Houston Texans 2019 Season Preview

Russell S. Baxter

Houston Texans 2019 Season Preview

By Derek Brown

Special to Pro Football Guru

Last year, the Houston Texans won their division with an 11-5 record. Bill O’Brien’s club set a franchise-record for consecutive wins (9) after starting the season with three straight losses. Off a successful year and combined with the fact that the franchise had a large amount of cap space heading into free agency. But the club was fairly quiet when it came to offseason additions. Add in the fact that general manager Brian Gaine was dismissed in early June and there remains a lot of questions. So what can we really expect from this year’s Texans?

Offense: Quarterback Deshaun Watson took leaps last year. He connected on 68.3 percent of his throws for 4,165 yards and 26 scores (9 interceptions). He ran for 551 yards and five touchdowns. All told, 115 of his 345 completions went to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. But he was also sacked a league-high 62 times as the offensive line remains an issue. The club added free-agent tackle Matt Kalil and drafted tackles Tytus Howard and Max Scharping in the first and second rounds, respectively. Two players to keep an eye on this year are wideouts Vyncint Smith and Steven Mitchell Jr. Running back Lamar Miller keys the ground attack but the recent trade for sure-handed Duke Johnson helps Watson in many ways.

Defense: This unit had questions of its own entering this offseason. One big need was improvement in the secondary. The team hopes that last year’s big free-agent pickup, cornerback Aaron Colvin, stays healthy this year. One player to watch this year will be second-round cornerback Lonnie Johnson (Kentucky). He brings a hard-hitting style to a team that needed to be more physical at that position. The real strength of this defense has been a front-seven featuring J.J. Watt, Benardrick McKinney and Jadeveon Clowney. And if the secondary can show the improvements that the team expects with Johnson and the addition of Bradley Roby, the defense could be on its way back to a Top 10 showing.

Special Teams: Placekicker Kick Ka'imi Fairbairn has been perfect this preseason. A year ago, he accounted for 150 of the team’s 402 points, connecting on 37-of-42 field goal attempts. Meanwhile, punter Trevor Daniel averaged 43.7 yards per kick and put more than half (36) of his 74 boots inside-the-20. But the Texans could use more big plays on returns.

Prediction: If the Texans could make a trade for disgruntled Redskins left tackle Trent Williams or Cowboys’ offensive lineman La’el Collins, the team could become a real threat in the AFC. With the new players and the weaknesses of the offensive line, Houston will take a step back this year. The question is how far back. Look for them to be dethroned as AFC South champions but still reach the postseason.

Win-Loss Record: 9-7 (2nd Place, AFC South, reach Divisional Playoffs)

Derek Brown (@dbrownmc2) is a guest columnist for ProFootballGuru.com and is an administrator for Football Talk.........Seriously!! as well as various other Houston Texans pages.

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