I think of whether or not a season is a success in a dichotomous way. The only purpose of the regular season is to make the playoffs. If a team does, the season is a success. If they don't, it isn't. Like some sort of Madden owner goals, grades add a subjective layer to this pass-fail scenario.
The 2016 season was a success for the Houston Texans since they made the playoffs. Oher than that, there weren't many other goals this season accomplished. The only great thing about 2016 was the defense. The defense saw Jadeveon Clowney go from flashes of athleticism to a really good player, Benardrick McKinney become one of the best run stoppers in the league while also morphing into a force as a pass rusher, and A.J. Bouye turned from a loose tooth hanging onto the roster to one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. The evolution of these three players and Romeo Crennel made the Texans, without J.J. Watt or Kevin Johnson, into one of the best defenses in the NFL, a defense that was third in weighted DVOA.
The rest, however, was miserable. Houston's franchise quarterback ended up being the worst quarterback in the NFL, turning DeAndre Hopkins into an afterthought. Lamar Miller was never used correctly and became a better version of Alfred Blue, a plummeting between the tackles runner. Will Fuller V was a mouse after Week Three. Braxton Miller did some things occasionally. Jaelen Strong caught one pass of importance. Jeff Allen and Brandon Brooks were an updated version of the Ed Reed and Glover Quin tale. Oh, and the special teams was last in DVOA again. The only things Houston's offense did well was throw the ball to tight ends to the flat or the short middle part of the field and run a lot of plays. The rest were empty, high expectations that never sniffed reality.
The 2016 Houston Texans were just like the 2015 Texans or the 2014 Texans. A team with a great defense missing an offense that could make them a real contender. This version won games because they subsisted on close wins and holding opponents to 20 points or less. This is now the fourth offseason in a row where the Texans will be looking for a quarterback. Until that question is answered, this team will be treading water unless the return of J.J. Watt can transform this into an all-time great defense.
Because this season was more of the exact same, except for a playoff win against a really bad team, the under-utilization of offensive talent and the enormous question mark at quarterback make this season a "C" in my book.
What grade would you give the 2016 Texans?