The Texans 2017 season was a roller coaster. Starting in week one when the NFL realized oh yeah Tom Savage actually can’t start in this leauge, and oh no the Jaguars (at this point still believed to be bad) blew out the Texans. Then came Deshaun Watson who blew up the leauge and made the Texans look like true contenders. Then a slew of injuries that knocked out defensive monster JJ Watt and a non-contact ACL injury for Watson in practice spelled doom for the Texans. Now they look to rebound in a 2018 season that could be a key year for coach Bill Obrien’s job security.
Deshaun Watson when he was healthy last year, was a top ten QB, as a rookie. The kid is insanely athletic and has a rocket arm. A lot of questions should be asked coming off an ACL injury though. Will he retain his mobility? Will it mess with his mentality and cause his mechanics to decline? Will he lose the gunslinging mentality that made him so dangerous last year? A lot of questions remain for the QB, which is one of the reasons this team has a tremendously high ceiling and a very low floor.
Watson will have arguably the league’s best receiver to throw to in 2018. It doesn’t seem to matter who throws to him Deandre Hopkins will always produce. It’s hard to believe he’s only 6 years into his career it feels like he’s been a staple of the leauge for a decade. Joining him will be Will Fuller. Fuller is an interesting player. With Watson he put up insane numbers but with savage he didn’t have a single 60 yard plus game. It all depends on the QB for Fuller but if Watson is healthy he should put up big numbers this year. Sammie Coates joins from the Steelers as a reliable slot receiver but outside of Hopkins and Fuller the receiving core is a bit thin.
In the backfield, yet again Lamar Miller will carry most of the load. People love Miller but I honestly don’t see the upside. He put up 888 yards last year but he only averaged 3.8 a carry. Not to mention he only got to the end zone three times. Don’ta Foreman will get more chances this year but showed good flashes last year. The Texans run game is incredibly average which means they will have to rely on Watson’s legs and coming off an ACL injury that is not necessarily a good thing.
Zach Fulton should improve an o line that struggled after losing Duane Brown last year. Still most of the line is incredibly unimpressive. Fulton is by far the best player and the rest are project guys. Jeff Allen got paid but really disapointed last year, the line will need to step up if they intend to keep there QB healthy.
The Texans defense is really very intriguing. On one hand you could make the argument it’s top five in the leauge with the best defensive player we have seen since Lawrence Taylor. On the other you could argue that player, JJ Watt, is now injury prone and struggled to produce at the beginning of last season. Which would be true. However, Watt was a disrupter who assisted on more sacks and tackles than any player in the leauge in the first half of the season. I have serious concern over him though. A tricep injury, a back injury and a leg injury within the span of three years, you have to say it Watt is injury prone. Then you have to wonder if he can produce at the same level anymore. That’s one player though, while the rest of the Texans d line is average there linebacking core has a lot of talent. Outside of Jadaveon Clowney Whitney Merciless and Bernardrick McKinney emerged as true difference makers last year. The Texans linebacking core will also expect a big jump from second year linebacker Zach Cunningham and could potentially by the end of the year be one of the deepest in the leauge. The secondary has weakness at corner but the additions of Tyrann Mathieu and Jordan Ried make the Texans safety core dangerous.
As previously stated this team is going to be such a wild card. On one hand if they preform they could end up in the AFC championship game, on the other if Watson doesn’t rebound and the defense struggles they could be a 4-6 win team.
Record Prediction: 8-8