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Houston Texans: What it will take to chase down the AFC No. 1 seed

Nathan Jones

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The Houston Texans have an excellent shot to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC if the chips fall in the right place. What will it take? It’s time to discuss what fortune could befall on this team in the final weeks of the season.

The Houston Texans are looking for their 10th straight win against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon. A win continues the franchise record of consecutive wins but it also puts the Houston Texans in an interesting position for the playoffs.

Because the national media talks nonstop about the Kansas City Chiefs, often forgetting the red-hot Texans, the country could be in for a surprise down the stretch. This is the current playoff picture for the AFC in the graphic to the right, per ESPN.

Houston Texans

Houston Texans current playoff picture. Mandatory Credit: ESPN

As of now, the Texans hold the 3rd seed in the playoffs but they are only one game behind the Chiefs. So, it is possible the Texans can claim a first-round bye but they will need help from other teams.

The Texans will face the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars to end the season. These are definitely winnable games. For the sake of argument, let’s assume the Texans win out, putting them at a record of 13-3. The Chiefs have a very different looking schedule: Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and Oakland Raiders.

Besides the last week against the Raiders, the Chiefs have a pretty difficult schedule. So, we will say the Chiefs lose at least one of those games. If this were to happen, Texans would have a 73 percent chance to gain a first-round bye, per FiveThirtyEight. I know this sounds like a fantasy, but actually this scenario is not a far fetched day-dream! It could happen!

All it takes is the Texans to win out and the Chiefs lose one game, and the Texans very well might have a first-round bye AND home field advantage.

I leave with an address to all Texans fans: take a moment and reflect how far this team has come. Going into week four, many thought this team would not amount to anything. Yes, the team is not perfect. But, look how dominant this team is this season, setting a strong precedent for what’s in store.  They have a young quarterback, destined to be our franchise QB, a defensive line that gives fits to any offense, a wide receiver that may just be the best in the league and a young safety coming into his own right in front of our eyes.

It is time to start praising the coaches and players who turned this team around. This team deserves respect from the rest of the league and its fan base.  Winning in the NFL is hard. For the players, it makes no sense to become complacent but for the fans it is all right to stop and smell the roses just a little bit.

I’m a student at Texas A&M University, Class of 2022. I am a statistics major who enjoys talking about football as well as backpacking and hiking. I've come to like the Texans out of a pure respect for the franchise. The fan base is strong and players like J.J. Watt inspire me daily. Do not test my Madden NFL skills. Follow me on Twitter @natn03

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Brian K. Patterson

Brian and Robert say goodbye to Locked on Texans.  After 540 episodes, we bid a tearful farewell to Houston Texans faithful, reminisce about our tenure and share some final thoughts on the Houston Texans future.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans off season is here and there’s a lot of work to do to prep this team for 2019. Who are the top free agents that the team should go after? Let’s take a look at the players who would make an impact.

The Houston Texans were one of the NFL’s better success stories this season after starting the season 0-3. J.J. Watt returned as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players, while free agent signee Tyrann Mathieu was a playmaker at the safety position. Third-round pick Justin Reid was one of the league’s best rookies and a starter in the Texans’ secondary for years to come.

DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson maintained their solid connection from last year as the former was named to his second consecutive first team All-Pro. Despite being sacked a league high 62 times, Watson passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Texans to a 11-5 record and the AFC South division title. Lamar Miller was only 27 yards from his third 1,000+ yard season, despite missing two games because of injuries.

While the offense did put up strong numbers, the offensive line was a liability throughout the season as Watson was constantly under pressure, while Miller and the rest of the Texan running backs had few running lanes. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson was signed to fix those problems but he broke his ankle in the season opener and did not play for the rest of the season. He is a free agent now and so is Kendall Lamm, the man who replaced Henderson on the offensive line.

Julie’n Davenport struggled at left tackle and Martinas Rankin has not shown enough to yet to be a contributor on the offensive line. While Jadeveon Clowney and Mathieu are both free agents who need to be brought back, improving the offensive line is the team’s biggest priority in the off season. The Texans need to address the offensive line in both free agency and the draft as the unit struggled to protect Watson.

In regard to bringing in help via free agency, Daryl Williams missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury but he was a second team All-Pro in 2017 and is the top tackle available.

His value might not as high because of the shoulder injury but Williams is one of the league’s better tackles and the Texans need to get him in free agency to bolster their offensive line. Williams is a mauler that should help create running lanes for Miller, while keeping Watson upright in the pocket. If the Texans are unable to sign him, Ja’Wuan James and Roger Saffold are the next best offensive linemen available in free agency and both players should be targeted by the Texans.

An upgrade in the secondary is also needed as Shareece Wright struggled in coverage, while Kayvon Webster and Aaron Colvin battled to stay healthy. Kareem Jackson had a great year for the Texans but is another Texans’ free agent that has to be re-signed.

Ronald Darby and Lamarcus Joyner are the best players available in free agency that can cover receivers in the slot and both players should be targeted by Bill O’Brien.

The Texans need to address their own free agents first as Clowney, Mathieu and Jackson were all vital parts to the team’s success in 2018.

What do you think?  Feel free to comment in the section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What are the Houston Texans biggest weaknesses going into the 2019 off season?  Rob and Brian bring on State of the Texans’ BigRon to discuss what needs to be done to fix a team that has tons of potential to be dominant.  What’s the best way to improve the offensive line?  Is Julién Davenport still worth developing and what should we expect to see in additional development?

How about the thought of shifting Greg Mancz to center and Nick Martin to guard?  The trio also discusses the future of Whitney Mercilus on the roster as well as certain defensive lineman not getting enough playing time.  What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the best way for the Houston Texans to fix the running backs position for the 2019 season?  They certainly can do better than bringing back Alfred Blue.  Rob and Brian talk about what the team needs to do and gives their top free agent running backs to help this offense flourish.  Is bringing in Le’Veon Bell a possibility?  Can the Houston Texans get the back they want in this season’s draft?

The duo discusses that plus gives their thoughts of Indianapolis Colts’ firing offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and the interesting back story that likely factored into the move.  Plus, Gary Kubiak finds a new job in the NFL.   What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

 

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