Coon’s Top 10: Reasons The Houston Texans Will Make The Playoffs
August 14, 2009, 8:42 PM
Filed under: NFL

By Jerry Coon

If time will let me, I am going to try to have a weekly Top 10. This one is self-explanatory. The Houston Texans finished each of the last two season with a record of 8-8. I guarantee this will be the year they jump the hurdle into the postseason, and become a legitimate contender in the NFL.

10. The Schaub. Quarterback Matt Schaub missed four games last season due to injury, and still finished the season with 3,043 yards and 15 touchdowns. How gaudy would his numbers be in a full season of play? Schaub already started his workout routine in February, preparing in advance for the upcoming year. This season, if Schaub stays on the field, he has the number one wide receiver in the NFL on his side in Andre Johnson, a Pro Bowl tight end in Owen Daniels, and may other weapons. Dare I say he could be in the running for MVP at season’s end?

9. The Best Receiver In The Game. Now I understand that you can make a case for Larry Fitzgerald. However, I will make the case for the softspoken, and previously mentioned, Andre Johnson. Johnson finished the 2008-09 campaign with 115 receptions (first in NFL), 1,575 yards (first in NFL). This year, he has a more gelled offense, and with a healthy quarterback, the sky is the limit for Johnson.

Andre Johnson doesn't have to say a word. His numbers speak for themselves.

Andre Johnson doesn't have to say a word. His numbers speak for themself.

Sidenote: Why isn’t a bigger fuss being made about “the quiet” receivers in the NFL? We pay so much attention to the egomaniac that is Terrell Owens, the never quiet Chad Johnson and any other loud-mouth wideout, that we don’t see the greatest hands in the game under the spotlight. Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson are two perfect examples of this. Neither open their mouth, they just get on the field and play the game.

As reported by Jason Cole: At 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, he is built more like a linebacker, but he doesn’t show it off.

“We were lifting one time and ‘Dre has about 30 pounds of muscle on me,” said [David] Anderson, who is all of 5-10, 194 pounds and often goes unrecognized as a football player. “His body is ridiculous. But we’re doing the incline press and we’re both doing the same weight, like about 185 pounds. I’m kind of looking at him like I can’t believe I’m lifting the same amount as him.

“He starts joking about how his muscles are just ‘air’ muscles, just pumped up with a lot of air … so I laugh and go on to the next thing. I turn around and he’s thrown another 90 pounds on the press after I left. It was like he didn’t want to embarrass me.”

8. Steve Slaton. As a rookie, the 5’9, 201 lb. third-round pick excelled way beyond any expectations. Slaton ran for 1,282 yards and nine touchdowns, taking over a position that has been nonexistant for the Texans in previous years. This season, if Slaton can match or exceed last year’s numbers, we might be talking about this:

7. The Best Offense In The NFL. Before you think I have lost my mine, shut up and let me learn you. Last season, the Texans had the third ranked offense in the NFL. THIRD. That includes Schaub being injured. That includes not getting into a groove until around Week 6. That includes playing against defenses that included Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Tennessee twice. If Schaub, Johnson and Slaton play the way that has been previously explained…just imagine what might happened.

6. The Schedule. The cycle of the schedule gave the Texans the NFC West and the AFC East this season. That Texans have the Rams, 49ers, Seahawks, Jets, Bills, Raiders and Bengals on the schedule. Those seem like W’s, barring a meltdown. You factor that in, and hope to go 3-3 within the division, and I am predicting a 10-6 record. Which will get them into the postseason.

5. The Defensive Line. What could the Texans do in order to prevent double teams on Mario Williams? How about grab another beast of a defensive end to takeover the other side of the line? Add tackles Travis Johnson and Amobe Okoye, and that front line could very well be one of the best. Furthermore,

4. Mario Williams. WITH the double teams, triple teams, and kitchen sinks they threw at the 6’6, 288 lb. defensive end, Williams still finished with 12 sacks and four forced fumbles in 2008. Now that some holes have been filled, and it is likely Super Mario can break free even more, I predict a Defensive Player of the Year nomination.

3. Cleaning House. After last season, head coach Gary Kubiak fired just about everyone he could in order to revamp his staff. Kubiak moved Frank Bush from senior defensive assistant to defensive coordinator. With that move, you are going to see a new style to the Texans defense that hasn’t been a factor before: blitzing.

2. Filling Holes. The draft helped the Texans get this done. Linebacker Brian Cushing gives a great pass rusher to the defense. Later rounds provided picks that filled out the secondary. Rookie cornerback Glover Quinn and second-year saftey Dominique Barber have been making noise in training camp. If this weakness can make adjustments and improve, the rest shouldn’t be a problem.

1. It’s Time. I mean come on, let’s get serious for a minute. Ever since Houston’s beloved child known as the Oilers left for Tennessee, Houston has foamed at the mouth for this feeling to return. In 2002, everyone knew it was going to take a while for this experiment to pay off. Now we sit, at lucky number year seven, waiting for the leap. Waiting for playoff football to return to a playoff football city. We were spoiled watching Warren Moon and crew enter the playoffs year after year (although they never made it to the big game). Now, the Texans sit with a perfect chance. A much improved team in a division of teams depleting around them. A superstar on offense, a capable quarterback, and a monster on the defensive line. There aren’t anymore excuses you can make for them. There can no longer be the phrase, “well maybe next year.”

This isn’t an expansion team anymore. This is a legitimate football team that now has high expectations. They have to come out of the preseason ready to dominate. Play with the confidence that it’s fanbase has hopefully instilled in them. Become the new kings of the AFC South. Jump from a “sleeper” to a “powerhouse.”

Bring playoff football back to Houston, Texas.

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I like it all, but you left out a few awesome threats:
Connor “The Barbarian Barwin”: second rounder that has plenty of raw talent: he was tops in many of the NFL combine fields. His leaping ability is second to noe and he is fast as hell. It is very hard to stop two very athletic and talented DE’s on a pass rush, especially if Okam(as huge as he is) steps up his game and learns while playing along Antonio Smith. We can even rotate in Deljuan, Travis Johnson, Okoye, and I even like Bulman’s fight in the mini-camps.
TE and Fullback probable James Casey is a bucket of raw talent. A former pitcher for The Chicago White sox, he has an arm, strength, speed and an amazing work ethic. I think he would be devastating as a catching fullbac or even in the Wildcat formation.
I just felt like these guys needed some special mention as huge additions to our amazing weapons that we acquired in the offseason.
Keep talking Texans and I will keep chiming in.

Comment by AskOzzie

I agree. I have kept hearing about Casey in the Wildcat. If we incorporate that, it would be ridiculous (in a good way). And yeah Barwin is one of those new additions that could really make some big plays. We already know what we get out of this offense, so hopefully the defense (mainly secondary) will step their game up and we can make a good run.

Comment by Jerry

I agree with you. I like your 7th point on having potentially, the best offense in the NFL. If Schaub stays healthy for a full year, we will be explosive.

The only gripe I have with the Texans and management is not signing Owen Daniels and DeMeco Ryans to long term deals. I could care less about Dunta Robinson because I dont believe he wants to be here long term. However, Daniels and Ryans are in the top 5 at that respective positions. Both should be locked up immediately. Considering that we have an owner who openly says he doesnt mind spending the money necessary to win, then we need to start lokcing up our own guys to long terms deals before dipping into the free agent pool.

Comment by Brian

I believe that we have the players to win right now. Sure our secondary is not the best group of guys, but with Robinson coming back and a slew of draft picks to throw in the mix, I will bet that they are better. If you know anything about football, it is won in the trenches. We have the front 7 to stop the run game, and the 4-3 under front will allow for tremendous “A gap” pressure and stunting possibilities with Mario Williams being uncovered by a linebacker and commanding double teams on passing plays. That pressure alone will make the secondary seem alot better. We definately have the offense to put up some points once if we increase our red zone efficiency. And of course we need to avoid the injury bug. If Shaub goes down this year, I think we have 2 of the best back ups in the league. Both of those guys started for other organizations. At worst we go 8-8 this year. Mark my words, we will beat the Colts both times we play them.

Comment by Bryan Simpson




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