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PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: 2021 NFL and Houston Texans Season Predictions

It begins again.

2021 NFL Draft Experience Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images

That moment we have all been waiting will arrive tonight. The ball is about to drop. The Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set square off to kick off the 2021 NFL season.

Before they do, before the cute ideas about how 2021 will go are shredded, here are our ideas, set in stone. These are our division winners and Super Bowl predictions for the 2021 NFL season.

2021 NFL Division and Super Bowl Predictions

Division Matt Weston l4blitzer Chris Evan Willsmore Jeremy Brener Mike Bullock Tim
Division Matt Weston l4blitzer Chris Evan Willsmore Jeremy Brener Mike Bullock Tim
AFC East Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
AFC South Tennesse Indianapolis Tennesse Tennesse Tennesse Tennesse Tennesse
AFC North Cleveland Baltimore Baltimore Cleveland Baltimore Cleveland Cleveland
AFC West Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City
Wild Card #1 Los Angeles (C) Miami Los Angeles (C) Los Angeles (C) Cleveland Miami Pittsburgh
Wild Card #2 Baltimore Cleveland Cleveland Miami Los Angeles (C) Pittsburgh Los Angeles (C)
Wild Card #3 Denver Tennesse Indianapolis Baltimore Pittsburgh Indianapolis Baltimore
NFC East Washington Washington Dallas Washington Dallas Dallas Washington
NFC South Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay
NFC North Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay
NFC West San Francisco Los Angeles (R) San Francisco Los Angeles (R) San Francisco Los Angeles (R) Los Angeles (R)
Wild Card #1 Seattle Seattle Los Angeles (R) Dallas Cowboys Los Angeles (R) Minnesota Vikings Seattle
Wild Card #2 New Orleans San Francisco Washington San Francisco Seattle Seattle San Francisco
Wild Card #3 Los Angeles (R) Minnesota Seattle Arizona Cardinals Minnesota San Francisco Minnesota
Super Bowl Buffalo over Tampa Bay Kansas City over Green Bay Kansas City over Tampa Bay Tampa Bay over Buffalo LA over Buffalo KC over Green Bay Tampa Bay over Buffalo

Here are our predictions for individual player awards.

2021 NFL Season Awards

Award Matt Weston l4blitzer Chris Evan Willsmore Jeremy Brener Mike Bullock Tim
Award Matt Weston l4blitzer Chris Evan Willsmore Jeremy Brener Mike Bullock Tim
Off Rookie of the Year Trey Lance Trevor Lawrence Justin Fields Trevor Lawrence Trevor Lawrence Trevor Lawrence Trevor Lawrence
Def Rookie of the Year Jaelen Phillips Micah Parsons Micah Parsons Micah Parsons Micah Parsons Micah Parsons Patrick Surtain II
Off Player of the Year Alvin Kamara Josh Allen Pat Mahomes Patrick Mahomes Josh Allen Mahomies Patrick Mahomes
Def Player of the Year Myles Garrett Aaron Donald TJ Watt TJ Watt Aaron Donald TJ Watt Aaron Donald
Coach of the Year Kyle Shanahan Frank Reich Bruce Arians Brandon Staley Sean McDermott Kevin Stefanski Sean McDermott
Comeback Player of the Year Nick Bosa Dak Prescott Dak Prescott Dak Prescott Dak Prescott JJ Watt Dak Prescott
MVP Josh Allen Patrick Mahomes Pat Mahomes Josh Allen Josh Allen Mahomies Josh Allen

Most importantly, here are our predictions on how your Houston Texans will finish in 2021.

L4BLITZER:

It’s that time, isn’t it? After perhaps the worst collective off-season in the short history of the Houston Texans franchise, they can finally get onto the field and focus on football. Won’t that be a nice relief for the powers that be in the Texans organization?

About that, though...the product on the field may not be all that much better to digest than the off-season pain. The preseason offered some hope that the defense may not be the absolute worst of all time, but that may not be enough to avoid the team’s status as the favorite to land the #1 pick in the 2022 draft. The offense, lacking Deshaun Watson, will emphasize running the football, but don’t hold your breath thinking we are getting the second coming of the 2019 Ravens. The on-field product does not inspire a lot of confidence for victories or entertainment. Yes, even if the team goes with a base set of a full-house backfield, or somehow can get away with a 2-5-4 defense, there are just not a lot of reasons to watch this team, even for die-hard fans. In effect, get ready for a lost season. The cellar of the AFC South, if not the NFL, has an open invite for the Texans, and they might just claim that spot.

Additionally, this is going to be a tough year schedule-wise. There is a modicum of hope that the team could pull off a 2-1 start, given that the first two home games are against Jacksonville and Carolina, neither of whom will compete for a playoff berth. However, the Texans drew the AFC East and NFC West for non-divisional games, which does not bode well for a team bereft of top-end talent. The road slate is particularly brutal, with only the visit to Jacksonville as a potentially winnable. An 0-8 road record is not out of the realm of possibility. The team gets nine home games, and three of them (JAC, CAR, NYJ) appear somewhat winnable. There is the possibility that the team could sneak up on someone and steal a win or two, and the season finale against TEN might see the Texans play a Titans team that may have nothing of significance to play for, thus giving the team another win to steal.

Going 0-fer is hard in the NFL. While there is talk that the Texans could be the first to go 0-17, I don’t see it. The team won’t be good, and they should end up with some very high organic draft picks (pending whatever happens with Watson). However, they should get a couple of wins, primarily on the strength of an opportunistic defense. Anywhere from two to six wins is viable, but I am leaning towards the lower end with this squad.

2021 Houston Texans Season Prediction: 3-14.

EVAN WILLSMORE:

Unfortunately, the Texans’ franchise has been crumbling ever since Bill O’Brien traded away a franchise cornerstone in DeAndre Hopkins. This created a domino effect, and led not only to the firing of O’Brien just 4 games into the 2020 season, but to the departure of another franchise cornerstone in J.J. Watt (arguably the best player to ever wear a Texans uniform).

When you combine these factors with the frustration and legal troubles of quarterback Deshaun Watson, Houston has a problem that could last for many years. After going 10-6 in 2019 and making it to the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs, the team plummeted to 4-12 in 2020 as a result of all the drama mentioned before. Nothing got better in the offseason, either.

Many speculated that the Texans would trade Watson before the 2021 NFL Draft, but this never materialized due to the ongoing sexual assault allegations against him. In that draft, Houston was forced to take Stanford QB Davis Mills in what appeared to be a panic move after Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond (the player they really liked/wanted) was selected by the Minnesota Vikings one pick before them.

The Texans also signed veteran QB Tyrod Taylor, who was recently named the starter. However, neither QB the team acquired is as good as Watson, who had been one of the NFL’s top performers. He is now listed as inactive and is likely to remain inactive for all 17 games this year. Much of Houston’s future depends on two things: how well the front office can execute a rebuild, and whether or not Watson plays for the team again. It’s safe to say that 2021 is the beginning of a new era for the Texans, a team that still has many questions left unanswered.

2021 Houston Texans Season Prediction: 1-16.

CARLOS FLORES:

My gut tells me that the record will be closer to three wins, but I’m trying to be optimistic here. This team looks dramatically different from last year’s roster, but the talent level hasn’t risen. Nick Caserio gets the benefit of the doubt due to him walking into the professional equivalent of a bear trap. David Culley is understood to be the guiding hand while this team wades through the cactus fields on the way to relevance. Once that happens, someone else will be running the bbq luncheons.

Lovie Smith was plucked out of football obscurity to run an NFL defense again. Tim Kelly is a puppet with his strings cut, so we’ll see if his philosophy has evolved in an offseason where the head coach seemingly didn’t come in with one. I won’t talk about Easterby because at this point it’s beating the ghost of a dead horse.

Looking at the schedule, the out of town games are not in our favor. Our best chances come against divisional rivals that could be caught slipping, and maybe taking advantage of a green Zach Wilson. Even then, it’s a tall order for a defense that is lacking teeth in the front seven.

We’ll see David Mills take meaningful snaps at some point this season, which is unbearable. Nico Collins and Charlie Heck are going to be interesting guys to watch. David Johnson will be a non-factor. This offensive line may be competent, but the quarterback play won’t.

This isn’t our year, and bless the people with optimism out there that feel it is. Ignorance is bliss. In reality, this will be a long march to a top three pick and Caserio will really have a first impression to make with his first full hand of cards in next year’s draft. Until then, grab the thickest piece of wood you can find and bite down hard. It’ll only last for a few months.

2021 Houston Texans Season Prediction: 4-13.

MIKE BULLOCK:

No one at NRG Park would ever admit to what’s obvious for all who know football to see: the 2021 Houston Texans win by losing as many games as possible. With that in mind, making any true effort to beat a beatable team this year is misspent energy. This season needs to be all about evaluating what talent is present on the current roster, exploring what talent needs to be brought in, and cementing the foundation of the Cal-Caserio McEasterby/Patriots South culture.

Since taking time off instead of giving rookie’s reps and having a team BBQ trumps dotting practice “I”s and crossing “T”s, it’s a good bet that winning isn’t “job one” at NRG right now.

However, this is the Houston Texans, who might just inadvertently win a few games this season despite their best efforts to the contrary. Week One against the Jacksonville Glitter Kitties and Week 16 against the Los Angeles Chargers are prime candidates for an “oops, we won!” scenario. Jacksonville seems to be set on extinguishing their dumpster fire culture by starting a brand new inferno, but they have Trevor Lawrence, who could probably shred Houston’s secondary while wearing a straight jacket. LA is always one of those teams that seems to beat teams they shouldn’t and lose to teams they should wreck.

Anything more than that from Houston would require Pro Bowl players, a savvy head coach, great play calling and a quality quarterback. All things Houston is lacking in 2021.

And, that’s okay. If we haven’t all made our peace with this train wreck by now, maybe it’s time to find another sport to follow.

2021 Houston Texans Season Prediction: 2-15.

BIG FAT DRUNK:

As a Houston football fan for the past 43 or so years (since I started understanding the game), this is the worst roster I can remember. It’s even worse than the 2002 inaugural Texans squad.

Why? There’s no youth, no ceiling, and no reason to be optimistic the current FO is anything more than Lakewood Church on Kirby.

All the talk about the ”Patriots’ Way” and “process” is meaningless drivel from a bunch of self-important egocentric wannabes. The reason the Patriots were dominant for so many years wasn’t because of anything Bill Belichick did. It was because they just happened to have the all time best football player in NFL history playing the most important position on the field. That’s it. The “Patriots’ Way” = Tom Brady.

Thus, the Texans are trying to replicate something where we are missing the most key of pieces, which makes this entire exercise nothing but empty-handed wankery to the nth degree. Clapping louder is not a winning football strategy, but that’s what we should expect in 2021 from this roster.

2021 Houston Texans Season Prediction: 2-15.

TIM:

I’m calling wins against the Jaguars (in Week One, no less!), Panthers, and Jets. I’m really looking forward to all the “Hey, Maybe The Texans Are Actually Good!” articles that will come after the Texans start the season 2-1. Those are gonna be delightful.

Truthfully, if you told me the Texans won anything between one and five games, I wouldn’t be surprised. I know how down—deservedly so—the majority of the world is on the Texans, but it’s awfully tough to go winless in the NFL. I also think Houston’s defense will be better than the complete and total corpse I initially thought it would be. They won’t be good, mind you, but I could see them finishing somewhere closer to 23rd in the league as opposed to 32nd.

The offense, though...yikes. It’s a team that clearly wants to rely on the run, and that’s going to be too big an ask when they’re down two scores more often than not when the second half begins.

In short, I’ve never been less excited about Texans football than I am right now. I’m simply hoping that, after the excruciating experience we are about to endure from Sunday until the final horn sounds on the afternoon of January 9, 2022, I can get excited about the possibilities awaiting the Texans in the 2022 NFL Draft.

2021 Houston Texans Prediction: 3-14.

DIEHARD CHRIS:

2021 feels like a 5-12 kind of vibe for me and this Texans team. I think the pass defense will continue to be putrid, and I am not at all confident in an offense helmed by Tyrod Taylor in 2021 - both because he’s only Tyrod Taylor, and his injury history. I would have loved Tyrod as a backup for Deshaun, but, well.

5-12 may sound a bit optimistic to some, but it doesn’t really come from a place of “optimism”. It’s more like, hey - we need a high pick to get our next quarterback and the Texaniest thing possible would be to either botch that, or secure the pick and grab a different position (though that position will also be a need).

If I were to go game by game, I can’t find five wins there - but as we all know you can’t really predict success or failure based on the previous year’s records in the NFL.

It pains me to say this as a Texans fan from day one, but my sincere hope is to see that stadium as empty as it’s ever been all season long. That’s the ONLY way to make any kind of an impact on the organization - and even if it does, it is likely to take more than one year of such a message.

2021 Houston Texans Prediction: 5-12.

Memorialize your predictions as you see fit below.