PFT 2019 storyline No. 27: Can the Texans get to the next level?

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Of the 12 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl, the Texans have the best excuse: They’ve only been around since 2002.

But the Texans haven’t even come close to playing in a Super Bowl, with no playoff appearances until 2011, three playoff wins, and an 0-3 record in the divisional round.

With one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL (Chris Simms placed Deshaun Watson at No. 5 after only two seasons), the Texans have the most important position on the field under control for the foreseeable future. It’s the rest of the team that creates the questions.

The concern starts with the offensive line, which hasn’t nearly been good enough to protect Watson, who was hit early and often and at one point had to take a bus back and forth to Jacksonville because of a rib injury that prevented him from flying. Somehow, Watson started all 16 games despite being sacked a whopping 62 times.

That’s simply not sustainable, and the Texans have focused on trying to improve the blocking. But only so much can be done in one offseason to make those five spots better, and it remains to be seen whether the moves made in the offseason will make a difference. (Vikings and Panthers fans would advise Texans fans to temper dramatically their expectations regarding free-agent arrival Matt Kalil.)

It also would be helpful to develop a solid alternative to receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who continues to be one of the best receivers in the league. Defensively, it likewise would be helpful to develop cornerbacks and safeties who can cover opposing receivers more effectively than they did in the playoff loss to the Colts.

Complicating matters in 2019 for the Texans will be the likelihood that both the Colts and the Jaguars will be better. The Titans, while perhaps too inconsistent to win the division, are talented enough to be dangerous — especially to a team that doesn’t take Tennessee as seriously as it should.

Beyond the AFC South, teams like the Patriots, Browns, Steelers, Ravens, Chiefs, and Chargers provide serious impediments to maximum playoff seeding, and to success if/when the Texans get back to the playoffs. Which could once again make the Texans an odd man out when the AFC Championship game arrives.

But, hey, at least the Texans won’t be able to blame their failure to take the next step on their General Manager.

31 responses to “PFT 2019 storyline No. 27: Can the Texans get to the next level?

  1. No Bill O’Brien is a miniature version of Andy Reid only difference is he rarely makes it past wildcard weekend lol….

  2. I hate it for Deshaun but he is saddled to a horse with no legs. The Texans are worthless and did not do him any favors with that oline they will be trotting out this upcoming season.

  3. pretty harsh criticisms considering how long it has taken other teams to succeed. Eventually everyone will make it to the superbowl and win it.

  4. The Texans are good for stealing away a playoff spot from a team who may actually win a playoff game.

  5. If the OL additions don’t pan out, Watson may not be upright for long. Without Watson, the Texans are a sub-.500 team.

  6. The Texans should try to trade for Caserio ASAP. Waiting another year for the possibility of signing him in order to save a draft pick is unwise. They need to remake their roster while they still have their quarterback on a cheap deal. The window is closing while other team in the division are getting better.

  7. “But, hey, at least the Texans won’t be able to blame their failure to take the next step on their General Manager.”

    I can only assume this is sarcasm. GM did next to nothing addressing that Oline issue. Tytus Howard was a major reach. Enjoy watching McCarron by seasons end Texans fans.

  8. They’ll never win anything of note with O’Brien running the show. It’s a shame because they have lots of good players on both sides of the ball but O’Brien will never get them over the hump. If they dump him before everybody is old or has moved on they stand a good shot to be a team that really takes off for their next coach.

  9. I wouldn’t be trotting out Simms’ QB rankings as if they are somehow definitive. Watson is definitely in the top half of quarterbacks, but is far from being one of the best.

  10. They can’t win with a coach who is always busy playing politics instead of coaching the damn team . O’Brien is so busy trying to prove he’s the smartest guy in the organization that he’s blinded to the fact it takes more then his ego to build a championship team . Can’t understand how the McNair’s continue to allow O’Brien’s influence continue to grow when he has proven to the biggest obstacle to the Texans success . Starting to think O’Brien is another Jeff Fisher being allowed a long career of underachieving by being a way better suck up to the owners then he is a coach .

  11. This team needs to move on from Bill O’Brien. I understand their offensive line may be the worst in the NFL but when the games have been on the line his playcalling has been horrendous. As long as Bill Belichick is in the AFC no matter what roster either team has he is not winning a playoff game or game of importance.

  12. vaphinfan says:
    June 27, 2019 at 10:37 am
    The Texans are good for stealing away a playoff spot from a team who may actually win a playoff game.

    Says a Dolphins fan? I think you’ll be safe from that again this season.

  13. I could see Houston being one of the teams that could be like the 2017 Eagles or the 2018 Chargers. Nobody saw those teams doing anything until they did.

    I don’t know who will make it to the second/third rounds of the playoffs but it’s not going to be the exact same teams year after year.

  14. One wild card wil come from the AFC West, the other will come from the AFC North. The Texans will not beat out the Colts in their divison, so to answer the question “No”.

  15. The Texans are what they are. They are certainly capable of making the playoffs. They could even win a round. I haven’t been impressed with Bill O’Brien. I think sometimes he tries to over coach, or over think the situation. Go with what been working. Deshaun Watson is a better QB than some people think. He’s another QB that has a feel for whats been working in the game. He’s another QB who will do whatever it takes to put Houston in a position to win. Love QB’s like that!

  16. Living in Houston, I am privy to their consistent mediocrity year in year out.

    They are lucky to play in a division that has benefitted from teams that can’t seem to string together any consistency annually. From a team perspective,Watson is not elite (plays too much sandlot football), defense has good, not great (Watt is elite if he stays healthy), but most importantly, O’Brien sucks as a coach. Run on 1st and 2nd, screen pass on 3rd and punt on 4th. If they fall behind, they don’t have the ability to hand with the upper tier teams.

  17. No, if they were going to make a move, it would have been within the past two seasons. I just don’t see them getting to the next level. Some good players, but some glaring personnel issues. The coaching is average. They need better.

  18. I’ll be the first to admit the o line isn’t very good, but I read a breakdown of Watson’s sacks last year and almost half came from TEs and RBs missing blocks and Watson himself. I personally have zero confidence in the owner, GM (or lack thereof), and BoB. Predicting 8-8.

  19. forthegoodofthegame says:
    June 28, 2019 at 1:57 am
    The only thinking going on in Houston is: what would Belichick do?

  20. They can occasionally compete for a playoff spot only to be a perpetual disappointment once there. They’re just cannon fodder for the real contenders. So, no, they aren’t going to the “next level”.

  21. So basically the Texans have never been close to a championship, much less a superbowl. Kubiak era offered the best chance for the Texans to go far and maybe that one year ownership and gm huffed glue and got Oswieler instead of a qb ( bOb can be blamed for refusing to work with him too ) but nothing they have leads me to believe they even want a superbowl. Watson was chosen because Mahomes was not expected to go where he did and Watson might be the greatest qb ever but hard to say when he’s playing on his back.

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