By Dave Thomas
The Houston Texans probably want one thing for Christmas… to have the 2013 season over as fast as possible.
What began as a promising campaign with wins over San Diego and the divisional rival Tennessee Titans has morphed into a horror movie for anyone that calls themselves a Texans fan, player, staff etc. With this Sunday’s trip to Music City for a return meeting with the AFC South Titans, Houston (2-13) will write the final chapter on what has been a season to quickly forget.
Along the way, the Texans have fired a coach, demoted the former starting quarterback (though he had to start again due to injuries to the backup), disappointed a passionate fan base, and moved closer to locking up the top pick in next spring’s NFL Draft (If the Texans and 3-12 Washington end up tied for the worst record, Redskins get the top pick, which is then sent to St. Louis as part of the deal for Robert Griffin III). Yes, certainly has not been dull in Houston this season.
After a sound 37-13 at home this past Sunday to the AFC West leading Denver Broncos, the Texans closed the curtains on their home season, probably to the relief of many that call Reliant Stadium home.
Titans Playing Out Season Too
Meantime, Tennessee comes into the season finale with a 6-9 mark, this after scoring a 20-16 win over division foe Jacksonville this past Sunday.
The Titans have been led so far this season on the offensive side of the ball by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (2,288 yards passing, 14 touchdowns), who replaced starter Jake Locker earlier in the season as a result of an injury to the latter.
On the ground, Tennessee turns to back Chris Johnson (950 yards rushing, five TD’s), while the top receiving threats are Kendall Wright (1,029 yards receiving) and Nate Washington (880 yards).
Defensively, Tennessee looks to Bernard Pollard (93 total tackles) and Jurrell Casey (9.5 sacks) to terrorize opposing offenses.
In their first meeting in week two of the season, Houston escaped at Reliant Stadium with a 30-24 victory in overtime.
Will Texans Go After Manziel?
In that contest, Schaub hit wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the corner of the end zone on a three-yard pass for the winning score. For Schaub, that was one of his few bright moments this season, a season in which Houston management may have come to the conclusion that it will go looking for a quarterback (perhaps Texas A&M product Johnny Manziel) if available high up in the spring draft.
While backup Case Keenum has had some good moments this season when healthy for the Texans, it is rather safe to say that Houston would not balk at taking Manziel if he comes out early from College Station.
Drafting Manziel would certainly create some buzz around the franchise, especially when it comes to season ticketholders.
Given what Texan fans have had to endure this season after an AFC South crown the year before, creating buzz about the 2014 season is almost or even more important than winning at Tennessee this Sunday.
For more Houston Texans news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.