The grass is parched, bronze and yellowed, exhausted and hallucinating. I, like the grass, and the rest of the football watching population, feel the same way. Tired of being indoors and having to microwave cheese dogs. Tired of the confusion. Tired of there not being any football around. One day this will all change, and life will be like how it is in the movies, filled with bustle and clutter. Soon, the NFL will try to start their 2020 season right on time, and one of our existential problems will find a solution.
The current location of the Earth forces man to create season previews and post training camp highlight clips. ESPN published a different type of season preview by detailing the ceiling and floor for every NFL team.
Ceiling: 10-6 | Floor: 5-11
Biggest variable: Defensive depth. Houston has a solid starting 11, but it could have serious concerns if there is an injury on defense or if a starter, especially on the defensive line or in the secondary, has to miss time because of a positive coronavirus test. The Texans’ defense allowed the Chiefs to come back from a 24-0 deficit in a playoff game last season, and that was with relatively good health. Houston’s success in 2020 will be dependent on the strength and consistency of the defense.
Like every AFC South team, aside from the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans could be a litany of different things this season. They could be a high flying offense created by a head coach that finally learned, in this post-modern pass heavy world, after three seasons with Deshaun Watson at quarterback, that throwing the ball is good. Throwing the ball downfield is better, and Watson is incredible at it. Even though Houston is worse talent wise after trading DeAndre Hopkins, Houston’s offense could be better if there is a substantial change in playcalling and Watson continues to grow as a quarterback.
The Texans could also see their plans fizzle since Will Fuller can’t play 16 games, Brandin Cooks was nonexistent last season after suffering his fifth concussion, David Johnson has had one great season that occurred four years ago, Randall Cobb hasn’t been a game changer for at least that long as well, and the Texans lack a receiving threat who can consistently pick up first downs. They also have a bad pass defense. They’re going to give up a lot of points. J.J. Watt has had one truly healthy season since 2015—that was with Jadeveon Clowney on the roster—and he’s the entirety of Houston’s pass rush. Houston could easily see a reversal in their one possession record fortune despite how remarkable Watson is in clutch situations.
In August, the Texans are maddening. I think Sarah Barshop hit it on the head with this ceiling and roof prediction. What do you think? What’s your ceiling and floor for the 2020 Houston Texans?