Winning in the NFL is difficult. As it stands, 21 of the 32 teams have a losing record... and the Houston Texans stand alone at the bottom.
The Texans finally compiled three competitive weeks in a row; all of which were against playoff teams. And after one win in the last ten games, we are in a position where winning again would (most likely) come at the cost of the first overall pick. For a franchise in desperate need of a generational QB and in the early stages of a rebuild, this one-pick change has legitimate ramifications.
Yes, we understand ‘you play to win the game’, but last week’s victory has us asking one question:
The Texans won their first game in months! They had a win to give and now they’ve took it. The Groupthink of today is: how concerned are you that the Texans could win again and lose the first overall pick?
It’s quite simply an implausible thought - are we concerned about winning too much? This isn’t soccer where the worst teams are relegated. The tank-off that occurs in American pro sports is truly unique to our leagues and is one that unfortunately rewards a race to the bottom. We won’t see a change to the European soccer model any time soon; in fact, it’s more likely they follow our example to inflate their team’s values. But I digress from my World Cup hangover...
The Jags are in a race to win the division. The race is between a tortoise and a tortoise, but it’s a race nonetheless. They are going to be all-in to beat the Texans and stop this losing streak of their’s against us. I don’t see this game being close. Their offense is humming and we have no business being competitive. However, the Texans haven’t lost to Jacksonville in FIVE YEARS. Mentalities such as this can completely impact the psyche of a game, even when the odds are stacked in the Jag’s favor. I very well see them coming into Houston with a lot to prove and put on their best game of the year.
That leaves us with... the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are 4-10 and winless under interim coach Jeff Saturday. Nick Foles is now at QB. They are in full tank mode too. They are capable of playing good football as shown in the OT game against the Vikings, but I’ll be remiss to say that they look worse than the Texans.
The Colts do have plenty of what the Texans’ can’t stop: a run game. Jonathan Taylor certainly isn’t having the year he did last year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes the season strong against Houston.
However, it’s the last week of the season in a meaningless game... unless you are considering draft position. A Colts’ win could move them up two-three draft picks and that’s not in their best interest. It will certainly be a toilet bowl.
Consider me a bit concerned.
I’m very concerned. The Colts are a dumpster fire and we’ve beaten the Jags six consecutive times. Given the way they are playing, the Jags should win that game, but we also weren’t supposed to be competitive with the Chiefs or Cowboys. I suppose it doesn’t much matter if we get the first pick. The Bears aren’t taking a quarterback so we may get who we want at number two, but someone could always leapfrog us and take our guy. I’ve never been a must lose kind of fan but I have to admit life would be better long-term if we did. In a perfect world, the Bears would win once more and then we could play the Colts with no reservations. Otherwise it gets really dicey.
The 1st pick in the draft can sometimes be a poisoned chalice. For all the Bradshaws and Mannings, there are probably far more #1 picks that completely whiff. Look at Houston’s past with the #1 overall. David Carr…eh, guy never had an O-line, but he was never a guy who could elevate a team. Mario Williams had his moments, but he too never really delivered like a #1 should for Houston. Jadevon Clowney? Same thing. So, a #1 overall pick is not guaranteed to bring long-term high level success.
Now, it would be the most Texans thing to do to disappoint expectations and fans, with this team somehow managing to lose the #1 overall pick to Chicago. It isn’t out of the realm of impossibility. Houston hosts Jacksonville, a team, that while far better than they have been in years, is dominated by the Texans, and the game result is actually meaningless in the quest for the AFC South.
The Colts…they are probably more of a laughing-stock than Houston ever since Saturday took the reins. Still, no BO’B-less Texans team has ever won in Indy, and likely, the Texans will lock up the #1 overall pick and likely Bryce Young services with a typical loss at Lucas Oil Field. The Bears could also win one of their last two. At any rate, Houston will have a high series of picks, regardless of their final record.
I’m concerned but I still believe in the Texans innate ability to lose the way they have been all season. They’re always one good bonehead play away from coughing up a game as we’ve seen against Dallas and KC. Tennessee is no Dallas or KC. Jacksonville is playing better and is healthier than Tennessee so we should be fine losing to them. The only possible concern is Indy and I think they’ll be trying to get some sense of pride back after seeing their season so thoroughly crash and burn.
The spirit of David Culley has possessed Lovie Smith and is back to exact revenge on this franchise for sending him out to pasture. It would be the most Texans thing to unnecessarily mess up our draft position for absolutely nothing.
That’s why I fully believe the Texans will steal another win somewhere here and lose out on the top pick.