I would’ve liked to of seen them upgrade the offensive line a bit more for the future. Watson is a heck of a talent, but I highly doubt O’Brien isn’t going to want him running around with his head cut off like he was forced to do most of the time last season.
Martinas Rankin was a nice late get in the draft, and he’ll no doubt help solidify one of the positions on the front wall. A number of other hogs were brought in during free agency which has just about every position up for grabs. If the group can be melded into an efficient unit, the Texans will once again sport one of the more lethal offensive attacks in the league.
It’s all about health on the other side of the ball. With Watt and Mercilus out a bulk of the season, the defense was an utter disaster in allowing nearly 350 yards and four touchdowns per game. Don’t look at those stats heading into the season and think Houston is a sieve defensively. When healthy, this is one of the better units going.
The schedule is tough early, but weak late. There also isn’t a ton of travel. If Watson and the impact defensive players can stay healthy long enough for the offensive line to gel, there’s no doubt Houston will have a major say in how the AFC South rounds out as well as the AFC for that matter.
The Houston Texans are ready to get in the saddle again and face off with some of the top clubs in the National Football League.
Established in 2002 following the Oilers’ move to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans are the youngest franchise in the NFL, though it didn’t take long for the team to make its mark in the league. The Houston Texans have been among the most consistently successful football teams of this decade, having won AFC South titles in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016.
Since their inception, the Texans have played their games at NRG Stadium, which was the first NFL venue to feature a retractable roof. Houston has hosted two Super Bowls since the Texans came to town, including Super Bowl LI in February 2017.
Week 1: Texans at Patriots, Sunday, September 9, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 2: Texans at Titans, Sunday, September 16, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 3: Giants at Texans, Sunday, September 23, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 4: Texans at Colts, Sunday, September 30, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 5: Cowboys at Texans, Sunday, October 7, 8:20 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 6: Bills at Texans, Sunday, October 14, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 7: Texans at Jaguars, Sunday, October 21, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 8: Dolphins at Texans, Thursday, October 25, 8:20 p.m. ET – FOX/NFL Network
Week 9: Texans at Broncos, Sunday, November 4, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 10: Bye Week
Week 11: Texans at Redskins, Sunday, November 11, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 12: Titans at Texans, Monday, November 26, 8:15 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 13: Browns at Texans, Sunday, December 2, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 14: Colts at Texans, Sunday, December 9, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 15: Texans at Jets, Saturday, December 15, 4:30 p.m. ET – NFL Network
Week 16: Texans at Eagles, Sunday, December 23, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 17: Jaguars at Texans, Sunday, December 30, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
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