EARLY EXIT

5 things the Texans need to address in the off-season after losing to the Colts

The Texans could not cover tight ends all season, and it bit them again Saturday. Tim Warner/Getty Images

The off-season is here early for the Texans.

The season ended with a thud on Saturday, as they simply were outplayed in almost every way in a 21-7 playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Texans fell in a 21-0 hole early and never recovered. The Colts did not punt until there was less than 11 minutes left in the third quarter. The Texans defense was better in the second half, but when the game was on the line, they had no answers.

In the first half, when it was decided, we saw a lot of familiar problems that haunted Houston all season. The Texans once again had nothing to stop T.Y. Hilton and Andrew Luck. They could not cover the tight end. They got no pressure on the quarterback. The defense could not get off the field on third down. They had untimely bad penalties on both sides of the ball.

On offense, Deshaun Watson and Deandre Hopkins needed to be brilliant, and they were not. Hopkins looked hobbled and had just 37 yards on five catches. Watson completed 29 of 45 passes for 235 yards, one TD and an interception. He rushed for 76 yards on eight carries but was sacked three times and pressured throughout the game.

The result is a roller coaster season that comes to an early end. The Texans looked dreadful in an 0-3 start, then reeled off nine wins in a row before the defense struggled mightily down the stretch.

The Colts move on and will face Kansas City next week. For the Texans, the attention now turns to what the do in the off-season. Here are five things they need to address:

1) Get a legitimate NFL offensive tackle. Two if possible. That was an issue all season, and it needs to be addressed with high draft picks, free agency or even a trade. One big addition can make the entire line better. This is a must before next season or they will get Watson killed. Last year's third-round pick, Martinas Rankin, will likely be an above average guard at some point. With him, Nick Martin, Senio Kelemete, Zach Fulton and Greg Mancz, there is enough to put together a decent interior. The two outside positions, however, HAVE to be upgraded.

2) Revamp the secondary. They need to get faster at cornerback, and find someone who can cover T.Y. Hilton. Jonathan Joseph still understands the game, but he no longer has the coverage skills to be a No. 1 corner. Aaron Colvin was a free agent failure. You could do worse than bring back Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson at safety, but they need at least two new corners. Free agency is the most likely path here.

3) Changes on the coaching staff. Bill O'Brien won't be going anywhere, but he needs to make changes on his staff. It's probably time to let Romeo Crennel ride off into the sunset. He has been an excellent defensive coordinator for a long time, but he is 71 years old, and the game might have passed him by. They never made any changes in how they defended the Colts in particular, and tight ends in general, until the game was decided. There will be some very good defensive minded coaches available that have been head coaches. A new scheme and some new thoughts could do wonders for the Texans. A new voice on the offensive line would not be a bad idea either. An offensive coordinator with head coaching experience could also make Watson even more dangerous.

4) Figure out what to do with Jadeveon Clowney. His contract is up, and he is going to want to be paid Khalil Mack money. Truthfully, he is not worth that. A franchise tag and then a trade is certainly worth considering. Ideally, he would be re-signed, but not in a record-breaking deal.

5) Add another set of wheels in the backfield. Lamar Miller is solid, and maybe D'Onta Foreman fills this role next season. But he missed almost all of 2018 with an Achilles injury and who knows if he will ever be 100 percent of what he was? Some reliable depth would be a welcome addition.

The good news is they are set at the most important position on the roster, quarterback. They are probably OK at wide receiver if Will Fuller can return healthy next season. If not, perhaps Demaryius Thomas will. Keke Coutee has potential if he can stay healthy. They will have enough cap room to make significant additions on both sides of the ball.

But there is a lot to be fixed. And the Colts - who were clearly the better team this year - should be even better next season. Jacksonville might bounce back. Who knows how many more All-Pro type seasons J.J. Watt has left in him? The window for this team is right now and big moves need to be made.

The Texans did not get the job done in 2018, so there will be a lot of work to do in the off-season.

An off-season that started too early.

WATSON HAS TO BE ON POINT

Week 11 fantasy football rankings: Call your shot

Deshaun Watson was magical in the win. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

These are my very early ranks, so keep in mind I post these on Thursday. Make sure you check the injury report on Sunday for players that have missed practice. If it doesn't look like a player will play this week, I typically won't rank him. Keep in mind, these are PPR rankings, and don't forget to set your lineup for Thursday Night Football.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

@JoshJordan975

@Moneyline975

@JerryBoKnowz

QB

Photo via: Raiders/Facebook

1 Lamar Jackson

2 Patrick Mahomes

3 Drew Brees

4 Dak Prescott

5 Deshaun Watson

6 Josh Allen

7 Jimmy Garoppolo

8 Derek Carr

9 Tom Brady

10 Philip Rivers

11 Matt Ryan

12 Jameis Winston

13 Kirk Cousins

14 Carson Wentz

15 Kyle Allen

RB

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1 Christian McCaffrey

2 Ezekiel Elliott

3 Dalvin Cook

4 Melvin Gordon

5 Josh Jacobs

6 Alvin Kamara

7 Leonard Fournette

8 James Conner

9 Le'Veon Bell

10 Tevin Coleman

11 Mark Ingram

12 Nick Chubb

13 Damien Williams

14 Austin Ekeler

15 James White

16 Devin Singletary

17 Brian Hill

18 Todd Gurley

19 Marlon Mack

20 Ronald Jones

21 Joe Mixon

22 Phillip Lindsay

23 Kenyan Drake

24 Jordan Howard

25 David Montgomery

26 JD McKissic

27 Miles Sanders

28 Tarek Cohen

29 Kareem Hunt

30 Royce Freeman

*I'm done with David Johnson until he proves he's healthy.

WR

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1 Michael Thomas

2 Tyreek Hill

3 Julio Jones

4 Amari Cooper

5 Mike Evans

6 Julian Edelman

7 Chris Godwin

8 DeAndre Hopkins

9 Cooper Kupp

10 D.J. Moore

11 Keenan Allen

12 D.J. Chark

13 John Brown

14 Robert Woods

15 Marquise Brown

16 Kenny Golladay

17 Odell Beckham

18 Michael Gallup

19 Tyrell Williams

20 Stefon Diggs

21 Courtland Sutton

22 Jamison Crowder

23 Jarvis Landry

24 Christian Kirk

25 Curtis Samuel

26 Deebo Samuel

27 Sammy Watkins

28 JuJu Smith-Schuster

29 Calvin Ridley

30 Allen Robinson

31 Tyler Boyd

32 Dede Westbrook

33 Terry McLaurin

34 Mike Williams

35 Marvin Jones

36 Mohamed Sanu

*I'm assuming Emmanuel Sanders won't play, but we'll have to see if he's active. He's a risk/reward low-end No.2 fantasy receiver for me this week.

TE

1 Travis Kelce

2 Hunter Henry

3 Darren Waller

4 Mark Andrews

5 Zach Ertz

6 Greg Olsen

7 Jared Cook

8 Gerald Everett

9 Eric Ebron

10 OJ Howard

11 Jason Witten

12 Jack Doyle

13 T.J. Hockenson

14 Dallas Goedert

15 David Fells

DEF

1 Rams

2 Bills

3 Vikings

4 Cowboys

5 Steelers

6 Patriots

7 Bears

8 49ers

9 Raiders

10 Saints

11 Jets

12 Jaguars

KICKER

1 Justin Tucker

2 Harrison Butker

3 Wil Lutz

4 Greg Zuerlein

5 Joey Slye

6 Michael Badgley

7 Dan Bailey

8 Brett Maher

9 Zane Gonzalez

10 Matt Prater

11 Ka'imi Fairbairn

12 Nick Folk

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