This is it, y’all. This game will determine which picks the Houston Texans get in the 2023 NFL Draft in April. And as the New York Jets are learning right (checks clock) now, draft position matters. A lot. A. Loooooooooooooooooooooot.
To illustrate this point, let us go back to the ancient days of the 2020-21 season. The Jets had a mortal lock on the first overall pick in the draft going up to the last few games of the season. Trevor Lawrence, was as good as theirs. And then the Jets did a really stupid thing: they won a game. In their delirium, they went on and win three more games and slip from the first overall pick and Trevor Lawrence (who would ultimately land with the Jacksonville Jaguars) to the second pick in the draft and...Zach Wilson.
One team, the Jags, would watch their quarterback gradually, VERY gradually, develop into a player that might be worth watching on a weekly basis. The Jets are learning right now that Zach Wilson does not have a future with them and their future franchise quarterback is still not on their team. Which means they will be looking for a quarterback again this year but in a far worse position to land one without losing a ton of draft capital to do so.
Back to the Texans, who last year might have had one of their best draft classes in franchise history, and they find themselves in a similar situation. They need to lose one more game to secure the top pick in the draft and Bryce Young, who is considered by the football world to be the closest thing to a mortal lock a franchise quarterback prospect can hope to be. They have a front office which might be able to identify and draft quality players (based, admittedly, on limited data), and the chance to turbocharge the Texans’ rebuild with the first overall pick.
But there’s a catch: the Texans still have to lose their last game. And their season finale is in Indianapolis against one of the biggest disappointments of the NFL this season: the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts, to put too fine a point on it, have looked like hell this year and are possibly the only team in the NFL right now that could out-stupid the Texans and lose their last game. Needless to say, the Texans are once again underdogs by 3-points, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
So, if you think about it, with the potential for bringing on the key piece of any rebuilding team with the first overall pick, with a front office that has found some talent in the draft (Jalen Pitre, Dameon Pierce, Kenyon Green and Derek Stingley, when they’re healthy), it would not be inaccurate to say that one no-account game between the Texans and Colts has the potential to set the team on the path to respectability, or force them down the path of mediocrity with a second overall pick the Texans did not want and were stuck taking.
This could be the worst, most important football game in Texans history. And I can’t freakin’ wait.
Speaking of things that can’t freakin’ wait, here are the opening odds for the Texans’ season finale against the Colts, brought to you by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Hey, we did it! The Texans went the entire season as underdogs in every game they played! That’s an achievement, right?! Anyway, here are the odds. The Texans are underdogs, but since they’re on the road, this is as close to a pick’em game as the Texans are ever going to have this season.
Now remember what our one rule is here kids:
NEVER BET THE TEXANS MONEY LINE!
Favored: Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)
Underdog: Houston Texans (+2.5)
Money Line: Indianapolis Colts (-145)
Money Line: Houston Texans (+125)