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Houston Texans 2018 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 8/6/2018.


Houston Texans Free Agency Recap


Houston got Aaron Colvin and Tyrann Mathieu in Free Agency. They also got Zach Fulton the Kansas City Chiefs left guard in Free Agency too.



Houston Texans Draft Recap


The Texans got Martinas Rankin as their future left tackle. He's on the PUP list at the moment though and has not been cleared to return yet. Justin Reid is competing for the starting safety spot across from Tyrann Mathieu, but nothing is guaranteed.




Houston Texans Quarterback Summary: Deshaun Watson saved Bill O'Brien's job last year. Head coach Bill O'Brien remains the head coach and took over for their offensive coordinator in 2017. If Watson is healthy and O'Brien wins less then 8 games he's gone. Sean Ryan did phenomenal with Watson in his first year as the Texans quarterbacks coach so obviously he's back.


Houston Texans Running Back Summary: Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman give the Houston Texans a lethal 1/2 punch in the backfield. Danny Barrett was a running backs coach for eighteen years in the CFL. I'm curious to see how he does with this lethal 1/2 punch.


Houston Texans Wide Receiver Summary: Houston has DeAndre Hopkins as a #1 receiver. Will Fuller is healthy as a number twp target. Braxton Miller is in the slot. It's not just that Bill O'Brien is awesome at developing wide receivers as Houston's head coach plus Sean Ryan, their quarterbacks coach specializes in this area along with John Perry enters his second season as a wide receivers coach after moving from tight ends coach to wide receivers coach. Wes Welker enters year two as an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans.


Houston Texans Tight End Summary: C.J. Fiedorowicz retired. This team drafted Jordan Akins out of Central Florida in the thiird round, but Stephen Anderson is starting at tight end. I think tight end is goihg to be a huge liability for the Houston Texans for the next few years. Ryan Griffin is still on this roster.


Houston Texans Offensive Line Summary: Houston has Julie'n Davenport at left tackle, Zack Fulton at left guard, Nick Martin at center, Senio Kelemete at right guard, and Seantrel Henderson at right tackle. With Rankin on the PUP list the Texans may let rookie Martinas Rankin develop this season rather then rushing him. He had some problems getting beat inside on tape and he needs to work on this. The right side of this offensive line is really bad and we don't know how good the left side of this offensive line can be. Nick Martin got placed on injured reserve in each of his first two seasons with the Texans. Martin needs to stay healthy in 2018.


Mike Devlin enters his foruth year as the Texans offensive line coach. Devlin created an awesome run blocking scheme with the New York Jets for many years and brought that concept to Houston. I expect the Texans continue to focus on run blocking for their offense until Rankin earns a starting role. utside of Davenport and Martin many of the starting offensive lineman on this group specialize in run blocking more so then pass protection which is not good news for Deshaun Watson.


The Texans are a team that I see being a top 20 team in points scored, a top 15 team in total yards, a top 12 team in passing yards, and perhaps even a top 15 team in rushing yards. I expect Watson to carry Houston as much as he can if he's healthy. I also expect the Texans to put together a middle of the pack offense in terms of production despite a poorous offensive line.



Houston Texans Defensive Line Summary: Houston will have Joel Heath at 3-4 right end and J.J. Watt at 3-4 left end. D.J. Reader plays nose tackle with 2017 fourth round pick Carlos Watkins, a guy I had a first round grade on being the backup nose tackle.


Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel specialized in developing defensive linemen as a defensive line coach and now he's the assistant head coach on this team. Anthony Weaver is a solid defensive line coach as well so hopefully these two can coach up Houston's backup defensive ends because the Texans are in a tough situation in that regard.


Houston Texans Linebacker Summary: Jadeveon Clowney plays 3-4 right outside linebacker. Whitney Mercilus compliments Clowney at 3-4 left outside linebacker. Zach Cunningham and Bernardrick McKinney start at 3-4 middle linebacker. Romeo Crennel has experience developing linebackers. John Pagano and Bobby King also help as both outside linebacker and inside linebacker coaches working under Crennel.


Houston Texans Defensive Backs Summary: Houston has a great cornerback situation. Kareem Jackson starts at field cornerback with Jonathan Joseph complimenting him at boundary cornerback. Kevin Johnson is a nickel cornerback, but he had so many deflections as a rookie coming out of Wake Forest before dealing with injuries in 2016. Aaron Colvin takes over at dime cornerback replacing A.J. Bouye who thrived in this role two years ago. Houston has one good safety in Tyrann Mathieu. They also got Andre Hal next to him as well as Justin Reid for depth.


Houston may end up moving Kareem Jackson next to Tyrann Mathieu. That means that Jonathan Joseph and KEvin Johnson would compliment each other with Aaron Colvin in the nickel if that's the case.
Houston needs to find a better defensive backs coach. If the secondary struggles with this much talent that will be one reason why.


The Texans should revert to a top 5 defense for the first time since 2015. I really think Houston's defense has a chance to have a quick turnaround.



Houston Texans Special Teams Summary: Houston has a reliable special teams. Ka'imi Faibairn at kicker, Shane Lechler at punter, and Will Fuller as a return specialist. Brad Seely is taking over as the special teams coordinator replacing Larry Izzo who had no business coaching special teams. Houston should be much better on special teams as a result.




Houston Texans Worst Case Scenario: The Houston Texans go 7-9 and make moderate improvement.


Houston Texans Best Case Scenario: Houston goes 13-3 and gets home field in the AFC. I know two writers on our staff who have the Texans losing the 2019 AFC Championship Game in Houston. It's the 99th NFL season and the Texans were founded in 99 despite being a team that did not play until the 2002-2003 NFL Season. This may be the season Houston finally gets to the AFC CHampionship Game for the first time in Franchise history.


Houston Texans 2018 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 9
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 2
September 16
AT
1 EST
CBS
L
Week 3
September 23
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 4
September 30
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 5
October 7
VS
8:20 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 6
October 14
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 7
October 21
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 8
October 25
VS
8:20 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 9
November 5
AT
4:05 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 10
Bye Week
Week 11
November 18
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 12
November 25
VS
8:30 PM EST
ESPN
W
Week 13
December 2
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 14
December 9
VS
1 EST
CBS
W
Week 15
December 15
AT
8 PM EST
NFL Network
L
Week 16
December 23
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 17
December 30
VS
1 EST
CBS
W


Houston Texans 2018 Projected Record (8-8): Unlike last year when Houston had an easy start to the season before things cooled down, this year the Texans have a much tougher schedule from the get go. The talent and potential to win 8 games is there. I see Houston going 8-8 and if the offensive line wasn't dealing with injuries to Rankin, I'd probably have Houston at 9-7 or 10-6. We also have the Indianapolis Colts going 8-8.







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