At this point, even though the Houston Texans are 2-3 and mind-bogglingly only one game out of first place in the AFC South, it’s obvious this season isn’t going to be “the one” we’ve all been waiting for all these years.
But as Houston football fans have learned to do over the past 50+ seasons, we can look for things to hang our collective hat on to keep the spark of faith alive.
The Houston Texans beat the Dallas Cowboys.
For all the chatter Dallas Cowboys fans love to toss out when they’re feeling chippy, it sure was awfully quiet on Monday morning. Now, Bill O’Brien didn’t mastermind a solid victory by any stretch of the imagination. Still, a win is a win, right? Listening to the roar of Cowboys fans in NRG Stadium turn to crickets might be one of the best sounds in all of sports.
The real silver lining to Sunday Night’s game ran far deeper than just putting the state rival, the so-called “America’s Team,” firmly in the “L” column. Watching a team with a solid running game, great offensive line, and higher ranked defense lose simply because of terrible play-calling by a coaching staff that somehow actually makes Houston’s offensive staff look halfway decent felt like handing off a slice of pain to a fan base that many feel deserves to get what they give when it comes to talking smack.
The Houston Texans defeated the Colts in Indianapolis.
While the Texans, Browns, and Colts might be in a to-the-death fight for the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the ability to go into Lucas Oil Stadium and snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat after the Colts tried to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory was pretty sweet. Andrew Luck might still have the “elite quarterback” label slapped on him, but the Houston defense can clearly say “not on our watch” when that comes up.
If the Texans are only going to win two games this year, having taken out Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys is a good one to get. Sending Andrew Luck and the hapless Colts off to the glue factory is almost better.
After that, what do we have to look forward to this season? Well, let’s make a list:
DeAndre Hopkins’ best plays are yet to come.
Each and every week, Nuk just pads his highlight reel more and more. While it’s easy to look back over the history of the Houston Texans and say Andre Johnson is the greatest receiver the team has ever had, it’s not so easy to say Hopkins won’t be looking at Andre in the rear view mirror when his career finally comes to an end.
Andre played in 193 games, caught 1,062 passes for 14185 yards at a 13.4 yard per catch average with 70 trips to the end zone. Oh, and ‘Dre had one prize fight where he defeated Cortland Finnegan to become the undisputed heavyweight AFC South champion.
Nuk has played in 84 games, caught 452 passes for 6,459 yards at a 14.3 yard per catch average with 38 trips to the end zone. To date, he hasn’t beat down any cornerbacks, but big brother Andre sent a message to any would-be bullies not to mess with Texas.
At the rate he’s going, if Hopkins has a similar final catch number, he’ll amass 15,186 yards and 89 touchdowns. Something tells me those numbers are pedestrian to what Nuk will actually end up with, especially if Deshaun Watson can remain healthy. Oh, and Hopkins currently leads the NFL in receiving yards.
J.J. Watt wins Defensive Player of the Year for an unprecedented fourth time.
With Watt and Jadeveon Clowney both healthy, offensive line coaches are learning it’s impossible to stop both of them. If you crack the door open for either of them, they’re busting through and bringing the party to you.
Watt and little brother T.J. Watt currently hold the league lead for sacks (along with Geno Atkins) at 6. J.J. and Khalil Mack currently hold the lead for most forced fumbles. But anyone who has been paying attention can easily see J.J. Watt is just getting started. In previous DPOY years, Watt triumphed with a combination of raw talent, instinct, and determination. The new and improved J.J. Watt has the x-factor of “wily old veteran” mixed in. Combine that with the time his body has had to rest over the last two seasons, and everyone should realize this dude is a bulldozer looking for buildings to level.
If I was the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line coach, I might not sleep at all over the next five days.
Bill O’Brien aims to make history.
At the rate of attempts so far this season, it seems clear that Bill O’Brien’s master plan is to turn Houston kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn into the first kicker to be named NFL MVP. With the revolutionary All Field Goal Offense, a master stroke of genius to get World Cup Soccer fans to love the NFL, O’Brien is seeking to put his own stamp on NFL history by decreasing scoring while increasing red zone failures and game-saving field goals.
While guys like Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning have the most come from behind game-winning drives of any quarterbacks, Fairbairn might find himself enshrined in Canton right alongside them when O’Brien’s plan is embraced by the Football Writers of America. Ka’imi “Captain Comeback Kicker” Fairbairn will be forever immortalized in the annals of NFL history. We will have Bill O’Brien to thank for that…as well as the ulcers formed by watching double-digit red zone offensive plays that don’t result in touchdowns.
What are you looking forward to for the rest of the 2018 season? Rooting for a #1 draft pick? Praying Deshaun Watson can stay off IR long enough to see the offseason where he and Keke Coutee can build more chemistry? Wondering how Houston will continue to run the ball when Alfred Blue gets hurt? Give us your list of things to look forward to in the comments section.