Connect with us

Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Ranking all four quarterbacks in the AFC South

Charley Gutierrez

Published

on

Houston Texans

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson | Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans fans — the AFC South has risen to one of the most competitive and talent-stacked divisions in the NFL.  With that being said, how should their quarterbacks be ranked?  Let’s take a deep dive into the talented guys under center.

The best teams in NFL all have one thing in common. When you look at the teams who consistently make the playoffs, they are all lead by great quarterbacks.

The AFC South quickly went from one of the worst divisions in the NFL to one of the best because of the emergence of their quarterbacks. In 2018, two out of the four teams in the AFC South made the divisional round of the playoffs. The emergence of young talent paired with strong defensive play also led to the rise of the AFC South.

So while we’re talking about the quarterback position, let’s rank the best (from bottom to top) in this division.  Do you agree?

Houston Texans fans — here we go.


Houston Texans

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Blake Bortles

When ranking these quarterbacks from worst to best, placing Blake Bortles at this position made the most sense. During Bortles’ sophomore peak in 2015, he threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns with an 88.2 passer rating. In what seemed to foreshadow future years of success for the young quarterback, turned out to be a fluke.

Last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars transitioned into a rushing offense with the addition of standout rookie Leonard Fournette. Bortles’ throwing attempts went from 625 in 2016 to 523 attempts in 2017. The Jaguars changed Bortles role into a game-manager allowing him to play inside the strengths of the offense as he only threw for 21 touchdowns.

However, this constricting passing offense did prove to work as the Jaguars made the AFC Championship game against Patriots. When the Jaguars needed him the most, Bortles could not find it within himself to make that extra play to hold off the Patriots. Blake’s ceiling is making safe throws and easy reads while playing behind a solid running back and a tenacious defense.  This did prove fruitful enough for the team’s success against the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans are scheduled to face the Jaguars for the first time during Week 7 on the road which will take place Oct. 21.


Houston Texans

Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

3. Marcus Mariota

Honestly, these next three quarterbacks competing against the Houston Texans could have flip-flopped for a variety of different reasons. Placing Mariota at third best quarterback in this division doesn’t seem right until you look at his regression from the 2016 season. In 2016, Marcus looked ready to ascend as a franchise quarterback. During his 2016 campaign Mariota recorded an impressive 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions and made a late season playoff run only to come up short. In 2017, Mariota threw for a very lackluster 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Throughout his three seasons in the NFL, he has lacked the consistency that would place him higher on this list. This unpredictable nature surrounding Mariota can be attributed to injuries and coaching. Mariota dealt with hamstring and knee trouble in 2017, while he fractured his fibula towards the end of the previous season.

The offense designed by Mike Mularkey was not tailored for Mariota’s style of play as he is a talented play maker when he is able to have the ball in his hands. The Titans did part ways with Mularkey last season but unexpectedly hired a defensive-minded coach in former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. We will see how that turns out for Mariota’s development.

The Houston Texans are scheduled to face the Titans for the first time during Week 2 on the road which will take place Sep. 16.


Houston Texans

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

2. Deshaun Watson

This seems like an odd spot to place Deshaun Watson as he only started in six of the 16 regular season games last year for the Houston Texans. However, he is placed this high on the list because of the statistics from his brief rookie campaign. Watson was electric in 2017 as he threw for 19 touchdowns and had a 103 passer rating. Watson makes difficult plays look easy with his sleekness and arm strength.

When Watson was the starter, the Houston Texans led the league in scoring by averaging about 30 points per game. This is all thanks to the scheme written up by head coach Bill O’Brien. The offense was tailored to Watson’s strengths by running zone reads, play fakes and quick routes to help his offense advance the ball down the field. Watson has the charisma, play making ability and work ethic to become a future MVP of the NFL.

However, he does have some health issues looming over his head. Watson’s rookie season with the Houston Texans ended with his second ACL tear in four years. Both knees have been surgically repaired and these injuries are obviously severe enough to where it could affect his unique playing style in the future.

Another unknown is how will he perform when defenses have tape on him and teams will be able to scheme for his dynamic style of play. If Watson can return to the Houston Texans in the form he was in during the 2017 season, he will be at the top of this list. The fate of the Houston Texans’ season rests on No. 4.


Houston Texans

Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

1. Andrew Luck

Serious injuries have plagued Andrew Luck‘s six-year career in the NFL. Luck has not thrown a single pass in an NFL game since the last week of the 2016 season. He has also not played a full 16-game season since 2014. Based on his body of work, it does not feel right to put any other quarterback in this division higher than Luck. Luck is a generational quarterback that can do virtually anything on the football field. The last serving sample NFL fans had of Luck in 2016 was nothing short of spectacular.

Luck was able to carry a poor Colts team to an 8-8 record. In the 2016 season, Luck threw for 4,240 yards while throwing for an exceptional 31 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. The most impressive statistic of that year is that he had an outstanding 96.4 QBR while being protected by a questionable offensive line.

In 2014, he led a mediocre Colts’ team to an AFC title game where he threw for 40 touchdowns in a single season. Luck is an accurate passer that can make any throw on the field. For a pocket passer, he also has sneaky athleticism.

The big question is, will Luck be the same quarterback he once was? It looks like Luck will be the starting quarterback come Week 1 as he has recently started throwing. Expect Luck to remain at the top of the best quarterbacks in the NFL if proven to be healthy.

The Houston Texans are scheduled to face the Colts on the road during Week 4 which will take place Sep. 28.

Well that’s my stand, what’s yours?  Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.

Houston Texans, Houston Texans, Houston Texans, Houston Texans, Houston Texans…we’ve got you covered!

Interested in writing for Locked on Texans?  Reach out to us on Twitter @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or e-mail us at [email protected]!

Charley is a recent mass media arts graduate at Houston Baptist University. He enjoys learning about all sports but basketball and football have his heart.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Houston Texans

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

Brian K. Patterson

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Houston Texans

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

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

Published

on

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]

Continue Reading

Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses

Brian K. Patterson

Published

on

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

 

Continue Reading

Houston Texans

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

Brian K. Patterson

Published

on

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

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending