EVERY-THING SPORTS

Here's how the season could play out for these 5 pivotal Houston Texans

Houston Texans Tank Dell
Could Tank Dell record over 1,000 yards as a rookie? Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images.
How the Houston Texans may have caught lightning in a bottle

The cuts have been made. The roster is still being shaped by the front office and scouting department. The main players are in place. The coaching staff is hard at work prepping game plans for week one against the Baltimore Ravens. The players are studying film and perfecting their crafts. Opponents are probably licking their chops looking at this team.

I think the over on 6.5 wins this season may be a stretch. If they reach seven wins, it'll be because they won some games most didn't think they could win. My expectations are much higher than the previous few seasons. One thing for sure, this team will be a LOT more exciting to watch. Here are some of my statistical forecasts for a few pivotal players:

C.J. Stroud: 3,417 yards; 23 touchdowns; 11 interceptions- I think Stroud will benefit this year from a good run game. Pass protection may be shaky to start with injuries, but I think the offensive line will get better as the season progresses. Averaging just over 200 yards per game isn't outrageous. I feel he'll stay at or just above a 2:1 TD to pick ratio. While not ideal, it's better than some Hall of Fame QBs did in their rookie seasons. It would rank him in PFF's top 10 all time rookie QB seasons if he's at or around 65% completion percentage.

Tank Dell: 68 catches, 1,105 yards and 6 touchdowns- Dell will be a really good slot, but has some outside skills. Namely, his speed. He's more slippery than if Mick had greased that chicken before Rocky tried catching it. I could see his production going up as the season gets longer because Stroud will begin to look for him more and more as they build chemistry. Yes, I know I only have him with six scores. Keep in mind this is a run first offense. At least that's what we can deduce from looking at where it came from in San Francisco. Speaking of run first…

Damien Pierce: 1,388 yards on 322 carries with 362 receiving yards on 44 catches and 18 total touchdowns- Pierce will be the focal point of the offense. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry last season, so I can see him hitting around that mark again. Difference is, this season, he'll get more carries and have more receptions. This will lead to much more production.

Jalen Pitre: 131 tackles, 6 picks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumbles recoveries, 2 defensive touchdowns- While he'll have less tackles, look for an uptick in his playmaking. Jalen will have better guys in front of him, which will take away from his tackle production. That's why I think he'll make more plays. Bottom line, he'll be an All-Pro this year, like he should have been last year!

Will Anderson Jr: 79 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 18 TFLs, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries- I'm trying to be modest here. This guy reminds me of the prototypical edge rushers of today's game. A long, lean frame that converts his speed into power and has a lightening quick get off when the ball is snapped. Teams will need to account for him on every play. Discount him as a run stuffer if you want, and you'll be sorry. First Team All Rookie Defense is a lock! DROY? I wouldn't be shocked since he's the second betting favorite.

This was just me and my brain trying to figure out what some prominent players will look like statistically at season's end. I took it as they're going to play all 17 games. I didn't use any cheat sheets or any projections. My search history is more college football, car parts, and Amazon purchases (I blame JDG; this person knows who they are). I can't wait to see how accurate or inaccurate I am.

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Yordan Alvarez is hitting fifth for the American League. Composite Getty Image.

Baltimore's Corbin Burnes will start for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game against Pittsburgh rookie Paul Skenes.

A 29-year-old right-hander, Burnes is 9-4 with a 2.93 ERA in his first season with the Orioles, who acquired him from Milwaukee just before spring training. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, Burnes is an All-Star for the fourth straight season. He will become the fifth Orioles pitcher to start an All-Star Game, the first since Steve Stone in 1980.

Skenes, who made his major league debut on May 11, is 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 11 starts, striking out 89 and walking 13 in 66 1/3 innings. The 11 starts for the 21-year-old right-hander will be the fewest for an All-Star and he will become the fifth rookie starter after Dave Stenhouse (1962), Mark Fidrych (1976), Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Hideo Nomo (1995).

NL manager Torey Lovullo announced last week he was starting Skenes.

AL manager Bruce Bochy of World Series champion Texas said Monday he has Steven Kwan of Cleveland hitting leadoff and playing left field, followed by Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson, New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto and center fielder Aaron Judge, Houston designed hitter Yordan Alvarez, Guardians shortstop José Ramírez, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien.

Ketel Marte bats first and plays second base for the NL, followed by Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, Philadelphia shortstop Trea Turner, Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper, Milwaukee catcher William Contreras, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich, Phillies third baseman Alex Bohm, Dodgers center fielder Teoscar Hernández and San Diego left fielder Jurickson Profar.

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