When you are a fan of a team, you watch them play the games and you hope they win. When they win, it makes you happy. When they lose, it makes you sad. And sometimes seasons like this come around, where you don’t feel anything at all anymore.
Since Deshaun Watson went down in practice with a torn ACL a little more than two weeks ago, the Texans have played and lost two games, a one-possession 14-20 loss to one of the worst teams in football (more specifically, one of the worst defenses in football), in a game they only managed to score seven offensive points in, and a blowout loss to one of the best teams in football, the Los Angeles Rams.
The Texans are now 3-6. They can’t throw the ball. They can run the ball a little bit. They can stop the run. They can’t stop the pass, which puts them into deficits where they are forced to have Tom Savage throw the ball a lot. Savage is one of the worst quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. He’s thrown two interceptions and leads the league in fumbles with five even though he’s only attempted 93 passes. He’s 5-21 on passes fifteen or more yards downfield, which is a completion percentage 0.1% better than Joe Flacco. Savage’s completion percentage is 47.3%, yet he only averages 5.4 yards an attempt. His DYAR is -242. His DVOA is -48.3%. He has a QBR of 17.
The Texans are forced to march into the future with this motley bunch, featuring a terrible quarterback, a preseason worthy front seven, a leaky secondary, and an offensive line that can’t pass block. The Texans’ remaining schedule features games against Arizona, Baltimore, Tennessee, San Francisco, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. The average DVOA of Houston’s future opponents is -3.4%, which is 25th; even then, the Texans almost surely won’t be favored in another game for the rest of the season. It’s not unreasonable to think the Texans won’t win another game in 2017.
For Houston to win, they have to play someone who is (1) really bad and (2) can’t throw the ball. They can’t go down early, which is inevitable against any capable passing offense. They have to grind out close wins on the ground and limit Savage’s impact as much as possible. There are only three teams that fit this profile.
The first is Baltimore. Yes, they have a stout defense, but they have the worst quarterback in the NFL this season not named DeShone Kizer or Tom Savage. The Texans could run the ball and punt back and forth against Baltimore until someone makes a mistake.
Another such opponent is San Francisco. They’re a bad team with a bad quarterback. But C.J. Beathard can at least drop bombs down the field. He would just need to hit three for the 49ers to pull off a win in Houston next month. Additionally, Jimmy Garroppolo will probably be starting by then and have two games under his belt.
Last candidate is the Colts. They have a terrible defense, but Jacoby Brissett is capable. They can rush the passer some and have already shown they can beat this version of the Texans.
The only chance at improvement for Houston is if they bench Savage for T.J. Yates. That doesn’t change much, aside from turnovers. Houston would just be starting another awful quarterback who will dump it off into the flat and not give the other team the ball. That’s gross but edible with a great defense. The Texans don’t have a great defense anymore.
My best guess is the Texans win one more game. Out of those three matchups discussed above—Baltimore, San Francisco, and Indianapolis—they will somehow steal one one-possession game. I’m not expecting the Texans to win any of them individually, but over the course of three, you would think the averages would smooth out.
The Texans will probably finish the year 4-12, but 3-13 wouldn’t surprise me either. Welcome to hell. It’s 2013 all over again.
What do you think the Texans’ final record will be this season? Vote in the poll and then discuss below.
What Will The Texans Final Record Be?
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