Without a first or second round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, there is no reason for the Houston Texans to tank. Assuming the Texans do not break 6-10 this season, our first pick should occur around the early 70s. That thought hurts worse than the sack on Tom Savage in the third quarter last week.
The change in optimism about the 2017 season has been in complete free fall since Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in practice. You can see it on the field. Something is missing. The fire that almost burnt down NRG Stadium when the Texans beat the Titans 57-14 has turned to ash as the Texans have only scored 14 points on offense in the past two weeks. I do not even know if they can 57 points in the remainder of the season (hot take).
I could write myself into a dark place. A place where no hope survives and all is lost. Months of waiting and anticipation, all ultimately culminating in a worthless disaster. What is time? Should I even go on? What is the purpose? How do I conti.....
STOP IT. We have football. 16 weeks of the greatest sport and you better enjoy them while they last. Keep your head up, because before you know it the season will be over and you will have no reason to be hungover on Monday anymore. Close your eyes and you will miss the spectacle Jadeveon Clowney is putting on this season. Turn your back and you will miss a group of young players who will be the core of this team for years to come.
Embrace the suck.
The Texans have (most likely) seven more weeks of football, and I will be damned if I miss a moment because I am too sour that the season did not turn out the way it could. If my optimism is triggering you, I hope you find solace in some realism: at least we are not the Browns (repeats again while rocking in the cradle position).
Even my roommate, who is a Colts fan, agrees. Quitting is stupid because the team is building depth from non-star players, which is huge for success in the future. Players like Carlos Watkins, Jelani Jenkins, Brennan Scarlett, and D.J. Reader are getting valuable snaps that would be unavailable if J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, and Brian Cushing were in. Now, I am not saying in any way that I am happy that they suffered season-ending injuries, but it does give me confidence that the bottom half of the roster can step in next season in rotational roles. Deep teams that compliment their star players quickly shore up the holes in the roster that opponents build their game plan around.
Additionally, the Texans have two players on either side of the ball who are crushing it. Jadeveon Clowney has legitimized himself as one of the biggest game-wreckers in the league.
This sack was a great example of how Clowney makes the opposing offense adjust to his presence. The Rams put TE Tyler Higbee over Clowney to help stop his pass rush, but when DE Angelo Blackson locked up the tackle, Clowney was one-on-one with someone who is ten pounds lighter than him.
LB Benardrick McKinney is the brightest young star on the team. He leads the team in tackles and has developed a pass rush set that is among the best on the team.
WR DeAndre Hopkins is having the best season of his career. Although most of his increased production was during the Deshaun Watson games, he has reestablished himself as a premier receiver.
Will Fuller, despite all of his injuries, is going to turn the Texans’ receiving corps into the best one-two punch in the league. His remarkable return has already brought seven TDs.
ou know what is good about not winning and being the top team in the division? We do not have to play the other AFC division leaders next year. The difference between playing the Bengals and Chargers instead of the Steelers and Chiefs could be a factor in making a playoff run next year.
So what that ESPN only gives us an 8% chance to make the NFL Playoffs? The schedule gifts us with an easier set of opponents than earlier in the season. The Cardinals may be just as faceless of a team as there is in the league. Adding Adrian Peterson is cool, but with the state of their QB play, it seems like a meaningless move. Arizona’s wins have come against the Colts, Bucs, and 49ers (twice). The Ravens are somehow treading water with Joe Flacco sinking faster than an anchor. The dude has more interceptions than touchdowns. The BESFs are the worst good team I have ever seen. The 49ers are trash. The Colts have no future. That’s a bunch of winnable games. Like I said in the beginning, losing has no value.
The 2017 season is not in the books. There is still more football to be played. The injury bug may have stung the Texans hard this season, but it should never sting your devotion to the team.