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BRB Group Think: Adjusting Season Predictions

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The masthead joins together to repredict the Texans’ 2018 season after their 0-2 start.

Houston Texans v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Yes, the Texans are 0-2. Yes, they need to win this game against the Giants to make the NFL Playoffs. We are all hyper-aware of these facts.

Last Sunday is farther away than this Sunday. It’s now time to float down the hill into the future and forget about what happened before. It’s time to use it as a jumping-off point to look at what is to come. For this week’s group think, the masthead joined together to answer a simple question: What will the Texans’ record be at the end of the 2018 season after this 0-2 start?

Matt Weston:

Before my fingertips were frozen two weeks ago, I picked Houston to go 9-7. That was the medium in the middle between a 10-6 record if the pass rush was healthy and a 7-9 if the pass rush wasn’t healthy. Now, after an 0-2 start, my prediction isn’t dramatically different. After losing to Blaine Gabbert and the Titans, I think Houston will end up 8-8.

The team will get better. They’re too talented not to. The pass rush should start ramping up now that J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus have played two games. Duke Ejiofor getting more snaps and Romeo Crennel doing more Romeo Crennel things to generate pressure should help too. The Texans have to do whatever they can to take pressure off the secondary.

On offense, the line will get better as they play together more often. They’re running the ball well, especially when they throw away the fakes and run straight ahead. Will Fuller V is a game-breaker in this offense. With improvement from the offensive line and cleaning up the penalties, sacks, and other negative plays, promising drives that are spoiled should instead find their way to touchdown-dreaming fruition.

Overall, my slight change in heart is that last week’s game was one I expected Houston to win. We all did. It was one I expected the Texans to win even with Marcus Mariota, Taylor Lewan, and Jack Conklin playing (which of course they didn’t). That’s why it was such a disappointment.

Diehard “David Robinson Is Better Than Hakeem Olajuwon” Chris:

I’m not the panicky type or the “fire everybody” type. In reality, it’s not like the Texans should be 2-0; they lost a game to the Patriots in New England! I’m sticking by my 10-6 prediction.

With three of their next four at home and zero games in the next four that are surefire losses (host Giants, at Colts, host Cowboys, host Bills), I don’t see why things won’t steady. I’m not saying Bill O’Brien is suddenly going to figure things out and change his stripes, but barring major injuries, the players on this team are too talented for this season to turn into a disaster, depending on how you define “disaster”. For current context, I’ll consider anything less than seven wins a disaster, seven to eight wins a disappointment, and anything above eight as “expected” until we get beyond 10, which is HIGHLY unlikely.

Teams have had slow starts and ripped off a bunch of wins in the past—including the Texans—but this isn’t the same ol’ AFC South. I will say this: While I seem steady in my opinion now, the WHOLE THING goes off a cliff if the Texans [kitten] the bed against the Giants at home. That’s right. Week Three is already a must-win.

By the way, the Bill O’Brien and the Texans are 1-11 in their last 12 games.

bigfatdrunk:

My 12-4 prediction before the season was greatly predicated on the hope that Bill O’Brien had learned something in the 2017 campaign. Specifically, I had hoped BOB learned that his offensive scheme was terrible and that fitting a scheme around Deshaun Watson would be far more productive.

Alas, our coach is not learning.

With an expected win against the BE-SFs now deceased, I can’t see this team winning more than eight (8) games, especially if the offense stays the same. Then, next offseason, we’ll have the same damn conversations about BOB as we did after 2016 and 2017.

Kenneth L.:

I hate firing a coach mid season. Yes, you do get a head start on the next, but it puts the entire franchise in flux and rarely leads to a better talent being hired in the interim. I have been in BOB’s corner for a while, but now I am starting to take a lead off and move on. His playbook is too big. His scheme is too predictable. His offense is too out of sync. I would hate to waste this much talent. Please do not let me see J.J. Watt go his entire career without making it to an AFC Championship Game.

Too many errors.

Too many errors.

Too many errors.

Good teams do not beat themselves.

This is a 6-10 season. Which means we go 6-8 for the rest of the season. Definitely a fireable type of season if you ask me. I knew something was wrong when I said to myself, “I already know what we are going to draft with next year’s draft”.

I wish we were 2-0 purely to see what the environment would be like in NRG Stadium. It would be mayhem. But now the fans will be quick to react if anything goes wrong. I think we lose on Sunday, too. I did not see improvement from Week One to Week Two.

Mike Bullock:

Setting aside personal bias and desire, putting the Texans through the same lens we see other random teams through, all I notice is a lot of locker room talent wrapped in a poor offensive scheme, questionable conditioning, bizarre roster decision making (let’s sell the farm to draft a franchise quarterback, but make minimal effort to protect him!), and terrible game management.

Looking through my real eyes, I realize I’ve been seeing things far rosier than they are. Based solely on the product on the field this season, 7-9 seems pie in the sky.

Tim:

It’s been two games. I imagine most somewhat objective observers thought the Texans would lose to the Patriots and beat the Titans. Admittedly, that may even have been too optimistic; after all, both the Patriots and Titans were playoff teams last year, and both games were on the road for Houston. Still, let’s assume you had the Texans 1-1 after two weeks. That means the Texans—after just two games—are one win off the pace most had them on after two weeks.

Teams in the NFL frequently win or lose the occasional game they shouldn’t. It happens. There’s no need to freak out. If you thought the Texans were going to win eleven games two weeks ago, I can see adjusting that total to ten wins. But going from eleven to six? That smacks of overreaction to me. It’s every fan’s right to react as he sees fit, but you won’t see me declaring the season over with fourteen games left to play. Not with the talent the Texans have.

Let’s see what happens Sunday. If the Texans handle the Giants, I imagine the pendulum will swing back a bit.

Anyways, these are our corrections. How do you see Houston’s season playing out now they have started 0-2?