The defending AFC South champion Texans come in to the 2019 season off the back of a disappointing loss to the Colts in the wildcard round of last seasons playoffs. Texans fans have reason to be positive about their chances with superstar young quarterback Deshaun Watson under centre. Watson was fantastic a year ago, coming back from a bad knee injury. This season, he is fully healthy and ready to take over.
Number one wider receiver DeAndre Hopkins is ready to help Watson in his quest, the pair have one of the great connections in the NFL and Hopkins has earned status as one of the league’s elite receivers. His ability to make seemingly impossible grabs in big moments will be key to the Texans chances this season.
On the other side of the ball, superstar defensive end and modern day great human being JJ Watt anchors the defense. Watt has been dynamite when healthy in recent seasons, a repeat is a must if the Texans are to retain their division crown this season.
Clowney Absence Casts A Shadow
The absence of star pass rusher Jadaveon Clowney has cast a shadow over Texans training camp thus far. The Texans slapped Clowney with the franchise tag this offseason. Clowney didn’t sign the tag and has been a no show at training camp in protest. Missing a star of Clowney’s calibre would hurt any defense in the league, however the loss has the potential to sink the Texans.
All About The O-Line
The Texans previous lack of investment in the offensive line continued in free agency this past season. However on draft night the team took offensive tackles Tytus Howard and Max Scharping in rounds 1 and 2 respectively. Scharping looks set to kick inside to guard, and neither looks set to be a day one contributor for the team. The Texans invest a lot of draft capital in their line, however it is yet to be proven that they made that investment in the right players.
With Washington Redskins star left tackle Trent Williams holding out after a breakdown in relationship with his team, the Texans would be silly to not try and engineer a trade for the lineman. Williams would shore up the blindside of Watson and improve the teams biggest area of weakness in an instant.
A Brutal Schedule
After having the leagues easiest schedule last season, 2019 brings a brutal slate of games for the Texans. Facing the Saints, Chargers, Falcons and Chiefs in the first six games could sink their season before it has even begun. Add in a double header against the Colts and a hosting of the reigning champion Patriots in December and what you get is a schedule of team who could find it tough to return to the postseason.
Winning at least three of the above seven games is imperative if the Texans are to win the division again. The Colts look set to be the premier team in the South, with a slate of games this tough its hard to see the Texans keeping up.
Describing the chances of this team this season is tough. They have a brutal schedule and are in a tough division. However with a budding superstar at quarterback and stars littered throughout his supporting cast, they have a real chance. They look to be one move away from being a true playoff cert. If that move can be made by a front office lacking a general manager remain to be seen.
Image – Houston Chronicle