The Houston Texans have some company this year. I know you have heard me say that before, but I firmly believe this is a team that will compete with Indianapolis for the AFC South crown. That does not mean this is a team that is going to perish under the pressure of competition. This is an extremely talented team that needs to take that next leap forward and move farther in the playoffs and become a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

This team may have lost one of its best sack artists in Connor Barwin, but it still has speed on defense and Wade Phillips calling the shots as the defensive coordinator. And as long as Arian Foster is running the ball, things will be bright in Houston.

With a new season comes new predictions and new hope for this franchise. Here six bold predictions that will  or will not come to fruition in 2013.

1. Matt Schaub leads the league in passing. This is a possibility if the passing game is opened up more and Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins spread the field, this could be the highest scoring team in the AFC.

2. This team will miss Connor Barwin more than they think. One team that is thrilled Barwin is in Philadelphia besides the Eagles is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Barwin was a disruptive force in the Texans defense and a player who could play on the line or stand on the outside as a 3-4 pass rusher.

3. 2,000 yards. That should be the next goal and accomplishment for the great running back. There is plenty of reason to believe he can accomplish it. If he gets anywhere near the mark, it means the offense is doing just fine.

4. Swearinger leads league in interceptions. And maybe illegal hits. Swearinger could be the next Ronnie Lott, and could be a ball hawking defensive back in the mold of Mel Blount. Either way, he will be exciting to watch this season.

5. The last time we see Wade Phillips in Houston. At some point, Phillips will get another job offer. His defenses are great and his schemes are unmatched. Personally I think Phillips is a better coordinator than head coach. But you also know that great coordinators move up the ranks often in the NFL.

6. Ed Reed cannot complete the season. His body will continue to fail him. Injuries are taking their toll on Reed, who is this generation’s version of Jack Tatum. His knowledge to the younger players is more than valuable. Yes, Reed can still play, the question though is how many games this season.