The Texans were one of the best teams in the NFL last season in the NFL odds. But after starting the season 11-1 SU, they failed to win three of their final four games. Although they won their first playoff game, the Patriots dominated them in the second round, and they fell far from the Super Bowl once again. Should you include them in your NFL picks this season?
The Texans were being labeled the AFC champ around the midway point, but a horrible end to the season put them half way out of the playoffs before they were even there. The Colts almost caught them in the AFC South standings, and although it was mostly their defense that fell off the map, their offense was not exactly running up and down the field.
The Texans finished their season 1-3 SU, and in those four games they averaged only 16 points per game. If you take out their loan win against the Colts in Week 15 (which eventually won them the division) they scored only 12 points per game down the stretch.
There wasn’t one reason why the Texans’ offense collapsed down the stretch, but looking back on everything, it sure does look like it was mostly Matt Schaub. In the first 12 games of the Texans’ season, Schaub threw 21 of his 22 touchdowns, and had 10 interceptions during those 12 games. In the final four games of the season, Schaub threw only one touchdown and three interceptions. The Texans were all of a sudden playing from behind a lot at the end of the season, and Schaub is definitely at his best when playing with a lead.
The demise of Schaub is a concern, but I do really believe he started playing bad because their defense was hemorrhaging points. Even though it’s probably the biggest question mark they have, the Schaub issue won’t be as bad if the defense does its’ job.
However there are more questions with their offense. They still lack a dynamic 2nd receiver that can compliment Andre Johnson. They drafted DeAndre Hopkins, and although he looks like a nice slot receiver to pair with Johnson, he is still an unproven rookie at this point. If he cannot take some pressure off of Johnson, then Schaub will have an even harder time getting the ball downfield.
Because of the draft pick of Hopkins, this team has a good grade. Although it could be a lot better, at this point in the season, they needed a young receiver, and they got one in the draft. However, the play of Schaub and even the long-term health of Arian Foster is still a concern for this team. They play in a conference and division where they could easily win 12 games again, but they could also just as easily lose in the first round of the playoffs. If the Texans don’t continue to dominate both sides of the ball, they will once again be a regular season team, and nothing else.
My Grades: B-
Have a different opinion? Share it on our message boards!