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Houston Texans News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/6/14: The Texans are playing coy about what they want to do with the first overall pick in the May NFL draft. Conventional logic dictates that the team needs a new starting quarterback who can lead the franchise for many years. The top options, of course, are Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Blake Bortles (UCF) and Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville). Of course, defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowny is on the board as well, and he could be a monster when paired with J.J. Watt. Perhaps the Texans are thinking about taking Clowney, then addressing QB with a later pick in the draft.
2/27/14: The Texans are on the clock for the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The top QBs all want to be that first selection and become the franchise QB for a team that was 2-14 last season, but went to the playoffs in the years before. So perhaps the pressure of evaluating for the draft has left the team little time to discuss a contract extension with J.J. Watt. He is now eligible for an extension, and is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. His rights are locked up with Houston for the next two years, but one has to figure that he is a guy that the team would want to hold on to for many years.
2/20/14: Johnny Manziel wants to be the first overall pick in the draft and is having no problems letting the Texans know his thoughts. Manziel is a Texas guy and wants to stay in the state where he is enormously popular. Houston does not have any real problems selling tickets, but adding Manziel would make them more interesting and could drive ticket prices higher. It remains to be seen who the Texans want, but Johnny Football warns that if the Texans do not take him, then he will torment them for years within the division (which presumes that Jacksonville will take him).
2/13/14: This is an interesting story out of Houston. There is a report going around saying that the Texans, who own the number one pick in the draft, must draft Johnny Manziel off the bat to be their franchise quarterback. There is some logic to that - he is one of the elite QBs in the draft, he is fairly local, the Texans need a QB, and he brings excitement. What is interesting is that former DC and interim head coach Wade Phillips said that he told Texans management the same thing when he interviewed for the permanent head coaching job. He did not get that job, so maybe the Texans want to go a different direction.
2/6/14: Houston, you are officially on the clock. Now that the Super Bowl has been decided (43-8 Seattle over Denver), the season is officially over. That means just a few weeks until the combine and three months until the draft. This will be the first draft for the new Texans regime, and they are likely to take a QB with the first overall pick. Reports say they are leaning toward Texas native Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M or Blake Bortles from Central Florida. Bortles looks the part more, but Manziel offers the X factor as well as hometown love.
1/30/14: New head coach Bill O'Brien keeps building Patriots South. Most recently, he hired Pepper Johnson away from New England. Johnson played for Pats head coach Bill Billechek in both New York and Cleveland, and has been a trusted assistant coach for him since 2001. While most of Billechek's disciples have not had great success outside of New England (Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, Josh McDaniels come to mind as poor head coaches), there is something to be said about championship experience - and it looks like O'Brien is trying to build that in Houston. And he already has a good roster to start with.
1/23/14: This will be the game for the next four months - who will the Texans take with the number one pick overall. There is no question that the team needs a franchise QB, and there are several in the draft, including Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, and Teddy Bridgewater. Logic would dictate that the Texans take one of them, but that may not be the case. The Texans owner has offered up some opinions that may include South Carolina defensive tackle Jadaveon Clowney. Of course, this could be a smoke screen in an attempt to trade down.
1/16/14: New head coach Bill O'Brien seems intent on making the Texans the Patriots South. He has former Pats DC Romeo Crennel as defensive coordinator as well as several others who were once with the Patriots. One of the more notable hires is Mike Vrabel. Vrabel played for the Pats during the glory years and was on Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State last season. His departure from Ohio State stunned the Buckeyes. While it may be a Patriots-centric staff, it is tough to argue with the logic, considering the dominance the Pats have had for the last 14 years.
1/9/14: The Texans landed their next head coach by hiring Bill O'Brien from Penn State. O'Brien had previous NFL experience as an assistant with the Patriots before going to Penn State. He received national acclaim for saving the Nittany Lions program after the Jerry Sandusky scandal nearly destroyed them. It looks like he will bring another former Patriot's assistant with him too. Romeo Crennel is set to be the next defensive coordinator, replacing Wade Phillips who did a great job with that defense for the past few seasons. Phillips wanted the job, but O'Brien wants his own leadership.
1/2/14: All that remains now for the Houston Texans is to 1) pick a new head coach, and 2) figure out who they will pick with the number one overall pick in the draft. Houston finished out the season with a loss to Tennessee to fall to 2-14. Injuries, bad QB play, and a coaching change were all culprits. Bill O'Brien, the head coach at Penn State, is said to be the leading candidate for the coaching job. Lovie Smith has interviewed as well and Ken Whisenhunt is probably a candidate for a prime job. Houston has all the tools to be a contender quickly - the same way Kansas City did it this year.
12/26/13: Houston was everyone's darling team last season, but this has been a nightmare of a campaign. A combination of devastating injuries, terrible quarterback play, and a coaching change has doomed the season. The Texans lost 37-13 to the Broncos last Sunday - it would have been a great matchup a year ago. As the losses continue to mount, the draft picks get better and better. Houston will have the first or second pick in April. There is a lot of speculation on who the next head coach will be, and Ken Whisenhunt and Lovie Smit are two top candidates.
12/19/13: It is tough to be a Houston Texans fan this season knowing that the team has a lot of talent but also a lot of injuries and poor QB play which have put them in the basement of the league. The Texans played the Colts last Sunday in what was originally expected to be a heavy-weight bout between the two best teams in the AFC South (back in August). But it was more of the same. Houston's offense struggled and the Colts cruised to a 25-3 win. The good news is that the Texans are in line for the number one pick in every round in April. Houston hosts the Broncos this Sunday.
12/12/13: It is a dismal season for the Houston Texans, who dropped their 11th straight game last Thursday in a 27-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was also the second time this season that the Texans have lost to the Jags, and ended up being the final game for head coach Gary Kubiak. Kubiak was fired after the game as the Texans sit at 2-13 on the season. Reportedly, Texans ownership was not happy that he pulled Case Keenum for Matt Schaub in the loss. Wade Phillips takes over for the final three games as interim coach. Houston plays the Colts (8-5) this Sunday.
12/5/13: Texans head coach Gary Kubiak may be coaching his final games for the Houston Texans over the next few weeks. The Texans dropped their 10th straight game, this time to the New England Patriots. It is a far cry from the great team last year. Houston actually had a sizable lead at halftime, going into the break leading 17-7. However, they could not sustain it the second half and ended up losing 34-31. Houston is now in the cellar of the AFC South, but can pull even this week with a win over the Jags (3-9) in Jacksonville on the Thursday night game.
11/28/13: The Texans looked to snap an eight game losing streak so they were thankful when the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars came to town. They did not expect to lose the game, but the 13-6 defeat puts them in last place in the AFC South. The Texans were expected to contend again this season, but poor quarterback play and the loss of star running back Arian Foster now has them in contention for the first overall pick in the draft. Rookie QB Case Keenum is proving not to be the answer. He managed only 169 yards and no scores against the Jags. It does not get easier this week as the Patriots (8-3) come to town.
11/21/13: The Texans could use a hug. The nightmare that is the 2013 season continued with the Texans eighth consecutive loss - this time as the hands of the Oakland Raiders, 28-23. Rookie QB Case Keenum started the game, as he has played well for the past couple of weeks. However, he was benched for Matt Schaub in the second half. The Raiders started undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, who threw for only 197 yards, but three touchdowns. The season is lost for the Texans so the big question becomes if head coach Gary Kubiak keeps his job. Perhaps the Texans can get back on track this Sunday when they host the 1-9 Jacksonville Jaguars.
11/14/13: Houston's disastrous season continues to get worse as news came out that star running back Arian Foster is finished for the season with a back injury. The losses keep coming - seven in a row now - as the Texans lost at Arizona 27-24 last Sunday. Case Keenum started again and had another decent game. He only threw for 200 yards, but three of those completions were for touchdowns. Wade Phillips acted as coach for the game as head coach Gary Kubiak was still recovering from a mini-stroke the week before. Kubiak is expected to be back this Sunday when the Texans (2-7) host the Raiders (3-6).
11/7/13: The Houston Texans have owned the AFC South for the past two years but there is certainly a changing of the guard going on right now. Houston lost another game, dropping their record to 2-6 on the season. They have also lost their head coach for at least a little while. The Texans built up a 21-3 halftime lead over the Colts. Then head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed with a mini-stroke. That left the Texans distracted and allowed the Colts to come back and win 27-24. Kubiak is expected to miss a week before returning to the sidelines.
10/31/13: It is a tough season for the Houston Texans, who have lost more games this season than last. The team had their bye in Week 8, sitting with a 2-5 record and well behind the Indianpolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. The QB position is up in the air. Matt Schaub was injured against St. Louis, and Case Keenum started in Week 6. Head coach Gary Kubiak has been non-commital about the Week 8 starter when the Texans host the 5-2 Colts in the Sunday Night Game. Schaub has been under fire all season for his frequent pick-sixes and generally poor decision making. There is a good chance that neither Kubiak nor Schaub will be with the team next season.
10/24/13: Things are not getting any easier for the Houston Texans who are ravaged with injuries. Houston lost their third consecutive game, this time falling 17-16 to the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans started Case Keenum at quarterback with Matt Schaub injured and Yates ineffective in relief duty last week against St. Louis. Houston had a chance for the win, but Keenum was stripped of the ball with about 90 seconds left in the game and KC ran out the clock. If anyone needs a week off, it is the Texans, and lucky for them theirs is this week.
10/17/13: Most teams get healthy when they play the Rams, but not the Texans. Perhaps the Texans were just unlucky to have the Rams on the schedule during a tremendous pro sports renaissance in St. Louis. The Cardinals are up 2-0 on the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Blues are undefeated. And the Rams came into Houston and demolished the Texans 38-13. QB Matt Schaub left the game with an ankle injury, but that did nothing to stop the pick-six streak. The Texans are now 2-4 on the season, and head to KC to play the 5-1 Chiefs this Sunday.
10/10/13: The Texans fell to 2-3 on the season with a big loss to the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34-3. Houston could not manage any offense and QB Matt Schaub surrendered yet another pick six. A week after taking the Seahawks to overtime, the Texans just could not make anything of this game. Houston falls into third place in the AFC South, a division they were expected to win again. Indianapolis (4-1) leads and the surprising Tennessee Titans (3-2) is in second. The Texans have a very good chance to get back on track this Sunday as they play their third NFC West team in a row when they host the St. Louis Rams (2-3).
10/3/13: QB Matt Schaub has been criticized ever since he became the starter for Houston several years ago and the criticism is only going to get louder. Houston (2-2) held a 20-13 lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter when Schaub threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown to Richard Sherman. That tied the game and the Texans could not muster any more offense during the remainder of the regulation time and went scoreless during two overtime possessions. Seattle kicked the winning field goal in the extra frame to win 23-20. The Texans head to San Francisco (2-2) for the Sunday Night Game.
9/26/13: Houston started off the season with two wins and tried to make it three against the struggling Baltimore Ravens in safety Ed Reed's emotional return to the Charm City. But, even without Ray Rice, the Raven took control of the game and simply would not relinquish. QB Matt Schaub could only manage 194 yards passing and the Ravens defense kept the Texans rushing attach to under 100 yards on the day. It was a sobering loss for the Texans who just cannot seem to beat the better teams in the AFC. Houston returns home in Week 4 to face the 3-0 Seattle Seahawks.
9/19/13: Houston escaped Tennessee with a victory, a costly victory. The Texans won 30-24 on the back of rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Star WR Andre Johnson was knocked out of the game with a concussion on a hit from the Titans' Bernard Pollard (the same guy who broke Tom Brady a few years ago). Hopkins had 117 yards and a TD in his second game. The good news for the Texans is that it looks like they finally found a complement for Johnson. Houston now travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens (1-1) on Sunday afternoon.
9/12/13: Houston looked like they did not show up for their season opener until the second half. In the late Monday Night Game, the Texans allowed the host San Diego Chargers to build a 28-7 lead late in the third quarter. Houston roared back to life, scoring three late touchdowns to tie the game and kicking home the winning field goal to secure the win. QB Matt Schaub threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the effort. Houston will try to continue their winning ways this Sunday when they host the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South opener for both teams.
9/4/13: The Texans open the season with a Monday Night game against the San Diego Chargers. Houston will be a team to watch again, especially since WR Andre Johnson already looks like he is mid season form. The biggest questions are health related. Star running back Arian Foster has been limited all preseason with injuries, and many are worried about the wear and tear his body has taken the past few years. Also, new safety Ed Reed is still banged up, and he is needed to shore up the secondary. Regardless, the Texans are still a top team and should fend off Indy to take the AFC South yet again.
8/29/13: The Texans removed Arian Foster from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, meaning that he should be back in the lineup soon. Foster has missed all of training camp and every preseason game so far with calf and back injuries. Many worry that he has put too many miles on his body too early. Fortunately for the Texans, they have a more than capable second option in Ben Tate. What the team may want to consider is bringing Tate in more often simply to give Foster a bit of a break, and protect him for the playoffs and future years.
8/22/13: Texans' defensive tackle J.J. Watt made a name for himself last season as perhaps the best defensive lineman in the game. He consistently provided pressure on opposing QBs, racked up a lot of sacks, and batted down a lot of balls. This year he wants to start the 20-20-20 club: 20 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and 20 balls batted down. He actually came pretty close last year, and would have reached it with a few more sacks. With Brian Cushing back at linebacker, Watt may have his best chance to do it this time around.
8/15/13: A lot of ink has been used predicting that Texans' star running back Arian Foster is due to break down this season. It is true that Foster has been nursing a sore calf for a few months now, and it is also true that he has had a very large workload the past three seasons - 354 attempts last year alone. The concern, therefore, is that he will either get hurt or fatigued this season, and not put up his normal huge numbers. Perhaps that is true, but Foster has shown toughness in his three seasons and is still an elite running back. The Texans do have a nice security blanket, though, in backup running back Ben Tate - who would start on most teams.
8/8/13: The Texans knew that future hall of fame safety Ed Reed had a bad hip when they signed him, but now are getting worried that he will miss time in the regular season. Houston had one of the best defenses in the league last season, and may get better with Reed and the return of linebacker Brian Cushing. The team is looking for some help on offense. QB Matt Schaub is serviceable, but certainly not elite. RB Arian Foster is returning from a calf injury and should be fine. The big question is how well can rookie DeAndre Hopkins adjust to life as a NFL wide receiver. If he does well, then the offense gets a lot better.
8/1/13: All eyes in Houston are on running back Arian Foster - because they certainly are not on the Astros. Foster is still nursing an injury and the team is hoping that he will be back and just as effective come the start of the season. Foster has been training every day, but has not gotten on the field yet. Head coach Gary Kubiak does not think that his injury is too much of a problem and that he should be back sooner than later. The good news is that the Texans still have Ben Tate, who could be a starter on most teams, in case Foster's injury continues on for longer than expected.
7/25/13: The Texan appear ready to roll. For the first time in ages, the team has all their core players healthy. That list includes: wide receiver Andre Johnson and linebacker Brian Cushing. They also have a healthy Ed Reed at safety, which should make a top ten defense even better. There is some concern about star running back Arian Foster, but all indications are good at this point. The Texans have something to prove this season. They rolled through the first three months of the 2012 season, but came up flat in December - which carried over to the playoffs.
7/18/13: This is a big year for QB Matt Schaub. Schaub has proven himself to be a good, but not great quarterback in his time in the league. He does have the luxury of playing with Arian Foster and Andre Johnson - two tremendous weapons that make him look better. However, Schaub is considered a game manager. He probably will not lose a game, but he certainly is not going to win a game. He likely has this season to prove that he should remain the starting quarterback or else the team may make that decision for him.
7/11/13: Texans linebacker Brian Cushing ruffled a few old feathers last week by saying the J.J. Watt may become the best defensive player ever in the NFL. Of course some old timers and pretentious journalists took exception at the comment, saying that he was disrespecting the history of the NFL. But Cushing was saying he is the best ever, but that he could be the best ever. And maybe he can be, only time will tell. What we do know is that Watt is an exceptional defensive player and only has a couple years in the league. He is in a great scheme for his talents and is a budding superstar. That is not disrespect, that is what is happening today.
7/4/13: Believe it or not, the Texans' fans have reason to be optimistic this season. Everyone saw the Colts rise from the depths of the NFL cellar to the playoffs last year. Many expect the Colts to make the next step and take over the AFC South, with Houston as just a decent team. However, they are forgetting that the Texans signed Ed Reed in the offseason and Brian Cushing will be back - so the defense will remain strong. Also, the addition of DeAndre Hopkins will reduce the coverage on Andre Johnson, opening up the passing game. The will be just fine.
6/27/13: All eyes in Houston are focused either on running back Arian Foster's health or DeAndre Hopkins development. Foster is probably the second best running back in the game behind Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. He is a game changer that can carry a team on his back. Hopkins is the rookie wide receiver drafted to be opposite of Andre Johnson. For too long, Johnson has been essentially the sole receiver, allowing defenses to double and triple team him. That should not be the case this year if Hopkins develops as hoped - which would mean more success for Johnson and Foster as well.
6/20/13: The Texans have had the run of the land in the AFC South for the past two years. They are fortunate to have doormats Tennessee and Jacksonville in their division. Indy surprised everyone last year by being much better than expected. So it looks like a two team race this season. The concern is that Houston is now in decline while the Colts are on the rise. The addition of Ed Reed and return of Brian Cushing should help the defense. As long as Arian Foster can stay healthy and DeAndre Hopkins develops well, this team could be better than last year.
6/13/13: A few interesting stats about all-pro Texans' WR Andre Johnson. He was 58% of his team's passing game last year. He routinely got double and triple teamed. He still caught 70% of the balls thrown to him. He has never had 10 or more TDs in a season. That means that the Texans need a complementary receiver. DeAndre Hopkins was drafted for that role. Houston still has a nasty defense and a strong running game. If Hopkins (or someone else) can step up, then the Texans may be able to get deeper into the playoffs this season.
6/6/13: Most of the off season press about Houston is the drafting a wide receiver to play opposite of all-world WR Andre Johnson - and DeAndre Hopkins may be that guy. But the city of Houston is holding their collective breath about the fate of Arian Foster. Foster left OTA's with a calf injury and has not been back. the Texans are publicly saying that the injury is minor - but no one outside the organization really knows. The Texans have a capable back up in Ben Tate, but Foster is a rare talent that can single-handedly change the course of the game.
5/30/13: The Texans and their fans may have cause for concern after signing future hall of fame safety Ed Reed to a three year, $15 million free agent contract a few months ago. Baltimore was not interested in re-signing Reed, who was a stallwart on their fabled defense for a number of years. Now it seems that Reed has had surgery to repair a tear in his hip. He is supposed to be ready for training camp. However, speculation is running rampant that the Ravens knew about the hip problem but the Texans did not. Or, perhaps, the Texans knew, but figured he would be worth the risk as they lost a lot of talent on defense during the offseason.
5/23/13: Houston had a great defense last season, even if they tailed off a little towards the end of last season. But the team was undoubtedly better when linebacker Brian Cushing was in the line up. He tore his ACL in early October, and was lost for the rest of the 2012 season. Cushing has been going through his rehab as directed and hopes to be back for the start of training camp in July - nine months after the injury. In any case, he will be fully ready for the start of the season, barring any setbacks.
5/16/13: The Texans like what they see in rookie DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins came into rookie mini camp and astounded the coaching staff with his skills. The Texans have lacked a suitable complement for superstar WR Andre Johnson for years, but they may have found their man with the 27th pick out of Clemson. Hopkins has the credentials. He caught 82 passes for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdown last season. He probably will not put up those numbers this year, but will take some pressure off of Johnson and is the heir apparent to the number one spot.
5/9/13: After longtime Ravens' safety Ed Reed signed with the Texans a couple months ago there were rumors that the Ravens did not want him back - and that is why they did not get into a bidding war for the future hall of famer. Now comes reports that Reed had hip surgery to repair a labral tear. Reed is expected back for training camp, but maybe that is the reason the Ravens were so willing to let him go. In the meantime, rookie D.J. Swearinger will get some extra reps and maybe accelerate his development into an NFL player.
5/2/13: No one really knows what the Texans defense will look like this year. They started off great in 2012, but tailed off at the end of the season. They lost several players to free agency, though did add safety Ed Reed. But their most glaring need is at wide receiver, so Houston addressed that with their first pick, taking wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from North Carolina with the 27th overall pick. The Texans hope that Hopkins can complement all-pro WR Andre Johnson, as well as take away some double teams from him over the next several seasons.
4/25/13: The Texans move to bring in future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed should help with a defense that started strong but withered over the last half of the year. That is actually a concern for this team. Houston built up a strong enough lead on the division early on that they weathered losing three of their last four games. This year will be tougher since Indianapolis is better. The Texans lost to New England in New England last December, then were eliminated by the Patriots in the playoffs (in New England again) just a few weeks later. They drew the Pats once again in December, and will have to learn how to beat Brady if they are going to take the next step.
4/18/13: The NFL vice president of special events came down to Houston to inspect the facilities as part of Houston's bid for Super Bowl LI. The city is not among the most elegant site, but does have a nice stadium. Also, the team is installing new video boards which are said to be the worlds largest. The upgrade is intended to help lure the Super Bowl in 2017. The scoreboards will be 53 feet tall and 277 feet wide, which is longer than a 747 wing. The video boards are probably overkill, but Houston has to keep up with Dallas, and this is in Texas.
4/11/13: J.J. Watt may have just given Andrew Luck, Jack Locker, and the Jags' QB du jour heart attacks by announcing that he was not 100% last year. Watt led the league in sacks with 20.5, and was an absolute terror on the defensive line all season. In fact, he was probably the best defensive player in the league in 2012. The fact that he had a dislocated elbow early on and it never healed during the season can only mean that he may be better in 2013. A fully healthy Watt will certainly command double teams, opening up blitzing lanes for other Texans.
4/4/13: Houston has owned the AFC South for the past two years. Those are the two years that Peyton Manning has not played a game for the Indianapolis Colts. Manning was injured all of 2011 and signed with Denver for the 2012 season (and beyond). Houston took advantage of that misfortune and built a very competitive team. However, the Texans have lost a lot on their vaunted defense in the off season, and have really not upgraded their offense. Meanwhile, the Colts battled in for a playoff spot last season. Now it looks like a two horse race in the division, and it should go down to the wire.
Your team might not have made the Super Bowl, but that doesn't mean you can't have a great time at the Super Bowl. Check out more info on Super Bowl 2013 tickets over on the SeatGeek Blog.
3/28/13: Houston finally got their man. The Texans rolled out the red carpet in hosting long time Ravens safety Ed Reed. Most experts assumed that Reed would eventually resign with the Ravens, and the courting by Houston was merely formality and smoke screen. Then Reed signed a $15 million, three year with the Texans. Reed took out a full page newspaper ad in the Baltimore paper, thanking fans. This addition should help the Texans, especially after they lost Connor Barwin, James Casey, and Glover Quin to Philadelphia, Philadelphia, and Detroit, respectively, during the first week of free agency.
3/21/13: Texans' wide receiver Kevin Walters became a salary cap casualty in Houston. The Texans released him and his $2.5 million salary so they could clear out space for their upcoming draft class. Head coach Gary Kubiak is 'sick' about the whole situation, citing Walters' hard work and leadership. Many people may not consider Walters to be a top receiver, but he was the number two behind All Pro Andre Johnson, and provided a veteran's point of view in a locker room filled with young, kid receivers. He will be hard to replace, and the Texans need to do so in order to keep double and triple teams off of Johnson.
3/14/13: One of the problems with developing a good team, particularly a good offensive or defensive unit is that the other teams will poach your players when they become eligible for free agency. Such is the case with the Ravens defense, and likewise, the Texans defense. Glover Quin has already signed with the Detroit Lions and there may be more defections to come. In other news, the Texans are set to receive a visit by none other that Ed Reed. Most expect Reed to eventually re-sign with the Ravens, but it is interesting to see who he may consider.
3/17/13: Texans QB Matt Schaub has taken a lot of heat from fans about the team's downfall in the last several weeks of the season. The Texans led the NFL at 11-1 before going 1-3 in the final month, then losing in the second round of the playoffs to the New England Patriots. But people should remember that Houston really only had one receiving threat in Andre Johnson, and had holes in linebackers and in the secondary. Drafting E.J. Manual from Florida State will not fix those problems, the Texans need to put some more talent on the field to contend.
2/5/13: Perhaps unsurprisingly, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was named the defensive player of the year. It was one vote shy of being unanimous. Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips claimed it was the best year any defensive player has ever had - and that includes Bruce Smith, Reggie White and even Elvin Bethea because of the combination of stats. Watt led the league with 20.5 sacks, 16 batted down balls, and 39 tackles for loss during the season - leading Houston to a second straight division championship and a playoff victory over the Bengals in the first round of the playoffs.
1/31/13: The Matt Schaub bashing continues in Houston, particularly after he struggled in the Pro-Bowl. On one hand, it is difficult to continually criticize the starting QB who has made multiple Pro Bowls, led the team to the Divisional Round of the Playoffs, and won 12 games last season. However, Schaub did struggle down the stretch, and the Texans fell from first to third place, then lost twice to the Patriots. The Texans were without Brian Cushing by that time and certainly Schaub needs someone else to throw to beside Andre Johnson. But that kind of logic will not stop the complaining in Houston.
1/24/13: Its hard to criticize a guy who threw for 343 yards, two touchdowns, and only one INT in a playoff game, but may Texans fans are calling for the removal of QB Matt Schaub. Schaub, obviously, put up some great stats, but most of that was after the game was out of hand and the pressure was off. The Patriots won decisively 41-28, and Schaub's fine play came after the team was down by 25 points. At the least, the fans want the Texans to bring in a veteran or talented youngster to compete for the starting job and put some pressure on their current QB.
1/17/13: The talk about the Texans all season was how they were the most balanced team in the NFL. They had a great defense, great rushing attack, and a good passing game. But the team struggled down the stretch, dropping from number one to three in the AFC. Houston was beaten badly by the Patriots in a Week 13 Monday Night game in New England, 42-14. In the Divisional Round game their defense improved, only allowing 41 points, while scoring 28. Still, 28 is less than 41 so the Texans' season ends in disappointment again, with many calling for a replacement for quarterback Matt Schaub.
1/10/13: Houston repeated their effort from last year, knocking off Cincinnati in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs. The Texans lost their three of their last four games to fall from first to third in the AFC. But the team rebounded against the Bengals, doing what they do best: running the ball and playing defense. Arian Foster led the Texans with 140 yards rushing and a touchdown. Houston outgained the Bengals 250-53 in the first half, and finished the job by holding off Cincy to win the game. Houston now returns to New England, where they were routed a few weeks ago, for a chance to advance to the AFC Championship.
1/3/13: Houston stumbled down the stretch and their record fell from 11-1 to 12-4. The Texans had two chances to win and secure the number one seed for the playoffs, and with it a first round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. However, Houston lost their last two games, including the season finale against the Colts. The game did not mean anything to Indy, but their win meant that the Texans ended up with the third seed and will host the Bengals in the first round. The game is a rematch of last season's first round, a game that Houston won.
12/27/12: Houston hosted the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16 and was looking to wrap up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Instead, they found a very hungry Vikings team that dominated the Texans from start to finish, and Houston lost 23-6. The only bright spot was that J.J. Watt recorded another sack, bringing his total to 20.5 on the season. Arian Foster left the game after only 15 yards on 10 attempts in a precautionary move, though backup Ben Tate did not fare much better. The 12-3 Texans have lost two of their last three, but have a chance at playoff seeding this Sunday at Indianapolis.
12/20/12: After the Packers dismantled Houston earlier in the year, the Texans went on a six game winning streak. That was ended in New England in Week 14 with another routing. So the Texans got back to doing what they do best - dominating on defense and allowing the offense to score easy points. Such was the case in Indianopolis on Sunday. Houston's defense dominated the Colts, causing turnovers, blocking kicks, and shutting down Andrew Luck in a 29-17 win. The Texans now sit at 12-2 and are trying to lock down homefield advantage and a bye in the playoffs.
12/13/12: Houston only has two losses on the season, one each to Green Bay and New England. At 11-2, the Texans are firmly in the playoffs and can clinch the AFC South with another victory - they will have two games against the pesky Indianapolis Colts. Both losses were blowouts, but the Texans have shown resiliency all year. They are still a very balanced team that can run the ball very well. The question now is on defense. The defense had been outstanding for most of the year, but has allowed at least 30 points in the last few games. Indy comes calling this Sunday, so the Texans can finish off the division hunt.
12/6/12: Different city, same result. The Texans played the second of three consecutive road games, this time at Tennessee - the former Houston Oilers. The Texans came out blazing and easily won 24-10 against a Titans team that seems to have given up for the year. Houston clinched a playoff spot and now stands at 11-1 on the season. Indianapolis still could catch the Texans, but is still three games back in the standings. Houston now travels to New England for what may be the best matchup of the entire year on Monday night. Should they win, they will be just the sixth (of 42) teams to win three consecutive regular season road games since 2000.
11/29/12: The Texans machine keeps on rolling. Houston is tied for the best record in the NFL at 10-1, with the lone loss to Green Bay earlier in the season. The nearest divisional threat is Indy at 7-4, but this division race is over for all intents and purposes. Andre Johnson is playing at his highest level in years, Arian Foster is still Arian Foster, and JJ Watt (or JJ Swat, as he is becoming known) may be the best defensive player in the NFL. Houston travels to Tennessee this Sunday to play a team that just lost to the Jags.
11/22/12: Houston's defense was excellent for the first 10 games, but has allowed over 30 points twice in five days. Houston won both games, over the Jags and Lions, respectively, but is not displaying the dominance they showed earlier in the year. The Texans should have lost to the Lions on Thanksgiving. Justin Forsett scored a touchdown, but replays showed he was down. Lions coach Jim Schwartz challenged. However, all scoring plays are already reviewed. The challenge negated the review and the TD stood (though it would have likely been overturned). The Texans won in overtime, but this is a game they did not deserve.
11/15/12: Houston and Chicago met on Sunday night for the Game of the Century of the Week. These two top teams are both led by excellent defenses, with many experts predicting the Bears to win because of home field advantage. But the Texans ignored the predictions and forced Chicago out of their comfort zone, resulting in an ugly 13-6 victory. The Texans knockout Bears' starting quarterback Jay Cutler out of the game with a concussion, and Cutler is not likely to play next Monday against the 49ers. Houston will host woeful Jacksonville on Sunday, and probably improve to 10-1.
11/8/12: The Houston Texans are simply taking care of business these days. The Texans hosted the Buffalo Bills last Sunday and came out with a 21-9 win. While Houston gave a strong defensive performance all day, it was not nearly as dominating as some of their previous games. Still, the Texans are in the driver's seat for the AFC South as no one has given them a challenge in the division, and a bye in the playoffs. But the road will get considerably tougher. Houston travels to Chicago and the number one defense tonight, and then must face New England in the following week.
11/1/12: Houston had a bye in week 8, giving them some time to heal up and prepare for a week 9 tilt at home against Buffalo. It will be former first overall pick Mario Williams first return to Houston, but the Texans don't seem to miss him at all. Houston's defense has been superb all season, with the exception of the blowout loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. But overall, the season is going as planned. Houston is 6-1 and in total control of the AFC South. At this point, the Texans have to stay the course, but should be planning on a return trip to the postseason.
10/18/12: The Texans suffered their first loss of the season, a crushing 42-24 loss at home to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL's Sunday Night Game. At 5-1, they are still in complete control of the AFC South, with no other team having more than two wins. However, the loss showed where the Texans are vulnerable, giving up six touchdown passes to Aaron Rodgers. But Houston has no time to lick their wounds, they host the Ray Lewis-less Ravens on Sunday - a good opportunity to rebound and prove they are the class of the AFC.
10/1/12 ? The Houston Texans blew out the Tennessee Titans 38-14 to improve to 4-0 for the first time in franchise history. The Texans were clicking on both side of the ball. Matt Schaub completed 20 of 28 passes with two touchdowns and Arian Foster ran for 86 yards and a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson each returned an interception for a touchdown. Titans starting quarterback Jake Locker left in the first quarter with an injured shoulder. Matt Hasselbeck would come on in relief to throw for 193 yards and two touchdowns and Chris Johnson rushed for 141 yards for the Titans. The Texans only had a seven point lead at half-time but broke the game open in the third quarter with Manning?s interception.
10/4/12: The preseason buzz was about how strong the Texans were going to be this season, which usually means that they are doomed to fail. But this Houston team, and especially the defense, is every bit as good as advertised. Quarterback Matt Schaub has been effeicient. The recieving corps is holding up, and Arian Foster, is, well, Arian Foster. At 4-0, the Texans already have a three game lead on the division. The next stop on the Playoff Express is a Monday trip to the Big Apple, to beat down the already depressed Jets (and their fans).
9/22/12 ? Matt Schaub threw four touchdown passes and held off a furious rally by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in a 31-25 victory. Schaub threw completed 17 of 30 passes for 290 yards with his four touchdowns. He found his wide receivers Kevin Walter (3 receptions 73 yards) and Andre Johnson (2 receptions 72 yards) early and often, connecting with them for a touchdown each. Adrian Foster finished with 105 yards rushing and a touchdown reception. Manning threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter but fell short as time expired at the end of the game. Houston becomes one of three teams in the NFL still undefeated.
8/16/12: There is no truth to the rumor that the Lions have erected a sign displaying "X Number of Days Since Our Last Arrest", though no one would blame them if they did. But Commandant Goddell has yet to enact any punishment on any guest of law enforcement (except Mikel Leshoure) or the team itself - and that day will come eventually. Until then, the Lions look like a playoff team. Matt Stafford lived up to No. 1 billing last year. Calvin Johnson is the game's best receiver. And Cliff Avril is in camp. Green Bay will get more attention, but the Lions should not be overlooked this season.
8/2/12: How tough is J.J. Watts? The emerging defensive star dislocated his elbow in a training camp practice, so the trainer simply popped it back in place. Watts will miss some practice time, but right now is not expected to miss the opening of the season. Tim Jamison took his place with the first team defense because Jared Crick had a minor neck injury. Watts exploded on the scene last year with 56 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a rookie. He excelled in Wade Phillips aggressive scheme and was a big reason the defense made huge strides toward being elite last year. The Texans are poised for big season if they can only stay healthy.
7/26/12: The Texans are still the odds-on favorites to repeat as AFC South champions in the coming season. With QB Matt Schaub, WR Andre Johnson, and RB Arian Foster returning fully healthy, the team has one of the best offensive cores in the league. The real question is who else can catch the ball. Kevin Walter is a nice complementary guy, but he's not Wes Welker. After that, the team is loaded with rookies and players without any experience. DeVier Posey was drafted to fill the spot, but has yet to prove himself - though he will get plenty of opportunity because the Texans expect him to be around for a long time.
5/23/12: The Texans want to take the next step - beyond winning the division and winning a playoff game - winning the Super Bowl. While it is great to be in the conversation, the Texans realize that no one is crowned king in May. However, the NFL schedule makers did their part to put the team on the map. Houston will have five nationally televised games. They will host Green Bay, and go on the road against the Bears, Jets, Patriots, and Lions. While not quite 'The Greatest Show on Turf', the team has plenty of offensive playmakers and should provide some exciting games.
5/16/12: The Houston Texans rewarded General Manager Rick Smith and Head Coach Gary Kubiak with contract extensions for developing the Texans from lower-tier to division winner. Both were hired in 2006 and had another year on their contracts, but owner Bob McNair felt they had the team in the right direction and in position to compete in the postseason for several years. McNair was pleasantly rewarded for his patience, as fans and media clammored for Smith's and Kubiak's firing a few years ago. But the team steadily improved (and Peyton Manning missed last season), and finally won their division and a playoff game last season.
5/11/12: The wide receiver competition will likely heat up in Houston this offseason with the return of Andre Johnson and Keven Walters, as well as seven other inexperienced receivers. Johnson and Walters are both 31, and the team opted to release Jacoby Jones (who signed with the Panthers) and get younger at the position. Jones famously fumbled a return in the playoff loss to Baltimore, and was essentially run out of town. The Texans drafted DeVier Posey and Keyshawn Martin in the third and fourth rounds last month, have two returning undrafted free agents, and signed three more undrafted free agents for depth.
5/3/12: The Houston Texans took defensive end Whitney Mercilus from Illinois with the 26th overall pick in an attempt to fill the void created when former number one overall pick Mario Williams took his considerable talents to Buffalo. Mercilus is known as a pure pass-rusher with good instincts and a quick burst. The Texans also drafted two wide receivers, Devier Posey from Ohio State in the third round and Keshawn Martin from Michigan State in the fifth round. Drafting two Big Ten wideouts made Jacoby Jones expendible, and the Texans cut the sixth year wideout after failing to trade him.
4/25/12: The Texans do not have many glaring weaknesses entering the draft. They do need to replace Mario Williams, however.They have a solid, if unspectacular, quarterback in Matt Schaub. The leagues 2nd best rushing attack with (NFL leader) Arian Foster and Ben Tate. A true number 1 wide receiver in Andre Johnson (when healthy), and the number 4 rushing defense. They won the AFC South last year and look to build a divisional dynasty like the rival Colts did for a decade. Houston selected Whitney Mercilus from Illinois with the 26th pick. Mercilus is a pass-rushing specialist who may help fill the void from Williams departure.
4/17/12: Houston was essentially given the AFC South championship last year once Peyton Manning was out for the season. With Manning in Denver, and the rest of the division rebuilding, the Texans are favored to repeat. The team plays home-and-home against the division, as well as the NFC North and AFC East, and Baltimore and Denver. NFL schedule makers took note of the recent success, granting five nationally televised games: The Texans have two Monday Night games at the Jets and Patriots, Sunday Night games at home against Baltimore and Jacksonville, as well as a Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit.
Houston Texans Tickets - Team History
Established in 2002, the Houston Texansbring excitement every Sunday they take the field at Reliant Stadium. Playing in a state-of-the-art arena certainly helps, but the Texans boast superstars on both sides of the ball and have managed to recover quickly from their unsuccessful investment in would-be franchise quarterback David Carr.
Houston Texans Tickets - 2011 Season Info
Though a 4-2 start eventually gave way to a 6-10 final record, there is plenty of hope for 2011 for the Texans. Offensively, their Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster combination ranks among the best quarterback, wide receiver, running back trios in the NFL. Foster, who came out of nowhere to lead the league in rushing in 2010, will force defenses to play closer to the line of scrimmage from Week 1, opening up the field for Schaub and Johnson. Defensively, their first round selection of Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt fortifies a front seven that includes Pro Bowlers Mario Williams and Brian Cushing.
Houston Texans Tickets - 2011 Schedule
The Texans will be tested from Week 1, with only a Week 2 visit to Miami separating matchups against the Colts, Saints, and Steelers right out of the gate. Peyton Manning and Drew Brees will challenge the Texans' secondary, a unit that struggles with takeaways and can be looked at as a weakness for the young team. Adding Watt to the pass rush should alleviate some of the pressure on the secondary, yet Bernard Pollard and company still need to step up to push the Texans from just an offensive juggernaut to a bona fide playoff contender in 2011.
Houston Texans Tickets - The Players
Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson have proven to be one of the most dominant QB/WR tandem in the league. With the addition of Arian Foster, Derrick Ward and Steve Slaton in the back field the Texans have one of the more explosive offenses in the league. Mario Williams put his name at the list of the top DE in the league. The defense for the Texans isn't stellar but it is definitely good enough to allow them to possibly eclipse the Colts in the division and make the play offs. It'll be an interesting season as this young organization gets better and better each year.
Houston Texans Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Houston Texans First Game 2013
Houston Texans Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 15, 2013 Houston Texans 3 - 25 Indianapolis Colts Dec 1, 2013 New England Patriots 34 - 31 Houston Texans Nov 24, 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars 13 - 6 Houston Texans Nov 17, 2013 Oakland Raiders 28 - 23 Houston Texans Nov 10, 2013 Houston Texans 24 - 27 Arizona Cardinals Oct 13, 2013 St. Louis Rams 38 - 13 Houston Texans Oct 6, 2013 Houston Texans 3 - 34 San Francisco 49ers Sep 29, 2013 Seattle Seahawks 23 - 20 Houston Texans Sep 22, 2013 Houston Texans 9 - 30 Baltimore Ravens Sep 15, 2013 Tennessee Titans 24 - 30 Houston Texans Aug 29, 2013 Preseason: Houston Texans 24 - 6 Dallas Cowboys Aug 25, 2013 Preseason: New Orleans Saints 31 - 23 Houston Texans Aug 17, 2013 Preseason: Miami Dolphins 17 - 24 Houston Texans Aug 9, 2013 Preseason: Houston Texans 27 - 13 Minnesota Vikings