The 2010s are dead. Over and done with. It’s time for new things and new experiences instead of toiling in the same turmoil and the same decay.
Now that it’s over, we can turn around and look back at it, briefly, before moving forward and diving into the river of wealth and knowledge that is this Texans-Bills Wild Card Round Playoff game. In an attempt to remember everything that just happened, here’s the Texans All-Decade Team.
Quarterback: Deshaun Watson
MVP candidate. Fringe top five quarterback in the league. Makes the remarkable appear mundane.
Runningback: Arian Foster
A phantom floating through the fog. Hazy. Quick and gliding. Watching him run is like reading poetry. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
These don’t exist. Never have and never will.
Wide Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Johnson, Will Fuller
The greatest line of scrimmage releases you’ll ever see, combined with the greatest catches you’ll ever see. Hopkins’ hands are flying saucers. It’s remarkable what he’s been able to do while catching passes from Brian Hoyer and even Tom Savage.
The GOAT is the GOAT. Quiet and docile. Zone coverage expert. Beautiful and flowing.
If only he could stay on the field. It’s remarkable the impact Fuller has on Houston’s offense. This is something he shouldn’t have, but he does.
Tackle: Duane Brown, Derek Newton
Brown is one of the widest men I’ve ever seen. He’s a desert horizon. Even if you could run around him, or beat with him your hands—which no one could consistently do—you couldn’t even get around him in time to get to the quarterback. He’s also underrated as a screen blocker, too.
It was a lot of fun watching Newton go from slow and vertical pass setting and strong with a high pad level to a very good right tackle. Always strong. Sometimes brutal. Right tackle has been a wasteland for the Texans. Here’s to Tytus Howard hopefully changing that.
Guard: Wade Smith, Brandon Brooks
I guess so. I don’t even remember watching Wade Smith play. He was a Pro Bowler, I guess. The rest of the options are scant. It would have been nice if Houston had an offensive line coach that could have taught Xavier Su’a-Filo how to use his hands.
All hail Brooks, the great dancing bear. I’m old enough to remember being online and arguing about Brooks being a very good guard. This big old river swallows us all eventually.
Center: Chris Myers
Very few people can do anything as well as Myers could reach the nose tackle on an outside zone run play. I couldn’t imagine how frustrating it might have been to get hooked by him over and over and over again. I’m sure he’s an excellent fisherman. My New Year’s resolution is to fish more and talk to my wife less.
Tight End: Owen Daniels
He’s the only good tight end the Texans had this entire decade. The downside? He made crucial catches so Peyton Manning could win another Super Bowl in Denver. Disgusting. This is the trade-off you have to take to keep Garrett Graham or C.J. Fiedorowicz off this list. I can’t believe I still know how to spell Fiedorowicz.
Nose Tackle: D.J. Reader
Vince Wilfork was overrated in Houston. Was he cute and funny in his overalls? Sure. Was he a dominant run stopping force who sat on double teams? No. Reader is, though. He does this. He’s one of the best run defenders in the league. If only he could start rushing the passer again.
Defensive End: J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney
It’s devastating we only had one real season of this. No one said life was fair.
Inside Linebacker: Benardrick McKinney, Brian Cushing
Glowing black WWF makeup. My Chemical Romance on the radio. No mercy. No rules. Just Benardrick McKinney taking guards head on in the box and making tackle after tackle. Don’t get him out in space covering Dion Lewis, though.
Peak Brian Cushing was an energy, a mood, a Creatine smoothie mixed with bench presses, pink polo shirts, plaid cargo shorts, and backwards visors. I loved him as a Rutgers University college student in The Sopranos. There should have been more of him this decade. I hate Matt Slauson. Jamaal Charles is a magician who can cut a man in half, but he doesn’t know how to put him back together.
Outside Linebacker: Whitney Mercilus, Connor Barwin
A master hand fighter, you don’t want to play thumb war against this guy. He has a keen understanding of how to take on the outside half of a run blocker. You don’t want to run any outside run play and have a tight end or a fullback blocking him.
Get sacks. Get stacks. Barwin had more sacks in other cities. But what else was I going to do, put Brennan Scarlett here or Brooks Reed here? Get that corn out of my face.
Cornerback: Johnathan Joseph, A.J. Bouye, Kareem Jackson
The chimera from 2016. Jackson is the lion head. Joseph the goat. Bouye the serpent’s tail. Joseph-Bouye-Jackson is a hell of a law firm.
Strong Safety: Justin Reid
He can do it all and has done it all since being drafted in 2018. Covering the deep middle, man coverage against the tight end, vacuum cleaner in the box, turnover baking game breaker.
Free Safety: Andre Hal
It’s vital for a free safety to be able to cover from the middle of the field to the sideline. Hal was able to do this better than most defenders. I hope his investments are paying off. I hope he’s doing well in retirement.