Houston Texans: On the cusp

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The 2015 Houston Texans, in their second year with HC Bill O’Brien, gave fans a memorable year. It wasn’t the greatest year, but in spite of the horrible start, the piles of injury, the on-going QB controversy, terrible special teams play, and sometimes baffling playcalls by a rookie OC, it was the same year that brought the Texans back into the playoffs. Now, some might say that this was only because of the terrible season the Indianapolis Colts had, and those people would be half-right. However, We’re gonna visit this thought and put some things to rest before moving forward.

The Indianapolis Colts have constantly been a thorn in the side of the Texans, both in the division and in the playoff scheme. The record speaks for itself, with the Colts boasting a very lopsided winning record of 23-5 versus the Texans in the Texans franchise history. Only two of those Texans wins came in the Andrew Luck era, and only one with Andrew Luck behind center. That second win, without Andrew Luck behind center for the Colts, became a crowning acheivement for the Texans franchise. The win all-but-sealed the deal for a post-season run, and also was the first time the Texans won a game at Lucas Oil Stadium in franchise history.

Of course, naysaysers and self-loathing fans will still be quick to point out that it was against a weak Colts team without Andrew Luck.

Yeah, so? Adversely, the Colts were playing an injury-riddled Texans team, at home, with nothing but back-up QBs on the roster. Technically, they should have won that game. Statistically speaking, they should have won that game. Every single stat was in their favor, but they didn’t. The Texans won, because the Texans were the better team. Without a QB. Without key players on offense. Without anything resembling a competent special teams unit (with the exception of an all-star punter). A Texans team in worse shape than the Colts, who was only missing their QB, made franchise history.

The Colts did have a terrible season, but so did the Texans. The Colts had some QB issues, and a season-ending injury for Luck. They also had a terrible start with Luck, and without other significant injury on the roster. So, one could argue that the Colts had a terrible season, and one would be correct. But the Texans won out this year because they were the better team, not because the Colts were the worse team. The Texans overcame adversity that few other teams could do – star players gone, 1/3 of the team on field not performing at all, and a terrible QB shuffle. No other team with this problem came close to the post-season. The Texans made it to the post-season, in spite of their issues.

The Texans have momentum to dominate the AFC South, and the Colts have stalled. The future is ours to take in this division, and beyond, because this team is on the cusp of becoming a complete, competitive team. The next few months may be some of the most important months of Bill O’Brien’s early tenure as a HC in the NFL, if he plays it right. That means the proper releases and pick-ups in the FA, as well as some well-planned draft selections in the 1-4th rounds. Not to put the pressure on or anything, but this season’s selections and team could make or break O’Briens’s career with the Texans.

In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at the status of the roster, the free agents, and the needs of the team. In the interim, brush up on your Tom Savage knowledge, because he’s gonna be a big part of this team’s future.

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