AFC South

Houston Texans: 2018 Season expectations

Texans camp begins for the 2018 Season

With the 2018 NFL season around the corner, Texans camp is full of buzz with players returning from injuries.

While the Texans have been planning for big things, expectations have taken a dip in recent times. However, there is growing optimism among the Texans organization. Houston, you have players returning from injuries and new guys to integrate.

QB Deshaun Watson is coming back from torn ACL just nine months ago and has looked pretty good so far. He talked about the learning process and how he studies the game and players to continue to improve. Head coach, Bill O’Brien has made the necessary adjustments to the offense to complement Watson’s mobility. He still needs to work on his decision making that could have resulted in more than his eight interceptions last year.

He has Deandre Hopkins as his #1 receiver and they continue to get more comfortable with each other. With the speed of Will Fuller and rookie Keke Coutee, defenses will not be able to babysit Hopkins which will open up the field for Watson. If these receivers can get in sync with each other, they can make Watson’s life much easier. Running back Lamar Miller will be counted on to take pressure off of his quarterback by keeping defenses honest against the run.

The offensive line is the big question mark for this team. Julie’n Davenport is at left tackle and he is an inexperienced lineman that needs a lot of work. There will a decision to make as to who plays at right tackle between Seantrel Henderson and Kendall Lamm. The issue here is that both of these guys are your typical NFL starter material. So, getting the right mix of guys here are going to be essential for Watson to be able to hit his receives going downfield.

Among the new acquisitions is star safety Tyrann Mathieu. “The Honey Badger” comes off a season where injuries ravaged much of his 2017 season. However, he gets a new start in Houston and he is a huge talent the defense really needs. As a matter of fact, the Texans have needed help at the safety position for years. Since losing guys like Andre Hal, the Texans secondary has been ordinary, quite frankly.

Jonathan Joseph remains in the secondary, along with Kareem Jackson. In fact, the defense as a whole has players returning. Among them, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus come back from Week 5 injuries. While that’s good news, there are also holes to fill. Brian Cushing is the biggest hole left behind. The defensive unit was really weak last year allowing 29 point per game which was last in the league. The one question mark on this defense continues to be Jadeveon Clowney. He is playing on the last year of his rookie contract and must really show out if he hopes to get that big payday next year.

Expect high expectations in Houston. After all, Bob McNair and Co. have been longing for a championship. The team has yet to reach a conference championship. That could change, but that’ll depend on health.

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