The Houston Texans entered their bye week with a 5-3 record sitting in first place in the AFC South. They have won despite the loss of their best player, J.J. Watt, and underachieving play from their top free agent acquisition in quarterback Brock Osweiler. Here is a look at the Houston Texans team headlines for the 2016 NFL season through eight games.

Will Fuller Standing Out In Texans Receiver Corps

The biggest problem for the Houston Texans throughout their entire existence has been a reliance on one receiver. For years, Andre Johnson was one of the best receivers in the NFL. However, Houston never had a complimentary receiver to line up opposite Johnson to help even out the offense. It looked like Houston never learned their lesson when they brought in DeAndre Hopkins and then let Johnson leave.

However, rookie Will Fuller has surpassed all expectations in his first season in Houston opposite Hopkins. While Hopkins leads the Texans with 40 catches for 434 yards, Fuller is right behind him with 25 receptions for 372 yards. Fuller also has a punt return for a touchdown this season. Fuller still drops too many passes, but he is proving to be someone that Houston can rely on and will just make them better down the stretch.

Houston Surviving Without J.J. Watt

When J.J. Watt ended up on the injured reserve list for the Houston Texans, many thought the team was dead in the water. Watt is a multiple time defensive MVP and is the only player in NFL history to finish with over 20 sacks in more than one season. Without Watt, the Texans were immediately worse on defense. However, the defense is the reason for the Texans first place standing in the AFC South.

While Houston is not playing as strong against the run as they did with Watt, the secondary has really stepped up and ranks second in pass defense in the entire NFL, only allowing just over 190 yards a game through the air. That number includes playing against names like Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford this season.

Brock Osweiler Not Yet Worth $37 Million Guarantee

When the Houston Texans convinced Brock Osweiler to leave the Denver Broncos, where he had a guaranteed starting position waiting for him, they expected him to become their franchise quarterback. Houston offered him a huge four-year, $72 million contract, making him the second highest paid player on the team and giving him the same per-year average as Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. He was guaranteed $37 million, which is more than Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger.

In the first eight games of his Houston career, Osweiler has completed 59.3-percent of his passes for 1,719 yards, with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. He ranks 20th in passing yards, 27th in completion percentage, and only Ryan Fitzpatrick and Case Keenum have thrown more interceptions. However, head coach Bill O’Brien is a quarterback guru and will hopefully turn things around in the second half of the season.

Post Author: Shawn S. Lealos.


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