THE BRIGHT SIDE

Why the Texans are still exciting

Tyrann Mathieu is in a contract year. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I know you saw that dumpster fire that was a Texans game last week and decided to swear off watching them for the rest of the season. I also know you’re lying. You’ll watch, you can’t help yourself. Despite better uses for your time, you will park yourself in front of a TV for the weekly punishment you receive as a Texans fan. But it doesn’t have to be all bad. There are some aspects of this team that can be exciting if you focus only on them and ignore everything else, namely the score.

Obviously, expectations for the season were high because the offense that averaged 35 points a game with Deshaun Watson under center in 2017 was going to pick up right where it left off. That didn’t happen but if you take a very narrow focus you see they’re not that far off. Deshaun Watson is on pace for more than 25 touchdowns, 4,500 yards passing, and 600 yards rushing.

He is getting it done by connecting with his two great receivers, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. As a 1-2 receiver combination they are on their way to some pretty good statistics for the season. Hopkins' numbers after three games project that he could have over 1,400 yards receiving and 100 receptions. Fuller is on track for double digit touchdowns and more than 1,100 yards as well. That is offensive output a fan can be proud of. As long you ignore the sacks, bad throws, bad play calling and lack of scoring.

If you think there’s no way those numbers hold up over a full season, guess again. The defense for Houston appears to be as bad as it was last year. That means there will be a lot of games in which the Texans offense will have to forge a comeback. That means a lot of passing. I know it means Lamar Miller will continue his current path to a sub 1,000 yard season, but he’s not as exciting as an aerial attack. It’s easy to ignore him.

I know I said the defense is bad but there are still exciting players to watch. J.J. Watt is the hometown hero making his triumphant return to the gridiron and he looks like he is finding his form with three sacks after three games. That means he is on pace for 16 sacks this year. That’s not bad for a guy coming off injury and he could be the comeback player of the year. After all, he has to win all the awards, right?

Let’s not forget GM Brian Gaine’s big free agent signing Tyrann Mathieu. He came to Houston on a one year, prove-it deal. Essentially, this is a contract year for him and we all know how fun it is to watch players in a contract year go all out. The rest of this season will be his audition for the new team he signs with next year. He’ll make some big hits, cause some turnovers, and generally be fun to watch. If you ignore how terrible the rest of Houston’s secondary is then you have no worries. You can assume that because Mathieu plays great, all is well.

Ignorance is bliss, right? If you’re going to watch the Texans this year—and you know you will—then putting on blinders is the only way to go. Big time stats by big time stars can help you forget the misery of the rest of the team and the scoreboard.

 

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