The Houston Texans are on the verge of securing a first-round bye in the playoffs for the first time in history. Will they be able to do it? Take a look at what it will take for that to happen.
The Houston Texans are currently 9-3 and are one win away from securing their first AFC South title since 2016. Their nine-game winning streak is the best mark reached in NFL history after starting 0-3 and are the league’s hottest team.
Currently, the Houston Texans hold the third seed in the AFC as the tie-breaker goes to the New England Patriots because of their 27-20 season-opening loss in Foxborough, Mass. The Kansas City Chiefs have the best record in the AFC at 10-2 but they are not guaranteed a playoff spot even if they win this Sunday. The Los Angeles Chargers have the same record as the Texans but are in the first wild card spot as they trail the Chiefs by one game in the AFC West.
All four teams are fighting for the coveted first-round bye but the Texans might have the easiest path to securing a top-two seed. Their hardest opponent on the remaining schedule is next week against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field but the Eagles have been inconsistent this year and will be coming off a hard-fought game against the Dallas Cowboys.
A road matchup against the defending Super Bowl champions is always a tough game but the Texans have been firing on all cylinders since losing to the Giants in Week 3. The Eagles’ secondary has been banged-up all season and they will struggle to contain one of the league’s top receiver duos in DeAndre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas.
The Texans have home games against the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars but they have combined to win three games away from and could continue their road struggles against one of the league’s best home crowds. A road game against the New York Jets in Week 15 could be troublesome but the Texans should be AFC South champions at that time and the Jets have struggled mightily this season.
With their remaining schedule, the Texans have a legitimate shot of ending the 2018 season at 13-3, a record that puts them in contention for a first-round bye. The Chiefs are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NFL but they play three consecutive games against potential playoff teams, including a Sunday Night Football matchup against the Seahawks in Seattle.
The Patriots are always a good bet to end the season strong but road games against the Dolphins and Steelers will be challenging. The Chargers might have the most difficult schedule of them all as they have a pair of division road games, including a Thursday Night matchup with the Chiefs and a home game against the red-hot Baltimore Ravens remaining on the schedule.
With all of the tough games that some of the AFC contenders have to go through, the Texans will find themselves in a favorable position. They will secure that first-round bye, a mark that has never been made by the franchise.
What do you think? Feel free to sound of in the comments section below.
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Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans
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.
Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season
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.
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]
Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses
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!
Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs
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!