When Deshaun Watson took the reins last year we all got excited about the potential of this Texans team. Whilst he was at the helm the Texans were averaging over 30 points per game. That average dropped to 13 after his season ending injury. Couple that with JJ Watt’s ongoing fitness issues and it was another season to forget and look forward to 2018!
Reasons to be cheerful?
Watson looked the real deal last year. The Texans traded up to get him in the draft following a promising college career with Clemson and he didn’t disappoint. In fantasy matches he was winning games by himself. On the actual field it wasn’t a lot different with his running and throwing ability giving defensive mastermind Matt Patricia trouble in New England. I’m really excited and hopeful that his form continues into 2018 and can’t wait to watch him in action again.
If they all come back fit then the Texans defence can get back to it’s best. I (and many others) are craving seeing both Watt and Clowney play a whole season together. There’s of course massive potential there and if you throw in a fit Whitney Mercilus it’ll likely scare the proverbial out of offensive lines. The backfield has also improved with the acquisition of safety Tyrann Mathieu who was released by the Cardinals.
I also like the look of the receiver corps that the Texans have put together. DeAndre Hopkins is “quarterback proof” and is one of the top five receivers in the league. Will Fuller had a sneaky good couple of games whilst Watson was on the field. Should opponents choose to double team Hopkins, Fuller could benefit from extra receptions. Alongside the two of them, rookie Keke Coutee has been generating buzz with his speed and athletic ability. He can provide another deep ball threat for when Watson chooses to let loose.
Reasons to be fearful?
I’ve said it when I wrote the same article for the Jags, the AFC South looks like a tough division to get through. The Texans must win all their home games within the division and hope to win one or more away – a tough ask given the competition they will face.
Maintaining the fitness of the team is another reason to be fearful. It’s been a while since they’ve not had one of their star players not out for the season with a long-term injury. Either there’s an issue with the strength and conditioning programme or else it’s just extreme bad luck.
The O-Line though is my biggest fear. ProFootball Focus ranks it the very last in the NFL and when you’ve got a QB returning from injury, that’s a concern.
How does the season shape up?
As I said, this will be a tough division to compete in this year. Staying relevant until late in the season is probably what they’ll hope for and then an outside chance at grabbing a wild card spot to get into the playoffs
Playoffs? Maybe but if they do it’ll be through the wildcard spot.