The Houston Texans are several days removed from their resounding loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round. What has been a storybook season has come to an end. It’s a year that was satisfying, gratifying, and relieving. While it ended abruptly, the writers are all have something to say regarding the end of the game and their feeling moving forward.
Texans just got demolished in a game that none of us could’ve imagined we would have been in. What are your takeaways from the game and feelings about the team moving over?
The only thing I take away from the game is the Texans still have something to strive for and some bulletin board material going into next year when they go to the playoffs again. My feelings are while the loss sucks, the next season is lining up to be potentially one of the best in franchise history. We have the last of the [what’s his face] picks from the Cleveland Browns. We have a ton of salary cap space to invest in free agency in a time when an investment in top tier talent would make sense for the team. We have our head coach of the future who should be coach of the year but will likely miss out because winning 11 games with Joe Flacco is a bigger feat than resurrecting a franchise in a single season. We have a franchise quarterback who will likely be offensive rookie of the year. We have pride in the team back. We have a rabid fan base showing an eagerness in Texans football that I haven’t seen since the Kubiak years. It’s like someone has steamrolled a path to greatness for this team and all it takes is for us to march forward. This is it, folks. Our time has come. Our time is now.
The better team won the game. Yes we committed stupid penalties but there were no turnovers. They were just a better football team. I suppose that’s my takeaway on the season. There were one or two games we should have won (Atlanta and Carolina) but every team has those. We played the best football we could play most weeks. That’s a testament to the head coach. Now comes another important step. Can you add the right pieces to give you a better chance to win these games. It will be a fun offseason.
It was quite the experience to see this live. Have been to games at M&T, but the intensity was off the charts. I think it was ultimately a bit too much for this Texans team as a whole. So many mental mistakes and unforced errors from Houston, and Baltimore did not need the help. It would seem to be Baltimore’s time.
As for Houston, well, the micro-analysis is depressing, but the macro perspective is trending way, way up. Did any of us really ever see Houston getting to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, tied at the half in a game they could have led? In one season, we matched the win total for the past 3. Head Coach, starting QB, defensive pass rusher, Left Tackle…all key positions, and Houston is set in those departments for the near future. Granted, this season was house money, and Houston cashed in perhaps better than anyone (even Green Bay). Now, Houston must face its most difficult opponent: Expectations. They certainly have all the resources to go out and get better, and players will actually want to play in Houston, and not just for the paycheck. Yet, upward trajectory is not always a given. Houston will have great opportunities ahead, but it will also have just as many challenges to overcome.
Woof. That unfortunately went exactly how I expected it. It would be a tight game throughout the first half, but like a world class runner the Baltimore Ravens sprinted ahead and never looked back. That clobbering demonstrated that while Houston has made miraculous progress, there’s levels to this rebuild. It highlighted the continual need to address the interior of the offensive line. It illustrated how talent and speed kill. It showed how far we’ve come and how far we have left. Houston still have never been in an AFC Championship game in its history.
Moving forward, the only word I can find is relief. The pain of an unrelenting rebuild and ownership chaos has passed. Nick Caserio is one or two offseasons away from building a legitimate playoff contender. The core is there, but there’s obviously pieces missing. The Texans finally have sufficient salary cap so find talent across the offense. The defense, the team needs to resign Jonathan Greenard; hopefully he’s open to returning under a reasonable contract. The AFC is stacked with a ton of solid squads that Houston will have to contend with, but right now they look to be atop the AFC South.
The future is bright, but still is far from being realized.