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Houston Texans: Week 5: Where the team should rank in AFC South

Brandon Gimpel

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The Houston Texans have a unique battle on their hands in a ultra-competitive division this season. Where should they rank? Let’s take a look at how this team is stacked against the proverbial deck. Do you agree?

Houston Texans fans — we are officially a quarter of the way through the 2018 regular season so we have a good enough sample size to rank the AFC South teams. The division is a lot more exciting this season than it has been in previous years and it has taken some unexpected turns that took me by surprise. The Tennessee Titans, for example, are way better than I thought they would be this year.  Blake Bortles looks like an entirely new quarterback, Marlon Mack, the Indianapolis Colts’ breakout running back of last season, has been nonexistent. And the Houston Texans have been much sloppier, yet scrappier than I expected.

These are my AFC South power rankings through Week 4:

#4) Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck just does not have any weapons outside of T.Y. Hilton and I believe they have the worst coaching staff in the division. If you do not believe me, watch the end of their week 4 matchup against the Houston Texans. They also have absolutely zero running game.  Mack has been dealing with an aggravated hamstring since the preseason but their back up running backs are not getting very many touches.

#3) Houston Texans

I believe the Houston Texans will build off of their Week 4 win against the Colts. They have, to this point, avoided serious injuries and their offense seems to click a little more each week. The main reason I put the Houston Texans at the No. 3 spot is because of their slow start. They started the season 0-3 and in Week 1, Deshaun Watson was noticeably rusty, after missing much of last season because of injury.

Since Week 1, Watson has thrown for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns in each game. The Houston Texans’ remaining season schedule is something to be optimistic about as well. They still play Buffalo, Miami, Cleveland, Indianapolis and the New York Jets. All of these games should go down in the win column. Their other games may not be sure wins but with how this team is playing, they will all be dog fights.

#2) Tennessee Titans

The Titans have thoroughly shocked me through the first month of the season. They have a first year head coach in Mike Vrabel, have dealt with many major injuries and had a tough game schedule through the first four games and came out of September with a 3-1 record. Their only loss was against the Dolphins in their Week 1 matchup which was delayed for what seemed like forever and no team will look their best in their first game of the season. Since then, they’ve beaten the Super Bowl defending champion Philadelphia Eagles, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans. They play very tough, grind it out football and they have not given up more than 23 points in a game this season.

#1) Jacksonville Jaguars

It is fair to say that the Jags’ defense last season was no fluke. They are the real deal. They currently rank No. 1 in total defense and rank first in scoring defense.  Bortles is playing very well right now and their receiving core is better than people gave them credit for. Keenan Cole is a legitimate threat and Dede Westbrook is a good possession receiver.

I do have concerns about the Jaguars moving forward. I do not believe that Bortles will continue his level of play. He has never been considered a top 10 quarterback but that is exactly what he looks like at this point in the season. Another concern I have is Leonard Fournette‘s health. Fournette has missed two of their first four games and has been ruled out for Week 5 with a lingering hamstring injury. He only has 20 carries this season and just does not have the same impact as he did last year. With his absence, T.J. Yeldon has shined but has also got dinged up with an ankle injury. These two players are vital to the success of the Jaguars’ offense, especially when the playoffs start.

Do you agree with my assertions? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.

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

 

 

My name is Brandon Gimpel I’m a student at Florida State University. After I graduate from school, I plan on pursuing a career in sports journalism. When I'm not in Tallahassee for school, I live in south Florida where I grew up. I've played football for 12 years and have coached for 3 years and with my experience around the game, I have some perspective that may differ from other writers. I’m an avid follower of the NFL but I'm also a fan of college football and the NBA. Outside sports I enjoy fishing, going to the gym, and golfing. Follow me on Twitter @BrandonGimpel

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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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