What The Texans Could Be In 2014: Part 1
HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – History tends to repeat itself. It’s human nature. Just like it’s in our DNA to ATTEMPT to predict the future.
So why not look at the possibilities for the 2014 Texans THIS way: by comparing this roster to some of last year’s NFL teams?
There’s one team that has continuously been thrown out as a possibility. Last year’s Chiefs. And I don’t get why.
Sure, Kansas City was coming off a 2-14 2012 campaign. But they were a roster loaded with talent. The Chiefs had six pro bowlers in that wretched season – a number just 4 teams (49ers, Texans, Patriots, Vikings) could top. And while these Texans have sent key contributors like Antonio Smith, Earl Mitchell, Danieal Manning and Wade Smith to the curb this off-season, the Chiefs dropped just one name you’d heard of before their renaissance: Glenn Dorsey. He was a first overall pick at one point.
And yeah, he wasn’t worth it.
I’m not done popping this balloon. Ryan Fitzpatrick ain’t Alex Smith. And while I like Bill O’Brien, he isn’t a fourteen year NFL coach with five NFC Championship appearances. Andy Reid’s massive belt has that AND a Super Bowl trip. O’Brien is about to kick off his first rodeo.
Still think a repeat of the 2013 Chiefs is coming? Thought not. So now let’s be realistic. Over the rest of this week, yours truly will compare this batch of Texans with five similar teams from last season.
The Best Case Scenario
2013 New York Jets: 8-8, 2nd AFC East
Please Find Us A QB
Between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, the Jets were walking into 2013 with jack diddly poo at quarterback. They just didn’t know it yet. Mark Sanchez was already well established as a bust. But at least there was hope with rookie second round pick Geno Smith. Until – you know – he played.
It didn’t help that Geno barely had any toys “to have a catch” with, but he still threw 21 interceptions as a rookie. That’s something Texans starter Ryan Fitzpatrick TWO-upped his sixth season in the league (23 with the Bills in 2011). Could he do it again his 10th season in the league? Ehh…it’s unfortunately possible.
Dynamic Defensive Duo?
Last season, defensive ends Muhammad Wilkerson (2011 1st rd pick) and Sheldon Richardson (2013 1st rd pick) were monsters for a much improved Jets front seven. Wilkerson had 10.5 sacks while Richardson took home defensive rookie of the year honors.
In a perfect world, the well established J.J. Watt could recreate a similar force with first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. We all know Clowney has ridiculous athleticism and has drawn comparisons to HOFer Bruce Smith. With Louis Nix AND a (hopefully) further developed Whitney Mercilus, it’s certainly possible for Watt and Clowney to recreate that Wilkerson/Richardson magic. Assuming Clowney recovers from that sports hernia surgery, of course.
New York’s secondary had plenty of issues last year, with cornerbacks Dee Milliner, Kyle Wilson, and especially Antonio Cromartie the main culprits. The Texans secondary was equally abysmal this past season, and did little to upgrade the group during the off-season. An improved pass rush should help them out a bit, but at some point defensive backs have to make plays. And without adding new blood, I don’t think they’ll improve significantly over last season’s pathetic 7 interception total.
Short of two games against the Patriots and dates with the Bengals, Saints and Panthers, the Jets had things easy in 2013. The rest of the teams they played had a combined record of 67-109 last season. It was a cakewalk, and it helped New York coast through the year to a .500 record. With a .441 opponent winning percentage this coming season – 3rd easiest on paper in the league – the Texans could have things fairly easy themselves.
This goes without saying. The Jets offense was UNBELIEVABLY tame last season. A running game powered by Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. Jeremy Kerley as the leading receiver with a whopping 523 receiving yards. Even if Arian Foster can’t healthy and Andre Johnson never shows up to work, the Texans would have a MUCH better supporting cast than Geno Smith did.
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