Optimism Over Pessimism: Why Expectations Are Not Too High for Houston Texans
By all accounts the Houston Texans had a good season last year. They won the division, made it to the playoffs and advanced beyond the opening round. The team did this with injuries to the quarterback, running back, top wide receiver and pass rusher. Now the team has Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson back. The team did lose Mario Williams but has replaced him on the roster both in last year’s draft and this year’s. The addition of Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus will make up for the loss of Williams and the return of their offensive stars will make the team better.
The chances are low that the Texans will face injuries as severe as last year. Key parts of the offense missed multiple games. What the injuries showed was the strong depth the Texans have in key positions. T.J. Yates, Ben Tate, and Brooks Reed filled in and helped the team reach the playoffs.
The schedule is another factor in the Houston Texans favor. The AFC South is a division in transition with three teams in rebuilding mode. The Indianapolis Colts are starting a rookie quarterback and both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans are
using second-year players at the position. The Texans also face the Miami Dolphins and the Minnesota Vikings, two teams that are expected to be in the lower portion of the league. True, the Texans do have tough games against against the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, and the New England Patriots but they get both the Packers and the Ravens at home.
With improved health on the team and a division that is trying to rebuild the Texans are primed to make a run deep into the playoffs. This is an incredibly balanced team that has a strong passing attack, running game and defense. Only a rash of injuries like last year can keep them from being a contender.