5 things to watch for this Texans’ season
September 11, 2015
The Quarterback Situation- Talking about the quarterback position might as well be an obligation at this point for Texans fans, so let’s get to it. Out of 22 quarterbacks who played 75% or more of their team’s snaps last season, Brian Hoyer ranked 20th with an overall PFF grade of -18.8, which is abysmal. To be brief, he was incompetent last year. He doesn’t have any outstanding physical gifts, and he turns the ball over far too much to be considered a “game manager”. There are a lot of negatives with Hoyer, but there are still some positive aspects. Hoyer has experience with this system as Tom Brady’s back up in New England and Bill O’Brien is widely regarded as a quarterback guru. If Hoyer can manage to be the 15th best quarterback in football this season, that should be enough to take the Texans to the playoffs. If he fails miserably like he has in the past, Mallett is waiting in the wings, but if Mallett comes in, it’s likely because the season is a lost cause or Hoyer was injured, neither of which are something to root for.
JJ Watt- He’s the best defensive player in football without question. According to Pro Football Focus, last year JJ’s overall grade was a 107.5. The next best player, Sheldon Richardson, had a 39.9. JJ’s level of dominance is ridiculous and as unfathomable as it may seem, he could be poised to improve upon last year’s numbers. This year he will be playing with the best nose guard that he has ever played with in Vince Wilfork, and should have a healthy Jadeveon Clowney rushing the passer. Look out.
The Defense- With Brian Hoyer starting at QB and Arian Foster set to miss the first 4 weeks at the minimum, the defense needs to be dominant to keep this team afloat in the playoff race. They have one of the best front sevens in football and a deep group of corners, including the addition of talented first round pick Kevin Johnson. Strong Safety could be a hole, but no defense has eleven all pros. With another year under Romeo Crennel, look for this to be one of the best defenses in football.
DeAndre Hopkins- Now that Andre Johnson has moved on to Indianapolis, Hopkins becomes the number one receiver, a role he is more than capable of filling. He is excellent in jump ball scenarios and has flashed big play ability in open space. He’ll draw the top opposing corner every week and the passing game depends on him. He’s key to any offensive success through the air that this team will have.
Arian Foster- I would argue that Foster is as valuable to the offense as Watt is to the defense. Take either off of their unit for the season, and the year is a lost cause. Foster is one of the best backs in the league. His vision and fluidity is unmatched. He is the total package and can play all three downs. He’s had trouble with soft tissue injuries throughout his career and this year he will start out missing at least the first 4 weeks after having groin surgery. If Foster comes back for week 5 vs the Colts and can stay healthy the rest of the year, the offense could be decent. If he misses significant time, they’ll have trouble putting points on the board, and winning games.