What the next few games will say about the Texans moving forward
The Texans got their first win of the season over the Jags. The 30-14 win showed us a few things about this team. Fred Faour wrote his five observations right after the game. With Bill O'Brien being fired, I wrote about Romeo Crennel and his staff's job coaching. Ken Hoffman even graced us with his presence when he wrote about J.J. Watt's influence on O'Brien's firing.
Needless to say, this team looks a lot different in this one game than what they have in the previous four games. Could it be addition by subtraction? Is the monkey of O'Brien's iron fist off the collective backs of the players he once lorded over? Or, could it be that this team is destined for mediocrity no matter what due to poor ownership and management?
These next 6 games mean everything for the Texans
The next six games against the Titans (3-0), Packers (4-0), Jags (1-4), Browns (4-1), Patriots (2-2), and Lions (1-3) are very important. These games will be a window to what will become of this franchise moving forward. Being in search of a new head coach and general manager with the roster in flux, draft picks scarce, and cap space taken up on ridiculous extensions makes things harder on whoever they hire to follow Butt Chin. But what about the immediate future? What's in store for this franchise in the next few weeks?
For starters, they play the AFC South division leading Titans. Whether the Titans' game is played Tuesday, canceled, or postponed because of positive COVID tests, they'll be at a disadvantage come this Sunday. As bad as the Texans defense has been, the Titans defense has been just as bad, if not worse statistically. They average giving up more yards per game (434.7 vs 403) than the Texans despite being a power run, ball control first offense.
The Packers are a different animal and present a different set of issues. It'll be a home game for the Texans, but will it have any effect on Aaron Rodgers? The Packers are putting up 38 points per game and 454.3 yards per game while giving up 25.3 points a game on 374.8 yards. It'll be a challenge on both sides of the ball. This could be a statement game for Deshaun Watson if he's able to outduel one of the best quarterbacks and a surefire Hall Of Famer in Aaron Rodgers.
Another matchup against the Jags should yield similar results as the first as long as the Texans don't take them lightly. If they lose to the Packers, which is highly likely, this would be the perfect get right game. They should be either 3-5 or 4-4 after this game. After eight games played and starting 0-4, to 3-5 or 4-4 would be remarkable. If they're 2-6, it wouldn't be as good, but would symbolize a 2-2 record post-O'Brien, so there's something to build off there.
The post-O'Brien era has to be symbolized by progress. There's only so much they can do with the roster to reshape and evolve. Positive change has to come from what's already on Kirby right now and what'll be there moving forward. It'll take some time to put this franchise in position to succeed for the foreseeable future. Once they're in a position to get out of O'Brien Hell, Watson will be eligible for another big money deal. Remaining relevant is a key to keeping Watson. The fact that he will be a key factor in their next head coach and general manager search is understandable. He's their franchise quarterback. The true franchise guys only come around so often. When you get one, you do whatever you can to surround him with pieces to make him successful. If these next few games go their way, we could be looking at a new Texans squad and the emergence of Watson as a top five quarterback in the league. Be patient Texans fans. I feel the best is yet to come!