An honest discussion about our expectations for the Texans this season

The picture will become more clear after the NFL Draft. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The NFL has gone to a 17 game schedule starting this season. This now means there will be no .500 seasons. Teams will either go 9-8, or 8-9, or 7-7-1, or 8-7-1, or 7-8-1, or worse than that. You get my drift. No need to keep explaining things. We see where this is going. Can the Texans surprise us and be more competitive than we're all thinking?

One easy answer is no. They have a roster that has been thrown together and could be missing Deshaun Watson because of trade or possible suspension. They don't have the draft picks to make an instant impact and get better faster. Plus, they didn't spend big money in free agency to get some big time players. It's easy to say they didn't improve this team enough over last year.

However, are we discounting the guys they brought in? Are we not taking into consideration the hunger for guys on one year prove it type deals? Guys like that are at a crossroads in their careers. They're at a point in which they could be out of the league, but are barely hanging on. When your back is against the wall, you can often come out swinging. I'm not saying the Texans will fight and make a playoff run, but they could be better than we're thinking.

General manager Nick Caserio has done a good job of bringing in some decent talent. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor isn't a scrub and has led a team to a playoff birth recently. Running back Mark Ingram has carried the ball for multiple playoff contenders. They're also switching to a 4-3 defense that'll play mostly a Tampa 2 style defense. Playing more zone coverage instead of man may help this talent deficient defense. Guys will be put into positions to succeed more often than they were previously and that could help immensely.

Do I believe they'll be at or above .500? No, because I can't see this team doing what's necessary to win close games or pull off comeback wins. Will they be one of the worst teams in football? Perhaps, but it's hard to tell right now. We can't discount that all the guys on this roster are still professional football players and made it to the NFL for a reason. I'm thinking this team will go somewhere between 7-10 and 4-13. They won't be a three win or less disaster like most people are thinking. They may be like this year's Rockets and be competitive for a while, then fall off. While I hope they'll flame out in order to get a higher draft pick next offseason, I don't think it'll happen. Let's hope they lose every game by one possession to remain competitive, while satisfying the need for a high draft pick.

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