Tag Archives: Texans

Houston Texans Off-Season

We’re in that time of year when football fans start dreaming of how to make their teams better and how they’ll be in the Super Bowl next year.  That of course would be doubly sweet for the Texans since it would be a home game for them.  I actually think the Texans are pretty close to being a decent team and am surprised more people haven’t mentioned them as possible teams to follow what the Bronco’s did.  Let’s dive into that a bit more before talking about player moves.  The Texans actually have more cap room this offseason than I can remember them having, and that’s without making any cuts like many expect them to, which could push their remaining space up to around $50 million.  However, outside of Joseph and McPhee (Bears signing this year), those big acquisitions rarely pay off so that space is a bit of a double edged sword.

If you look at the Bronco’s run to the Super Bowl, they did it with a great defense and adequate play from Manning.  And if you look at the entire year from either QB the Broncos had, did they really play THAT much better than Hoyer (at least until that awful playoff game)?  Don’t get me wrong, I do believe the Texans will do something at the QB position, but aside from that one game, some early in the season, and injuries, the Texans QB play wasn’t all that far removed from what the Bronco’s had.  The biggest thing that jumped out to me about both the Patriots and the Panthers games were how often the QBs dropped back with only 5 blockers daring Von Miller to beat them.  I can only imagine the numbers Watt would put up with that kind of treatment.  But, if you look at the two defenses there are similarities and I do believe the Texans are probably a couple players away from fielding a team with the potential to be as deadly.  If they could add a starter at each level of the defense, either through Free Agency (some real good options possible at both the line and linebacker levels) or the draft as well as re-signing some of their depth, this defense should pick up and move forward from where they ended the season.  If (and I agree this is a big if) Clowney can stay healthy in 2016 this could be one incredibly scary defense.

As for the Offense, that’s a bit trickier to deal with.  There are quite a few problems outside of the elephant.  Their line could use some help as even with Brown coming back from injury they still don’t have 5 solid starters there, let alone much depth.  An addition via Free Agency there would probably be helpful as I don’t see them going for a lineman early enough to make a difference next year, but would be a potential for the next.  As for the rest of the offensive weapons, another year of progress from Jalen Strong could jump him up to a #2 but getting another weapon in would be nice too.  I know lots of writers and fans are clamoring for Alshon Jeffrey, which would be a nice land for sure, but I just don’t think he’s going to hit the open market.   The other big decision is at the Running Back position and I’m torn with what to do with Foster.  Clearly the offense was dramatically different when he was injured, but how would the defense have looked if they always knew he wouldn’t be there?  I’m not sure Free Agency is the place to find a back as I’m sure Doug Martin would actually be more expensive than Foster and how much better would he be?  I’d probably be inclined to move on from Foster as that money could go to other areas, but I wouldn’t be completely upset if Foster returns.  Finally, I’m not sure what to do about Tight End as it just doesn’t seem like they utilize them at all.  Maybe that’s because they aren’t any good, but I’m just not sure they’re a huge part of the offense.  I’d rather see perhaps more WR sets and focus on the TEs blocking.

As for the elephant, clearly the Texans need a QB but how does this team actually get one?  Unless something bad happens, most likely the team will be middle of the pack for the foreseeable future and not able to get a top 5 pick, and I’m not sure it would be feasible to trade up that high.  Franchise QBs don’t hit the open market, so I don’t expect they’ll find what they need in that way, nor do blockbuster trades happen all that often.  I think the most viable solution would be to draft someone in the first 2 rounds (best available), bring back Hoyer, and have that drafted QB and Savage fight it out for the future role with Hoyer as the mentor and backup.

While this year was a bit of a disappointment, I have to think at some point they have to use less than 5 QBs in a season, and when that happens it could be a special year.  I’ll be paying very close attention to who the Texans cut and also what other big names might hit the market in March.  And then its time to focus on the draft!

Review of the 2015 Football Season

 

My last wide ranging review post will be concerning my two favorite American Football teams, those being the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans.  I’ve grown up a Bears fan and have maintained that all along, but since moving to Houston I’ve adopted them as my other team.  And since they’re in opposite conferences, the chances they’d meet in a meaningful game is pretty slim.  I’m going to keep this post to a review, and focus on individual posts for Free Agency and the Draft.

Overall, my expectations for this year were pretty low and both teams tried very hard to not live up to those expectations.  I expected the Bears to lose lots of 35-32 games and the Texans to lose a lot of 7-3 games, but both units showed some signs of life that were encouraging and yet painful reminders of what is missing.

This season for the Bears was the definition of a bumpy ride but for me enough progress was made for optimism in the near term.  I still see this team as at best the 3rd team in the division next year, but the gap is closing.  This team seemed like it was really knocked off the rails by a couple key injuries that they just didn’t have the depth to overcome.  Losing 1st round pick Kevin White so early was massive as there just wasn’t anyone to take pressure off of Jeffrey, and then he too goes down for much of the year and its just wheels off at that point.  Almost as damaging was the complete disappearance of Bennett, which took away another key weapon for Cutler.  Forte also seemed to be always dealing with something (not unusual with a back seeing his workload) so Cutler really didn’t have enough options to be effective.  However, he also wasn’t “Bad Jay” turning the ball over every chance he got, so there’s hope there.  It will be interesting to see how the offense does this coming year now that “miracle worker” Adam Gase is gone, but at least there’s some continuity as the QB coach is taking over the Offensive Coordinator role.

As for positives for the Bears, the offensive line is starting to shape up and look respectable.  There are a couple pieces on defense that look like good building blocks.  And if healthy, there’s some serious talent on the offensive side of the ball with Zach Miller and Lankford turning into real weapons.  Couple that with a good defensive draft (or free agency) while adding another lineman or so and I could totally see this as an 8-8 team next year.

The Texans on the other hand, were almost two separate teams – the one prior to the second half of the Dolphins game, and the one after that.  The Texans are almost the mirror image of the Bears – man, combine the Bears offense with the Texans defense and that’s one scary team!  If that defense can play an entire year like it did the last 8 games, they will get recognition for being one of the best in the league.  The thought of Watt, Mercilus, and a healthy Clowney all rushing the passer should give Andrew Luck nightmares all off-season.  Toss in a secondary that’s only going to get better and this could very well be the #1 defense next season.

The offense on the other hand is in a whole world of hurt.  The don’t just need a Quarterback, they need another receiver to help out Hopkins, the line is a player or two short, most likely a new feature running back as they move on from Foster, and a Tight End who can catch the ball are just a few of the pieces they need to figure out.  Because of the division they play in, the Texans will always have a shot but the Titans and Jaguars are catching up quick and without a strong offseason for the Texans they could fall behind.  While a 10-11 win season wouldn’t be out of the question, I think 8-9 is a more realistic number given the uncertainty at the QB position.

Certainly things will start to fall into place for both of these teams as we get closer to the start of Free Agency (early March) and then with the Draft later in April to fill out the roster.  There are lots of reasons to be excited and then just as many things to be scared of.  But that’s probably the same thing you could say for just about every team outside of Cleveland.