With only three play-off spots claimed in the last decade, most recently last year’s embarrassing blow-out at home to the Chiefs in the first round; it’s fair to say that the Houston Texans have been relatively disappointing in the last decade.
Last season, defensive life improved significantly with the Texans having the third best regular season defence in the league. The likes of J.J. Watt, who ranked as the Texans best defensive player with a rating of 95.6 summed up the strong season the Texans had defensively.
The play-off spot confirmed that the Texans had improved in 2015, especially defensively, as the 2014 season ended without the play-offs. It also confirmed another thing though, that the Texans needed to improve their attack significantly. This is due to the fact of the Texans finishing nineteenth in offense throughout the regular season. Not good enough, and this showed when it came to big game matches in the play-offs!
This point brings me to my reasoning of why 2016 could be the year of the Texan. It’s been a pretty busy off season for the Texans, they have well and truly gone out and made the moves that will allow their attack to improve. The surprising turn of events that ended in the Texans acquiring quarterback Brock Osweiler from Super Bowl Champions the Denver Broncos, was the first move the Texans made; what a statement of intent it was.
The young quarterback showed in his seven starting appearances last season that he’s got massive potential, and working alongside the great Peyton Manning surely allowed him to improve his game. Osweiler went 5 (wins)- 2 (losses) in his first starting season with the Broncos and in the NFL. The Texans went all out in their pursuit of Osweiler, and it’s fair to say that from his performances last season it could benefit their franchise massively.
Of course every quarterback needs attacking weapons to work with, the second statement of intent from the Texans was the acquisition of running back and speed merchant, Lamar Miller. The running back managed 872 yards in the 2015 regular season for the Miami Dolphins, pretty good going for a guy who was part of the twenty sixth best offense in the league.
Houston set an off-season trend with the acquisition of Miller, and his speed. In the draft, Houston selected first-round pick Will Fuller, who was the fastest receiver at the NFL scouting combine. Further acquisitions of receiver Braxton Miller, and running back Tyler Ervin, once more highlighted Houston’s emphasis on attack. With further emphasis on speed on the offensive line too, with both players known for their speed.
It’s clear to see that Houston seemed to have nailed it on the defensive side of things judging on last season, the one thing that held them back was offense. They’ve done what needed to be done in order to fix that, so it’s going to be interesting to see if what they’ve come up with will progress their franchise further.
The Texans face the Chicago Bears on the opening weekend of the season, I fancy them on the point spread of -6. With a full preseason under their belt heading in to this game, I feel that they will start strong.