The most insanely positive and ridiculously negative predictions for the Texans
Every year when the NFL releases their full schedule of games, it's another offseason event that proves the NFL doesn't really have an offseason. Fans and media alike treat it like it's a huge deal. Some fans start predicting their team's potential Super Bowl run and planning road trips to away games. Others start draft previews and contemplate how much energy they'll dedicate to their hapless team. The media goes even crazier. NFL Network and ESPN each have schedule release shows that last two hours or more.
This brings me to the local NFL franchise. The Houston Texans are a team that could've been in the AFC title game last season. With the recent roster moves, they could also be headed for disaster. This team is at a very volatile point. It's almost as if they could boom or bust. While their schedule has some heavy hitters to start off with, it ends on a much lighter note. Let's take a look at the potential varied outcomes:
The Texans have a decent amount of talent on both sides of the ball. Sometimes, things align and a team clicks on all cylinders. If that happens with this team, I could see a 13-3 or 12-4 season, Deshaun Watson winning league MVP, J.J. Watt returning to DPOY form (finishing 3rd for the award), and Bill O'Brien winning coach of the year. Unfortunately, the fairy tale comes to an end courtesy of a questionable Lonnie Johnson pass interference penalty (which isn't reviewed) that puts the Seahawks in position to win Super Bowl 55 via a game winning field goal. Watson proves he's worth every penny of the 5yr/$185 million-dollar extension he signed prior to the season starting.
Whenever you make bad investments involving your future, it eventually comes back to haunt you. Armed with tons of cap space, poor draft capital, and an abundance of overpaid and/or undeserving contracts, the Texans fall into a pit of despair. After starting the season 1-7, Cal McNair is forced to give O'Brien the dreaded "vote of confidence" during the team's bye week. With the team 2-12 entering their week 16 game against the Bengals and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, McNair announces Bill O'Brien won't be back next season. The salt in the wound: the Dolphins use the Texans' picks to fortify their team around Tua Tagovailoa. When it's all said and done, the Laremy Tunsil deal catapults the Dolphins to greatness and is known as the millennial version of the Herschel Walker deal.
There won't be a 13-3 or 2-14 season. In fact, the Texans will most likely go 9-7, end up in one of the lower playoff seeds, and lose a road game on Wildcard Saturday. O'Brien will keep his job for another season. He unexpectedly "retires" due to health concerns following the 2021 season. The McNairs bring back Rick Smith as a consultant to advise them on navigating their next moves. He gets them to hire Eric Bienemy as head coach, Martin Mayhew as GM, and stays on as special adviser to the owner.
What I Really Think
I'm not saying any of this will or won't happen. These were simply my thoughts on either side of the spectrum, with my true feelings at the end. Gun to my head, they'll go somewhere between 10-6 and 7-9. I'd rather them make the playoffs given that they don't own their high draft picks. O'Brien isn't going anywhere any time soon, so people might as well root for him to succeed. I'd like to see him succeed long enough until he can be replaced and a new regime comes in with a full complement of draft picks. Until the ball is on the kicking tee, all we can do is speculate and opine. Here's mine. What's yours?
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