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Team Preview: Houston Texans
- Updated: August 5, 2012
In their 10th year in the National Football League, the Houston Texans won their first division title and playoff game. Turning around a 6-10 season in 2010, to a 10-6 record in 2011.Despite numerous injuries last year the Texans never quit and someone new always stepped up in a pivotal spot.
Gary Kubiak heading into his sixth season with the Texans respectively received a contract extension.Last season Kubiak reached and won his first playoff win at head coach. As an offensive minded coach, Kubiak has helped an offense that has been ranked in the top 15 in yards per game since 2007. More impressively, he signed an undrafted running back named Arian Foster, turning him into arguably the best running back in the NFL. In Wade Phillps’ first season as defensive coordinator for the Texans, he improved the 2nd worst defense in 2010,to finish 2nd best in 2011. Such a turnaround is very hard for a coordinator to do during a shortened offseason due to a lockout. Phillips will again use his attacking 3-4 scheme to create pressure and disrupting the flow of opposing offenses.
Key additions: (R)WR DeVier Posey,QB Case Keenum, QB John Beck WR (R)Keshawn Martin
Key losses: WR Jacoby Jones, TE Joel Dressen, OT Eric Winston,FB Lawrence Vickers,QB Matt Leinart.
With injuries to Matt Schuab and Andre Johnson, the offense from there leaned on the NFL’s second best rushing attack. Arian Foster became the fifth running back in NFL history to have consecutive seasons with over 1,000 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards.Houston will look forward to another big season by the work horse Arian Foster and a lot of carries for Ben Tate as well. Although there is some concerns with the Texans’ receiving core other than Andre Johnson.
With Kevin Walter aging, DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin are rookies. However, with Posey in the slot that would allow him to stretch the field with his blazing speed and get by the safeties. For Martin, he’s got a quick burst but most likely will be used in special teams and the fourth wide out. The Texans have lacked a vertical threat and someone to compliment Johnson. Eyes will also be targeted on the Texans right side of the line after losing Mike Brisel and Eric Winston. If the Texans’ offense can stay healthy, they will be back in the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
Player to watch: DeVier Posey, WR
Key additions: OLB Whitney Mercilus, DE Jared Crick, LB Bradie James
Key losses: Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans
Despite losing Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans the defense is still loaded with tremendous talent in the linebacker and defensive line position. Texans saw a lot of production last season by rookie(s) Brooks Reed and JJ Watt, who both are high motored players with great instinctives of getting to the quarterback and wrapping up. Houston added depth in this year’s draft to the best front seven in football, drafting Whitney Mercilus and Jared Crick. With veteran leader DeMeco Ryans being traded, Wade Phillips added Bradie James a leader and experienced player in Phillips “D” who played for him during his time with the C owboys.The only concern with the defense is the depth at the cornerback position. Johnathan Joesph is a shut-down corner, but who’s there to help him? Houston will have Joseph and Kareem Jackson but only with second year Brandon Harris and third year Brice McCain as the backups.Will they be able to succeed in Wade Phillips tight zone coverage schemes? We shall see.
Player to watch: OLB Whitney Mercilus
Sat 8/11: Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers, 7 p.m.
Sat 8/18: San Fransisco 49ers at Houston Texans, 8 p.m.
Sat 8/25: Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints, 8 p.m. (CBS)
Thu 8/30: Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans, 7 p.m.
Week 1 9/9: Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 2 9/16: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars 1 p.m.
Week 3 9/23: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m.
Week 4 9/30: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 5 10/8: Houston Texans at New York Jets, 8:30 p.m.
Week 6 10/14: Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans, 8:20 p.m.
Week 7 10/21: Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 8 10/28: BYE
Week 9 11/4: Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 10 11/11: Houston Texans at Chicago Bears, 8:20 p.m.
Week 11 11/18: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 12 11/22: Houston Texans at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m.
Week 13 12/2: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.
Week 14 12/10: Houston Texans at New England Patriots, 8:30 p.m.
Week 15 12/16: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 16 12/23: Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 17 12/30: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
Prediction: The AFC South has Houston’s name written all over it, the Jaguars, Colts, and Titans are all starting young quarterbacks that aren’t developed yet. looking at Houston’s schedule their toughest stretch is from week 3-7, from that I see that the Texans’ will win the division with an 11-5 record.