The next team up on our Gridiron Blitz is the Houston Texans
Music to listen to: Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gansta by The Geto Boys
The city of Houston has made major contributions to music over the years but I’m going to show love to the original rap group from there that I and many others around the world did, The Geto Boys.
Current State: Prior to last year, you could pencil in Houston for a record of 7-9 or 8-8 and you would have probably been right. However, the Texans surprised us in 2009 and finished 9-7. Still missed the playoffs but at least they finished with a winning record for the first time in franchise history.
The team has potential Pro Bowlers on the roster and now is the time to finally make the playoffs.
Biggest Change: There were no major changes but the Texans did decide to give a well-deserved extension to All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson and kept head coach Gary Kubiak which will be discussed later on in this post.
Uniform Grade: The Texans don‘t take too many chances with the unis, keeping with the main colors of red, white and blue. However, I did see them wear an all-red look one time.
Yeah, don‘t do that again. Grade: B
Best Player: Tough call between Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams but I’ll go with the former Miami Hurricane.
Johnson’s ability to thrive in an offense where he consistently faces double teams because of a shaky quarterback and questionable running game makes the case for him being the best receiver in football almost a moot point.
The defense has some studs as well in Williams and linebackers DeMeco Ryans and second-year player Brian Cushing, who will have to deal with the wrap of being a steroid user. If he can get over that, Houston may have a top-five defense in the entire league.
Most Important Player: This one is a little easier to answer. Houston has had an above-average offense the past few years that has gained a significant amount of yards but hasn’t scored as many points as it should. That lies on the quarterback Matt Schaub.
He has to find a way to increase the team’s point total and stay healthy because backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky isn’t the answer.
Best Case: Defense continues to play well. Schaub stays healthy for an entire season. Houston finally makes the playoffs.
Worst Case: Everything happens in the best case accept for making the playoffs.
Coaching: The re-signing of an extension of head coach Gary Kubiak was met with some understandable criticism. With the talent of this team, the Texans should have made the playoffs under his watch by now.
However, the question I always ask in these situations is who would you replace him with? I think he’s done a good job but I’m not a frustrated fan of the Texans like some others. If my favorite team, the New York Giants, were in the same situation, I may want to see my coach fired too.
First memory of team: The only thing I have for you is watching its first-ever franchise game, hosting the Dallas Cowboys, and actually winning. Besides the crappy quarterback play of Quincy Carter for the Cowboys, I remember thinking that it was nice that Houston had a football team and the stadium looked great.
Schedule: They have to deal with Tennessee, Jacksonville and Indianapolis in the division.
As far as home games, they get Dallas, Kansas City, San Diego and Baltimore. That’s not bad. The road games will be at Washington, Oakland, New York Jets, Philadelphia and Denver
City Nicknames: I like H-Town and Space City.
Fantasy Focus: You can do work with Schaub, Johnson and tight end Owen Daniels if he can recover from knee surgery. I would be very, very cautious about taking Steve Slaton at running back because he fumbles the ball often and will receive direct competition in his own position from rookies Ben Tate and Arian Foster.
Overall Outlook: They have many swing games on the schedule. If they win all of them, they can win 12 games this season because the only teams that they face that will be superior to them on paper are Indy, Baltimore and maybe Dallas an San Diego. That’s only three to four games. However, the Texans do find a way to blow the gimmie games over the years as well. I think that they finish with a winning record but miss the playoffs once again.
Final Record: 9-7
Gridiron Blitz 2010 Season Previews: