FINALLY!! After 10 long years of wallowing in NFL mediocrity, the Houston Texans met and exceeded the lofty expectations of its Bayou City fan base.
Last season, by earning its second consecutive AFC South title and playoff berth, the Texans have also earned a level of respectability that reflected its level of on-field talent.
In short, the Texans (particularly the fans) have always ‘talked the talk,’ last season, they actually ‘walked the walk!’
The 2012 season brought the Texans credibility (field cred), and the optimum opportunity to add the much-needed element of je ne sais quoi to its football resume.
Along with back-to-back AFC South Championships, accolades include a 12-4 record, a playoff win, and staking claim to the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in defensive end J. J. Watt.
Running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson have been the offensive mainstays for the Texans. Foster completed his third consecutive 1,000-plus yard rushing campaign, rushing for 1,424 yards. Johnson rebounded from an injury-plagued 2011 season with a 1,598-yard output. Quarterback Matt Schaub contributed 4,008 passing yards, with 22 TDs and 12 INTs. The trio were Pro Bowl selectees last season.
The Houston Texans had a memorable 2012 season. Expect improvements in 2013, but Houston will come up short in either the Divisional round, or the AFC Championship Game.
Here’s how the 2013 season will unfold:
Week 1 at SD – The Texans and its ‘Thundering Herd’ defense will stampede San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium to ‘ground,’ – make that ‘grind up’ Air Rivers and the Chargers’ offense. DE J. J. Watt will have his way with the Chargers' backfield, with multiple sacks on a pedestrian Philip Rivers. Look for RB Arian Foster and WR Andre Johnson to be stellar! Texans 33-10.
Week 2 vs TEN – The vaunted Texans’ ‘D’ will overcome a productive outing by RB Chris Johnson en route to its 2nd ‘W’ of the season. Safety Ed Reed gets his Texans’ ‘sea legs’ under him, contributing a pair of picks to the winning cause. Texans 24-7.
Week 3 at BAL – To Edgar Allan Powe’s chagrin, the Texans will not have to come ‘tapping’ at the Ravens’ ‘chamber door,’ Ed Reed will actually have the key to let them in! Reed will bail the Bayou Bulls out by helping them overcome offensive miscues with two more key interceptions. One of those INTs will be a game-deciding pick-six, late in the game. ‘Quoth the Texans… Nevermore!!’ Texans 13-10.
Week 4 vs SEA – Pro Bowl selectee QB Russell Wilson, newly-acquired WR Percy Harvin, and the revamped Seahawks’ offense will swoop down on Reliant Stadium to give the Texans another rough outing in as many weeks. This pair of high-octane ‘Os’ will trade blows like two heavyweight boxers, with the Texans scoring the KO. In a shootout, Texans 34-31.
Week 5 at SF – The public address announcer will say:"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to San-Fran-ciscooo, and 'The Colin Kaepernick-Anquan Boldin Show!!' It's on!!" DE J. J. Watt will grow weary and frustrated chasing (QB) Kaepernick around all day with minimum effectiveness. Look for QB Matt Schaub to be equally flustered by LB Patrick Willis and Co. 49ers 27-14.
Week 6 vs STL – The Texans will bounce back from the previous week with a big win over the Rams. Both the Texans offense and defense will click on all cylinders! Look for Rams’ QB Sam Bradford to be ineffective in this game. Texans 41-17.
Week 7 at KC – Ed Reed will read Andy Reid’s new Red Offense. RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate will come up HUGE in this one! Texans 31-3.
Week 9 vs IND - The Bayou Bulls will return to action rested and rejuvenated… The Hoosier Horses led by QB Andrew Luck and DE Robert Mathis will come to play. The Texans will prevail in this rodeo with a steady ground game and stout defense. Texans 24-10.
Week 10 at ARI – The Cards have not solved their quarterback woes, as off season acquisition QB Carson Palmer will not be the answer… Kurt Warner is not walking through that door, guys! Texans 23-17.
Week 11 vs OAK – The Raiders have made improvements, but are still hapless… QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson for combine for big plays in this one. Texans 28-10.
Week 12 vs JAC – This is the beginning of the Jaguar-Patriot sandwich portion of the Texans’ season. The Texans will win in less-than-spectacular fashion. Texans 13-7.
Week 13 vs NE – The Texans will be ready for the rematch with Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick’s ‘Evil Empire’ QB Tom (Terrific) Brady will have a less-than-memorable game, as the Texans' ‘D’ will come up big once again this season, this time as part of a total team effort. Texans 27-20.
Week 14 at JAC – The end of the Jaguar-Patriot sandwich will give the Texans hiccups and heartburn! Overconfident from a big win over the Patriots, the Texans will succumb to its own offensive miscues. The ‘D’ will not bail them out this time. Jags’ Rookie DE and 2nd overall pick Dion Jordan (Oregon) will cause at least one of those turnovers. Jaguars 17-16.
Week 15 at IND – A heavy dose of DE Robert Mathis and Co. will confuse the Texans’ offense, resulting in back-to-back divisional losses. QB Matt Schaub will have a multiple pick day. Colts 31-14.
Week 16 vs DEN – The Bayou Bulls tune up for a playoff run by beating QB Payton Manning and the efficient Broncos’ offense. Despite a stalwart effort by Manning and WR Wes Welker, the Broncos come up short. Texans 20-17.
Week 17 at TEN – The Texans win while resting the starters for the playoffs. Texans 24-20.
The Texans will complete its best season ever with a 13-3 record, convincingly winning the AFC South. If the Texans play in the wild card round (even with its record), it will pick up another playoff win. Only time will tell if Houston will finally win in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
If the Texans happen to advance to the AFC Championship, The Patriots will prevail in that game, avenging the Week 13 loss in Reliant Stadium.
The prognostication is in the books… let’s see what happens…