2011 Texans Predictions

The Texans will face the Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs. (credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Houston Texans push for their first playoff berth.
They return a potent offense which was third in the NFL in total yards and features Arian Foster (the NFL's leading rusher), Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. The Texans also think that they have fixed one of the worst defenses in the league. They started by firing their defensive coordinator and hiring Wade Phillips and then signed Johnathan Joseph and Daniel Manning in free agency. They also drafted JJ Watt in the first round to solidify the front seven.
The Texans will face the Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs. (credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Prediction: Texans beat Colts
The Colts have been the Texans' nemesis since the inception of the franchise but that is the Colts with Peyton Manning and he won’t be there week one. The Texans will run the ball with or without Arian Foster on the 25th ranked rush defense last year. The depth of their backfield as well as the explosive weapons that the Texans have on the outside makes the difference as the Texans win their first game. Record: 1-0
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Prediction: Texans beat Dolphins
The Dolphins' biggest addition in the offseason was Reggie Bush, which is not much of an addition when you lose Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and you were already ranked 29th in rushing. Add an average at best Chad Henne and this is a game the Texans must win if Gary Kubiak expects to keep his job. As long as the much improved secondary keeps track of Brandon Marshall this game shouldn’t be too close. Record: 2-0
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Prediction: Saints beat Texans
This will be the first real test of the Wade Phillips’ defense. The Saints and Drew Brees had the third ranked passing attack last season and the Texans will find out if the additions of Johnathan Joseph and Daniel Manning were enough to fix a woeful secondary. In the end it will be a shootout but an improved rushing attack is the key to a Saints victory and the Texans' first loss. Record: 2-1
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Prediction: Steelers beat Texans
This could be the toughest game on the Texans' schedule. The Steelers will pound Rashard Mendenhall into the soft center of the Texans defense all day long. In addition to that the Steelers' blitzing style of defense always gives Matt Schaub trouble and even a completely healthy Arian Foster can’t win the game on his own. The Steelers send the Texans, broken and bruised, back to .500. Record: 2-2
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Prediction: Texans beat Raiders
The Texans and Raiders seem to play close games every year but this year is different. The one advantage that the Texans always have is Andre Johnson, except when he is playing against Nnamdi Asomugha. But with Asomugha, Johnson will be free to run loose throughout the Raiders secondary as he leads the Texans to another home win. Record: 3-2
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Prediction: Ravens beat Texans
If the Steelers matchup is not the toughest game, then it is Baltimore. The Ravens are on a historic run of maintaining an elite defense but all good things must come to an end at some point; it may not be now but they are getting older and it showed when the Texans torched them in the fourth quarter last year. But the next few years of Baltimore’s success will be based on their offense. With the addition of Vonta Leach and Lee Evans and the continued development of Joe Flacco the Ravens could become an elite offensive team. Vonta Leach will be clearing massive holes for Ray Rice straight up the middle of the Texans' new defense. The Ravens win in a backyard brawl. Record: 3-3
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Prediction: Texans beat Titans
The ex-Oilers are lucky to have Chris Johnson back in the fold because he is all that team has and he continually rips up the Texans defense. But this time there is just not enough talent around Johnson to give the Titans a win. Even if Johnson goes off for 150 yards (again) the Texans offense is too much for the Titans defense to keep up with. Record: 4-3
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Prediction: Texans beat Jaguars
The Jaguars had no history with the city of Houston before the Texans started playing in 2002 but they quickly became a heated rival. The Texans wrap up the back to back division rivalry games with a two game win streak and a 3-0 mark in the division. The Jaguars will probably be starting Blaine Gabbert at this point in the season and if Maurice Jones-Drew is injured this game could get ugly. Record: 5-3
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Prediction: Texans beat Browns
This is a game the Texans can not sleep on. Colt McCoy is coming back to Texas and Peyton Hillis is the type of back that should scare the Texans senseless with the troubles that they have had stopping backs that like to go up the middle. The Texans offense should be able to carry the team through but this is not the layup that many people are making it out to be. Record: 6-3
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Prediction: Buccaneers beat Texans
The Texans roll into Tampa Bay high on a three game win streak (Texans fans get excited pretty easily) but Josh Freeman and the Bucs will slam the breaks on that roll. The Bucs are walking a tenuous line of being both underrated and a popular bandwagon pick. LeGarrette Blount had a break out season last year and will be too much for the Texans to handle in combination with Kellen Winslow and Mike Williams. Record: 6-4
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Prediction: Texans beat Jaguars
Even if Blaine Gabbert has made drastic improvements by this point in the season he is no match for Matt Schaub. They have no wide receiver to match Andre Johnson and Arian Foster is a more dynamic running back than MJD. The Texans take advantage of their bye week and the beautiful weather in north Florida in November and sweep the Jags. Record: 7-4
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Prediction: Falcons beat Texans
Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub have an old fashioned “Matt shootout” but Ryan emerges victorious. Michael “the burner” Turner will have to be healthy in this game for the Falcons to win but we can’t project injuries even if there is a good chance that Turner might miss this game based on the number of carries and yards he had last year and the pattern of his career. Record: 7-5
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Prediction: Texans beat Bengals
The Bengals are dangerously close to reverting back to true Bungle form. If this drama with Carson Palmer is not resolved cleanly or if Cedric Benson gets arrested again I think we can assume that Marvin Lewis will be fired and the Bengals will claim their throne as the worst organization in the NFL. Sorry, Mr. Brown but I think you know it. Obviously the Texans win this game for reasons too many to name. Record: 8-5
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Prediction: Texans beat Panthers
The Panthers were the worst team in the NFL last season and they focused on keeping their team the same during free agency. They spent big money on Deangelo Williams and one year wonder Charles Johnson. They also used the first pick of the draft to get Cam Newton who may be a game changer or he may be a bust. If Carolina has any chance in this game Newton needs to be dynamic, but even if he is I don’t think the Panthers' defense can contain Arian Foster or Andre Johnson. Record: 9-5
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Prediction: Colts beat Texans
The Texans have never beaten the Colts in Indianapolis and that streak continues. After a slow start without Manning the Colts will be making a late push trying to take the division and make the playoffs. There is a reason why Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever and it’ll be on full display as the Colts take one that they have to have. Report: 9-6
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Prediction: Texans beat Titans
Expect the Titans to battle the Texans tooth and nail but with the playoffs and possibly the division on the line, the Texans bring their ‘A’ game. Hopefully by this time Mario Williams has figured out the OLB position and can rip apart the Titans offensive line and put great pressure on Jake Locker. Record: 10-6 At 10-6 the Texans are clearly in the playoff picture and should be able to snatch a wild card spot unless the Colts have more issues with Manning's health, in which case they may be able to win the AFC South for the first time in franchise history.
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Prediction: Boring game against Vikings
The final preseason game is often nothing to write home about. The starters won't play much, if at all, and coaches strip down the playbook to the point that they resemble middle school playbooks. Since the game as a whole isn't much to watch, you have to focus on individual players. Several fringe players fighting to make the roster will get their last chance to prove they belong. Backup players will get a ton of snaps to show what they could do if given a shot to play more regularly.
(credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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