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Are Texans Poised to Become Legit Super Bowl Pick?

The Houston Texans have won the early portions of the NFL offseason. Houston traded for a Pro Bowl receiver in Stefon Diggs and a productive running back in Joe Mixon. That’s just the tip of it as... Read Now
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Houston Texans Stats, Odds, Standings, Schedule, 2023 NFL Season

Houston Texans Last Season’s Performance

The Texans’ 2022-23 season was another disappointment. They nearly secured the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft if it weren’t for their season-finale win against Indianapolis.

Houston started the year 1-10-1 and was the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention for the third straight season, and its nine-game losing streak in the middle of the campaign was its worst since 2013. The Texans finished the season last in the AFC South with a 3-13-1 record, failing to win a home game, going 0-7-1 on their turf.

Houston Texans Key Additions

After missing the playoffs for the third straight time, Houston made a lot of changes in the offseason, adding in both free agency and the NFL Draft.

On offense, wide receiver Robert Woods and tight end Dalton Schultz were the two most notable signings. Woods led Tennessee with 527 receiving yards and two touchdowns last season, while Schultz was the No. 2 receiving option for Dallas with 577 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Devin Singletary will also provide a boost after rushing for 819 yards and five touchdowns in 2022.

Houston added to its defense as well, with safety Jimmie Ward and linebacker Denzel Perryman being key signings. The two combined for 92 solo tackles and five interceptions last season, with Perryman also tacking on a sack last year.

The Texans also had a big draft with two of the top three picks, selecting quarterback CJ Stroud and defensive end Will Anderson Jr. Both should play key roles in the franchise’s success in 2023 and beyond.

Houston Texans Key Subtractions

Just as Houston added plenty in the offseason, it moved on from several players as well.

The two most notable losses came in the receiving room as Houston decided to move on from wide receiver Brandin Cooks and tight end Jordan Akins, two of their top three leading receiving options last season. Cooks led Houston with 699 yards and three touchdowns and Akins added 495 yards and five touchdowns.

The Texans also suffered losses on defense, passing on defensive ends Ogbo Okoronkwo and Rasheem Green and safety Jonathan Owens. Okoronkwo and Green were second and third on the team in sacks last season, combining for 8.5, while Owens’ 125 total tackles ranked second.

Houston Texans Head Coach Analysis

After one season under Lovie Smith, the Texans are now starting over with DeMeco Ryans.

Ryans was first drafted by Houston in 2006, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year for his play as a linebacker. After spending six seasons as a player for the Texans, Ryans will now hope to turn their fortunes around as a coach.

Ryans joined San Francisco as a coaching assistant in 2017, eventually working his way up to defensive coordinator in 2021. Ryans led the 49ers to a top-three defensive unit in his two seasons as coordinator, with San Francisco finishing first in total defense and points allowed per game last season.

Houston Texans Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season

The Texans went through a few injuries in the 2022-23 season, and it appears they’ll be starting 2023-24 with some as well.

Offensive tackle Charlie Heck, tight end Teagan Quitoriano and defensive end Chase Winovich are all on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Meanwhile, tight ends Brevin Jordan and Dalton Schultz and fullback Troy Hairston are all questionable for Week 1.

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Houston Texans Offense

The Texans had one of the worst offenses in the league for the second straight season, ranking second-worst in total yards and scoring. Houston averaged 283.5 total yards and 17 points a game last season.

Though Houston’s passing offense left plenty of room for improvement – finishing in the bottom 10 – its rushing offense was even worse, as it was also second-worst in the league, averaging 86.8 rushing yards a game.

With a revamped offense led by new offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, the team should see some improvement. However, learning a new offense also takes time, and with a rookie quarterback as the potential starter, it will likely take longer than one offseason to see the turnaround.

Houston Texans Defense

Houston’s defense struggled almost as much as its offense last season. The Texans’ 379.5 total yards was the third-worst in the league, while their 24.7 points allowed was sixth-worst.

One positive to take away was Houston’s play against the pass, ranked in the top 10, allowing 209.3 passing yards. The Texans also allowed fewer passing touchdowns (15) than they had interceptions (16).

However, while their pass defense was solid, the Texans struggled against the run, finishing last in the NFL, allowing 170.2 rushing yards a game and 5.1 yards per rush.

New defensive coordinator Matt Burke and defensive mind Ryans should help improve the defense in 2023-24, while the additions to the unit should aid in that development as well.

Houston Texans Special Teams

Ka’imi Fairbairn was Houston’s kicker in 2022, and after finishing 29-for-31 in field goals and 24-for-24 on extra points, he is expected to get the job again in 2023.

Cameron Johnston had another solid season as the Texans’ punter, averaging 48.1 yards, and he should start in 2023 as well.

Houston will have to find a new kick returner after cornerback Tremon Smith, who took most of the snaps, left for Denver. Cornerback Desmond King is expected to take the punt returns again in 2023 after being the primary returner in 2022.

Houston Texans Prediction for the 2023 Season

The Texans had their fair share of disappointing seasons recently, and they are looking to start fresh in 2023 with a new coaching staff and an updated roster.

Although the postseason still appears out of reach, with NFL predictions believing Houston to finish last in the AFC South again, the Texans should still be much improved from last season. After winning just three games last year, Houston has the third-easiest strength of schedule, and with its improvements, NFL expert picks predict the Texans will double it, which doesn’t seem unlikely.

Houston Texans Final Thoughts

The Texans are another team continuing their rebuild, with a new coaching staff and rookie quarterback headlining that change.

Houston will continue to build on its rookie class from last season. But with the offense and defense learning a new system, that continued improvement may be slow. However, the additions to the roster and hiring of Ryans should be promising for the future.

Houston Texans FAQs

Will CJ Stroud triumph as Houston’s franchise QB?

It is still too early to tell how Stroud will do in the regular season, but Ryans has been impressed with Stroud in camp so far. NFL picks give Stroud the fourth-best odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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How will DeMeco Ryans’ first season as head coach go?

Ryans had success as a defensive coordinator and should bring some defensive strength to Houston, though an immediate turnaround is unlikely for a team in the midst of a rebuild.

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Have the Texans won a Super Bowl?

The Texans have never won a Super Bowl, never reaching the championship final.

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What are the odds of the Houston Texans making it to the playoffs?

The Texans aren’t favored to make it to the playoffs in 2023-24, with NFL odds giving them a -700 price to miss the postseason.

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