[EDITOR’S NOTE: Every year before the season we ask everyone at the station what they think the Houston Texans record will be when the season ends.  Here are the 2016 predictions from the staff at SportsRadio 610.]

Seth Payne [@PayneNFL]



This’ll be the first time I’ve given any serious thought to this, so let’s work through it together.

1. For the first quarter of the season, the Texans caught a break when Tom Brady was suspended for giving Roger Goodell blue balls. They do still have to play them at Foxboro. I think they’ll beat the Bears and the Titans, and go 1-1 versus the Chiefs and Pats. They’ll be 3-1 on October 2.

2. The AFC South looks like an improved division. Between Jacksonville and Tennessee, at least one of those teams will be substantially improved. I find it unlikely that both can pull it off. I don’t care to predict which one falters. I only care that the Texans can still count on sweeping one of them. I predict the Texans go 3-1 versus those two teams.

3. Mexico City game. The old Raiders would have had 3 key players arrested or M.I.A. after spending a week in Mexico City. This team strikes me as a little more tame (in a good way). Texans drop the game in Mexico.

4. The Cincinnati Bengals are going to exorcise many demons this year. Andy Dalton will give consistent and steady performances. Vontaze Burfict will be a model citizen. They will still perform like drunkards versus the Texans.

5. The Vikings were smote by the football gods. J.J. Watt is a football god. Vikings lose.

6. Dear AFC West, I gave you the Raiders. I will not give you the Chargers as well. No deal. Texans win.

7. Lose in Denver, split with the Colts, can’t spell Lambeau in December without an L. Lions? Please.

Oh crap, I’m predicting they go 10-6. I’m generally pessimistic about optimism, but I guess I’ll have to deal with it.

Mike Meltser [@MikeMeltser]



I was going to pick 8-8, but the offense has shown enough progress in the preseason to bump it up a win. Working off the baseline of last season, I think it’s going to be extremely difficult for the Texans to go 4-0 against the combination of the Jaguars and Titans again. The road schedule is daunting, with trips to New England, Minnesota, Green Bay, Denver, and Mexico City, if you focus on the non-divisional road games.

Given the breaks the Texans have gotten with injuries and/or suspensions (Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater), I think that combination could lead to an extra win that I wouldn’t have predicted.

If they have relative health on offense, the Texans should be able to improve on a 24th-place finish in Football Outsiders’ DVOA stat. I don’t expect the defense to have dropoff from last season, although I am thinking we’ll see something in between 2015’s start and 2015’s finish, with the pendulum hopefully swinging towards the latter.

I do think there’s a chance things can really come together because I generally like the plan that Houston executed this offseason. However, I need to see it before I can fully by in. Because of the improved division and difficult road games, I will go with 9-7.


Cody Stoots [@Cody_Stoots]


10-6, AFC South Champs

The Texans are going 10-6. I want to say 11 wins, but I don’t trust this team enough yet. There is a great chance come the bye week this team could have only two losses but I would live with 5-3 halfway through. A lot of my colleagues will find seven losses but that is last year’s team they are seeing. I’m not saying they will be much better, but 10 wins will be a great accomplishment. The defense will be better than last year’s team. The offense will be better, even if Brock Osweiler isn’t great and the offensive line takes time to mesh. AFC South champions and a wild card win. After that, who knows?

John Lopez [@LopezOnSports]


9-7, AFC South Champs

The Texans were an impressive 9-7 in Bill O’Brien’s first season, then an even more impressive 9-7 in 2015.

So … what has changed? Why are many pundits, experts, and analysts on the 11-5 or even 12-4 train, believing these Texans will roll the AFC South and into the post-season?

Good question. And the truth is, there is no logical reason to pick the Texans anything but 9-7 again until or if you know Brock Osweiler will be a next-level quarterback.

I just don’t know yet. And anyone who says they do know Osweiler will be a better quarterback than anything O’Brien has rolled out thus far is either hopelessly optimistic or fooling themselves.

No one. I mean, NO ONE can honestly know through such a small sample size of preseason games if Osweiler can carry this team.

I think he has a chance. I’m optimistic that he will. But I don’t know. Hence, 9-7 is my pick for 2016.

I hope come the 10th or 11th week of the season, I’m adjusting that pick into something much more impressive. But until I see enough of Osweiler in games that matter, it’s 9-7.

I believe that will be enough to win the AFC South again, however, so I’m taking the Texans based on their defense and good coaching to do it again.


Sean Pendergast [@seantpendergast]


10-6, AFC South Champs

I have the Texans going 10-6 this season. Originally, I had them at 9-7, but the Teddy Bridgewater knee injury flipped the Vikings game for me, and that’s a good thing because the road schedule is brutal. It’s like the Texans are Jon Snow and the schedule maker is Ramsey Bolton. [SPOILER ALERT!] Fortunately, the schedule maker will have their face chewed off by their own dogs when the Texans win the AFC South behind their revamped offense and a suffocating defense. They’ll win a playoff game over the Bengals, reprising that scintillating tradition, and then lose to New England in the divisional round, reprising that crappy tradition. But the feeling will be positive heading into 2017.

Ted Johnson [@teddyjradio]


10-6, AFC South Champs

The fact the defense is in its third year under RAC makes me feel confident they are ready to break out and dominate from beginning to end.  The LB core (if everyone stays healthy) could be one of the best in the NFL.  Benardrick McKinney is going to step up in year 2 and take a lot of pressure off of Brian Cushing to go and make the “splash” plays he used to make before his injuries.  They will continue to be solid “situationally” on 3rd down….Red Zone and 2-minute.  Lastly, the mark of a good defense is one that knows how to “close out games”.  Towards the end of last season, they were making plays via INT’s or forced fumbles to help close out the win.

Offensively this is going to be a more aesthetically fun team to watch.  They have enough fire power to get themselves out of trouble if need be.  Brock Osweiler looks like he’s mentally fully invested and wants to be great for this team.  He’ll win his guys over by continuing to improve and making the plays to help preserve a win.  The RB’s have diverse skill sets that will keep defenses off balance.  Look for Tyler Ervin to surprise some folks.

The coaching staff is a good one who will put solid game plans together week to week and know how to make in-game adjustments.  The addition of Larry Izzo as Special Teams Coach is going to make a big difference.  Don’t be surprised if ST’s is the reason the Texans win a game or two.

Rich Lord


11-5, AFC South Champs

This is, by far, the fastest and most talented team the Texans have ever had. Top to bottom as deep as they’ve ever been. Brock Osweiler should develop into the best QB in franchise history and Bill O’Brien and his staff are emerging as one of the top coaching staffs in the NFL. Oh yea…they also have the best player on the planet in J.J. Watt. The sky’s the limit for the 2016 Texans.

Paul Gallant [@GallantSays]


9-7, AFC South Champs

It’s easy to get caught up in all the optimism after the changes the Texans made this offseason. A new quarterback. New running back. New speedy receivers. And a defense that’s returning 10 of 11 starters. 11-5 and an easy AFC South crown, right?


“Paul, you negative nancy. Will you ever give a Houston team some love?”

Sure I can. When it’s merited. And credit isn’t merited yet.

I like all of the moves that the Texans made this offseason. But I also liked their 2014 draft class. So instead of making a bold prediction based on a complete unknown, I’m playing it safe. Houston was 9-7 the last 2 seasons, rallying with strong finishes after slow starts in both cases. What’s going to make this season different?

You could point to Brock Osweiler. But he – a complete unknown with 7 starts in a different offense to his name – and the offense – a unit featuring a pair of inexperienced wide receivers and a patchwork offensive line – will be a work in progress the first half of the season. All those offensive issues smell like another slow start to me.

The good news? Where Houston’s offense was inept last year, it now has tons of theoretical firepower. Figuring out how to use those weapons could be quite sloppy early in the season… and at times even resemble North Korea’s missile program (Psst, that would be bad). But hey, it’s definitely better. Because It could ONLY be better.

The better news: the AFC South . . . for now . . . is still the AFC South. Ignore the national hot takers that picked Jacksonville and Tennessee to make the leap. They – like most of America – know NOTHING about our lovable Mom and Pop division. And no matter how healthy Andrew Luck might be, remember that the only thing more wretched than the Colts’ offensive line is THEIR ENTIRE DEFENSE. 9 Wins can still win the South. And after another slow start, I say the Texans finish strong and take it again with 9 wins.

Matt Hammond [@matthammondshow]


11-5, AFC South Champs

Hot takes in 3… 2…

(You sure you’re ready? OK…).

Flame on.

Brock Osweiler proves to be worth the wait, posting numbers in his first real year as a starter comparable to that of other QBs who spent a few years marinading on the bench. Aaron Rodgers. Tony Romo. Tyrod Taylor. He’s also at his best in prime time games, and on fourth-quarter comeback/game winning drive opportunities, which the Texans haven’t had, well, ever. (Good thing, because between his “I don’t recognize pressure” comment this offseason, and his awesomely bad H.E.B. commercials, dude would get absolutely skewered by the fan base if he’d bombed. Memes, averted.). It’s a good year, not great, but man, does it get you excited about 2017, when the Texans are legit Super Bowl contenders.

Lamar Miller emerges as far and away the best RB in the AFC. (That’s right, better than even Le’Veon Bell, who, while talented, struggles at times to stay healthy and not high). Might even be the best RB in the NFL. Better than Arian Foster was during his prime in Houston? Maybe, maybe not. But as complete of a player? Absolutely. Guy can, and will, do it all, quietly becoming the MVP of the offense, if not the team.

DeAndre Hopkins dominates in what amounts to a contract year, putting up similar numbers to what he did in 2015, only with fewer targets. That’s in big part thanks to the additions of Will Fuller (DeSean Jackson, but taller and less of a prick), Braxton Miller (Percy Harvin, but without the headaches or the headache) and (gasp!) Stephen Anderson. Altogether, the offense proves to be the most loaded at skill positions since those Drew Brees Saints teams in the late-2000s, early-2010s.

JJ Watt misses the first game of his NFL career, with a minor injury in the middle of the season. (Though the fact that he hasn’t yet is nothing short of legendary. Bruce Smith missed 8 games his first five years in the league, and Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White each missed 7. Legen-wait for it-and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant, and can appreciate so much greatness coming from a state known for its-dary). But even after being more or less blown up last season and put back together this offseason, Watt is ultimately still enough of an eater of worlds that the Texans once again have a top 5 defense. Aaron Donald wins his first NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but JJ plays well enough that you feel (rightly) like he’s been snubbed.

Jadeveon Clowney misses a game or two, too, but has the type of year that ends debate about whether he should’ve been taken No. 1 overall in 2014. Though it does create a real debate about who’s the best pass rusher in that draft class, between he and Khalil Mack. That’s in big part thanks to defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel moving Clowney from OLB to 3-4 DE opposite Watt, with John Simon playing the other OLB spot. Watt, Clowney and Whitney Mercilus finally find a way to produce while on the field together, and — in what might be my favorite preseason prediction hot take — they knock at least 2 QBs out of games.

Brian Cushing plays at a level that we haven’t seen from him since 2011, which is great, because Benardrick McKinney has a thoroughly “meh” campaign. Max Bullough, meanwhile, quickly becomes one of the most important players on the defense, given that he’s their only LB capable of covering RBs and TEs.

The schedule is a bit tougher, with road dates against the Patriots, Broncos and Packers, but it’s also largely back-loaded, which is great for a team that’s 11-4 after the bye in two seasons under head coach Bill O’Brien and only 7-10 before. They lose to the Packers, but beat the Patriots and Broncos. In the AFC South, Andrew Luck bounces back, big time, solidifying himself as a consensus top 7 QB, but the Colts simply don’t have the OL or defense to win any more than 9 games. The Jaguars find a way to Jaguar, winning only 7 games, in part because everyone’s favorite, Blake Bortles, is nothing more than OK. But the Titans, whose preseason over/under win total in Vegas is only 5.5, find a way to win 8 games. “Marcus Maree-oh-to,” eh?

(Wipes brow. Drops mic. Takes Doug for a walk).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Doug is Matt’s dog. Here is Doug.

Doug is also a terrible name for a dog.]



Chris Jones [@meangreenjonesy]


10-6, AFC South Champs

Offensively, if they can overcome the beat up offensive line they are going to score lots of points and also control the time of possession.

Defensively, my mouth waters looking at all the pass rushing talent on this team, the corners are experienced and there are young up-and-comers behind them.

The special teams are average but even that is better than last year.

Brian McDonald [@sackedbybmac]


10-6, AFC South Champs

For me picking a record for a team is about identifying the question marks that could lead to losses and deciding how many of those questions I think will be answered favorably.

For the Texans, the questions that will decide their season are pretty easy to identify:

How good is Brock Osweiler? How will Lamar Miller handle a career high in carries? How quickly will the two rookie receivers start to make an impact? Will they get anything out of their tight end position? How healthy will Duane Brown, J.J. Watt, and Jadeveon Clowney be this season? What type of play will they get from the safety position and the undersized Christian Covington at the other defensive end spot?

I feel like most of those questions will be answered favorably, so I like their odds to improve their record from last year and get back into the playoffs.

They’ll win 10 games and those 10 wins will be enough to win the division, host a playoff game as the 3rd or 4th seed, and I think they’ll win that home playoff game before getting eliminated in the second round (divisional) just like in 2011 and 2012.


Ryan McCredden [@rmccredden


9-7, AFC South Champs

It pains me to say 9-7 again cause that will be year three in a row for 9-7.  This team is much better than the two previous versions of 9-7.  However, they also have a tougher schedule than what it was the last two years.  Games on the road against Patriots, Vikings, Broncos and Packers are tough road trips.  Plus, Indy will be better with a healthy Andrew Luck.  Jaguars will be better with some key additions.  And even though the Texans will beat the Titans twice, that is a team that is getting better as well.  The bright side of 9-7; it will once again win the AFC South!  This will happen because the other teams have some tough schedules as well.  Once the Texans get into the playoffs, who knows what might happen.  They’ll be well tested from the year and ready to possibly make a run to finish the season right here in Houston.

Garret Heinrich [@GarretHeinrich


11-5, AFC South Champs

I am really bullish on the Houston Texans this year.  I love that they have 10 of 11 starters back on defense. Ted Johnson always says the more time players have in Romeo Crennel’s defense the better the defense becomes and I think this year’s team is going to be fantastic.

The offense has a lot of speed and that gets me excited to see what kind of things they can do when they need a quick score in a tight game. I won’t be surprised to see two or three 35+ point games from the Texans this year.

They already have the best punter/holder in the league on special teams and that is going to help when they need to use him to pin a team deep.  It seems like a daunting task to have to go 90+ yards on this defense.

They will win the division and may even get a bye with an 11-5 record this year.  Expect to get a home playoff game again this year.

Alex Del Barrio [@AlexDelBarrio


10-6, AFC South Champs

I have been impressed since the offseason began with the moves the Texans have made. Running back Lamar Miller has the potential to be one of the top backs in the league after being severely underutilized in Miami. Plus the speed on the outside has improved exponentially with the additions of Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and having one of the best wide-outs in football in DeAndre Hopkins lead me to believe that the offense led by Brock Osweiler will be lightyears ahead of where they were a year ago.

The defense should be solid again, but with JJ Watt coming off offseason back surgery and with the jury still out JD Clowney, it is a mystery if Romeo Crennel’s defense can be as strong as it was last year when it finished tied with Arizona for 7th in the league in points allowed per game (19.6 ppg).

The biggest issue for the Texans may be something that is completely out of their control and that is their schedule. While having the “first place schedule” only really affects two games. Unfortunately for the Texans they have to face the AFC West which includes the team that eliminated them from the playoffs (Chiefs), the defending champions (Broncos) and two solid teams in the Raiders and Chargers. We also can’t forget Andrew Luck returns healthy for the Colts and the rest of the AFC South who aren’t the cake walk teams they used to be. Did I mention road games against the Patriots and Packers? The schedule is a lot tougher this year for the Texans and despite the fact they may be better in terms of talent, they may be in for a much more difficult season.

I am confident the Texans will be one of the better offenses in the NFL. Their offensive line is a concern, but I don’t think a major one unless Duane Brown misses more than 4 games.

I will be cautiously optimistic that the Texans can go 4-2 in the AFC South again (although it will be a much more daunting task this year). I don’t see 9 losses on the schedule for the Texans. I am going to say this team goes 10-6 and makes the playoffs as the AFC South winner. There is a chance they can win 11 games, but will need an impressive win against the Bengals, Patriots, or Chiefs to do so.

Adam Spolane [@AdamSpolane



I think the Texans defense will take a bit of a step back. The age of Wilfork, Cushing and Joseph will hurt a little, and I think Watt’s production declines a little bit after a couple of surgeries during the offseason, though I expect Clowney to have a big year.

Offensively, the team will take a major step forward, even with question marks on the offensive line. Osweiler will be fine, and the additions of Lamar Miller and Braxton Miller give the unit a dynamic it hasn’t had before. It has taken a couple of years, but I think O’Brien finally has the type of personnel on offense he’s always wanted.

Shaun Bijani [@ShaunBijani



The two best seasons in Houston Texans history came in 2011 and 2012. The Texans finished 10-6 and 12-4 respectively. They even won a couple of playoff games during those two seasons, both against the Bengals of course, but you have to give them their credit, after 9 seasons of no better record than 9-7 and no playoffs, you gladly took it.

The average age of the Texans’ first two playoff teams were 31 in 2011 and 30 in 2012. They were an experienced group in all facets. We remember the terrific offensive line they had in 2011 with Duane Brown, Wade Smith, Chris Meyers, Mike Brisiel and Eric Winston. They were just as good in 2012 with Ben Jones, Brandon Brooks and Derek Newton added to the mix.

It certainly helped to have Arian Foster running the ball for 2600 plus yards over the course of those two seasons.

Coming into camp for this 2016 campaign, the Texans average age was 25 and collectively the average years of experience was 2.7 years in the NFL.

I totally get it.


Those numbers are skewed, your counting a bunch of young, undrafted FA’s that’ll never play another down in a team’s camp in their lives.

All true, but it’s important to realize aside from the defense, which is the veteran crew on the squad, the Texans are going younger and young teams just don’t win right away.

The fact is, that the Texans have a relatively inexperienced QB that has only played in 21 career games in the NFL while starting 7 (all last season) in Brock Osweiler.

The Texans are likely the fastest receiving core in football, but the least experienced to boot. DeAndre Hopkins is the veteran entering his 4th year in the league at 24 years of age.

Rookies Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and 2nd-year receivers Keith Mumphrey and Jalen Strong round out your receiving core.

To hell with the average age.

They’re young and unproven. Period.

With so much expectation after a couple of 9-7 seasons and making the playoffs last year, Bill O’Brien’s squad might be pretty good but they won’t be ready to win.

Not yet in this division.

A patch-work offensive line, that minus Duane Brown, who’s still unsure of when he’ll play, has Chris Clark, 30, starting in his place. I know he’s a 6-year veteran that has started and played in a Super Bowl.


Now, you have Xavier Sua-Filo starting left guard. He’s 25 years old, has started 10 games in his career and was not good in pass blocking situations last year. It s a big year for the guy the Texans spent a 2nd round pick on a couple years ago.

Greg Mancz is the starting center with rookie Nick Martin on IR. He’s got an opportunity to do something in the league, we’ll soon see just what the 24 year old UFA has to offer.

According to Pro Football Focus, RG Jeff Allen was the only NFL guard with more than 100 snaps last season with no sacks or hurries allowed.

Derek Newton, is coming off a nice year for the Texans. He finished 2015 as the 4th highest rated right tackle according to PFF. Has missed most of camp with injury and has to play well as the most tenured Texan on the offensive line with Duane Brown out.

There are some intriguing things about each of the offensive linemen, but my overall concern with them is consistency or lack thereof.

The Texans are a young and inexperienced team in many ways. I’m expecting a lot of excitement at times this year, mostly from the defense, but also a lot of growing pains for this offense and its young receiving core. The defense will be good if not damn near close to great, but the offense as a unit will struggle. Thus, so will this team.

Texans 9-7

No playoffs this year, Colts win the AFC South, but Houston will play meaningful football games late in the regular season.

Josh Reese [@MrJoshua



Look, the thing about Houston Texans of recent has been “if only they had a quarterback” well even if Brock “Ozzy” Osweiler isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread if he can just not hurt them the team is primed to roll over people.

The defense looks like it could be one of the best in the league if Ozzy doesn’t throw interceptions left and right the Texans might be one in the best in the league.

The offensive line does seem like it could be an issue, but even still Ozzy proved in the preseason that he isn’t going to make awful decisions. The Super Bowl is in Houston, this is the year!

Ben Gehry


10-6, AFC South Champs

Win division. Win one playoff game.

Not what you want to hear, I know. They’ll start off a tad slow, and then build up steam as the season goes on and the offense gets better timing with Brock. With a fantastic possession receiver in Hopkins and Fuller showing he can stretch the field at the NFL level, not to mention Lamar Miller, look for this team to put up a lot of points once they find their groove. The defense will hold their own up front, but will give up enough deep plays in the secondary to make you want to hit a pillow, or throw the remote, or just curl up and watch Space Ghost reruns. Ultimately, it’s a lot of the offense’s first season together, and they’ll give us hope but miss out on being the first team to play a Super Bowl at home.

  1. Michael Dow says:

    None of the crew picked my season prediction for The Texans. An inspirational 3:40 second video via The Mike Dow Super Fly Houston Texans Happy Hour show. I’m pumped for The Season!!

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