It’s a new day in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns won a football game last night and ended a losing streak that was approaching two years. Good for them. You may now want to stop clapping for them and stick your hands in your pocket like you are a slick haired, leather jacket wearing Greaser, because the Texans can now claim the longest active losing streak.
That’s right. The last time your Texans won a football game was on November 19th against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11 of the 2017 NFL season. Eight straight losses is embarrassing for any franchise, and even more so for a team with this much elite talent. Despite having four semi-generational talents on this football team, the Texans still find a way to be leaderless, unorganized, and incompetent.
Regardless of the new wave of excitement that crested this offseason, the Texans have started 0-2, losing games to Patriots and Titans squads at less-than full strength. The discouraging performances have left Houston’s fan base in an unbridled consternation. Some are ready to pull the plug on the entire Bill O’Brien era.
People, there are FOURTEEN more games left. The Texans were the only team in the NFL to play their first two games on the road against 2017 playoff teams. I can spout off a list of twenty reasons why the Texans will make the NFL Playoffs. If my sputtering heart desired, I could do an entire Ted Talk on the promise the 2018 season still has in store for the Texans.
Sometimes you gotta drink the Kool-Aid. Yes, our dreams of making the playoffs may be in danger, but it is not uncommon for this franchise to put together a quality season after early setbacks. All you have to do is sift through the short history of this organization.
In 2015, the Texans started 0-2 after receiving a right hook from an Alex Smith-led Chiefs offense followed by a straight gut punch from a would-be 15-1 Carolina Panthers. Both the Chiefs and Panthers would go on to make the playoffs.
Lean back in your chair, tilt your head back like you are holding back a sneeze, and conjure up memories of Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer trading turns at QB. Remember the anguish of that? Remember when a certain someone “overslept” his flight to Miami? Remember when the Falcons put up 48 points without even trying? Do you recall an average running back on the Dolphins scorching us for 175 yards? That team, that 2015 team, was 1-5 at one point and still made the playoffs.
How? Hell if I know. A statistical anomaly occurred where the Texans strung a spectacular string of wins together and snuck into the postseason. Although they were immediately shamed like Cerci on her Walk of Atonement in the Wild Card Game, it’s proof that no season is a wash after two weeks.
In hindsight, I did see this coming. It’s a bad sign for the season to come when I already knew who the Texans needed to draft the following year after they completed their draft in April. The current Texans’ roster has several definite holes in it, but in comparison to the 2015 team, I would take this current ragtag group of athletes any day of the week.
For starters, we have a quarterback who is still getting his sea legs. Texans fans have forgotten the learning curve and process it takes for a QB to transition into the NFL.
Can we even compare the offensive weapons this 2018 team has against the 2015 version? Let me just take a quick peek at Wikipedia to jog that hamster wheel in your noggin.
Chris Polk was still saying ‘Bang bang, chicken and shrimp’ all over live television back then, and we ate those shenanigans up because we were so desperate for playmaking ability at that point.
Yes, the 2015 defense was stacked like Jenga and we were completely unaware until about Week 10 that they were any good, but you cannot tell me that the current front seven of the Texans is not brimming with talent at a comparable level. Yes, the 2018 secondary is a stale pudding and the Texans are compelled to eat it since Kevin Johnson and Andre Hal are out for the foreseeable future. Even with that being the case, the trifecta of projects at safety seem to be steadily progressing as Kareem Jackson, Tyrann Mathieu, and rookie Justin Reid each have specific roles to play on this defense.
To make the playoffs, the 2015 team won seven of its last nine games, including three in a row to end the season. Looking at the Texans’ schedule, they most likely have a more difficult road ahead of them than the 2015 team had to face, but there are only two or three match-ups where they are playing an elite opponent.
The offseason hype derailed us from the reality of the season. For every win, there is a loss. For now, the Texans are 0-2. There is a lot of football left to be played in 2018, so don’t sell your tickets just yet.