Houston Texans: Four Reasons They Can Not Contend In The AFC

By Dakota Crawford
November 26, 2012 9:45 am
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The Houston Texans were early-season Super Bowl favorites, to say the least.  

Despite a strong start early in the season, in which they only reinforced those pre-season Super Bowl predictions, the Texans appear to have fallen from their seat as a superior AFC team.

Over the last two weeks they have been challenged by not-so-challenging teams. Both Jacksonville and Detroit gave Houston a real run for their money. 

So then, Houston, do we have a problem? 

I have drawn up four problems with the Texans at this point; four reasons that they will not be able to compete with other AFC power house teams. 

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22 months ago
The Texans are not the AFC contenders. The Ravens are.
22 months ago

I think Baltimore was a bigger threat early in the year, too. They've been less dominant that we are accustomed to seeing, and the injury bug has been ever-present. They will definitely be in the playoff mix, how far they go will probably depend upon how far the offense will carry them.
22 months ago

Baltimore is a contender, but this is perhaps the weakest Baltimore team in memory. They've been fortunate in a number of games to eke out victories. That 4th and 29 is a prime example of how they have been fortunate this year. Ray Rice is 5'8" and somehow got a 4 1/2 foot spot. Add to it that Boldin's block sure looked like a crack-back block and viola...good fortune. They barely survived the Chiefs and Browns, they were gifted the game against the Pats by terrible replacement refs, and have shown flashes of utter ineptness on offense.

Houston was gifted the game on Thanksgiving and has looked shaky at times since their bye, but they are still solid. If you are a Texans fan, you should fear them running Arian Foster to death this year.
22 months ago

I completely agree with the Foster statement. He is running too much for comfort.

The interesting thing about all of the AFC teams, is they are basically mediocre. That is why I think this grouping of Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis, Cincinnati etc. won't be getting out of the AFC playoff bracket.
22 months ago
You're right that the Patriot game will be a true test (for both teams) for playoff viability. The Pats are without Gronkowski, 2 O-linemen, and Chandler Jones. Should be a great game.
22 months ago

The Patriots will likely have a healthy Hernandez though. When healthy, he can be utilized as efficiently as Gronk, no? Bill is usually able to get the most out of either/or. I don't want to underestimate Gronk's absence, but the same should be said for Hernandez's presence.

I guess I'm most excited to see two things with Houston. 1. If/when the defense will be back. 2. We've seen the offense win an absolute shootouts with Jac and Det; can they do the same against a NE team that is scoring at will?

Definitely looking forward to it. Monday Night Football, too, if I'm not mistaken.
22 months ago

Yes, Monday night in 2 weeks in Foxboro. Hernandez is a big weapon, but it was the 1-2 punch that the Patriots wanted on the ends... Daniel Fells is the fill-in and he can catch pretty well. Every little bit helps.
22 months ago

Absolutely. Working around adversity now will help these teams later in the year, too. Particularly the younger Texans who have been learning about adversity quite often over the last couple seasons.
22 months ago

The question is: are these growing pains for the Texans or ave they hit a wall? Will be interesting to see.
22 months ago

Couldn't agree more.
22 months ago
At this point in the season, it's a race to see who can finish the healthiest.
22 months ago

Injuries are definitely playing a major role. The number seems to get worse every year, though I can't say that is a fact. Just seems that serious injuries are becoming more and more common.
22 months ago
so who do you think will keep there play-off hopes alive Indy or Steelers or both
22 months ago

After this week, looks like it might be both! Great wins for both teams.
22 months ago
This seems to be a national affliction where the Texans are the red-headed stepchild of Rodney Dangerfield. 14 quarters in 11 days with 3 wins to show for it. You'd be calling the Pats invincible after such a feat. Missing MVP linebacker, two other starting linebackers,starting nose tackle,right tackle,tight end,#1B running back,shutdown corner for parts or all of the games.
You point out they'll be unlikely to compete against "elite" QB's like Brady,Manning and Rothelisberger? Well,they beat Manning in Denver,Stafford in Detroit,Flacco got smoked,beat Bears in Chicago. Rodgers got hot the week following Cushing's loss,their defensive captain and driving force.
Brady can't score without the ball, KC proved Manning can't either. Kubiak's teams win alot when they control the ball.
The MNF game will be huge,but there likely will be a rematch in Houston.
Neither NE nor Denver has had as tough a road schedule as Houston. One more tough road win convince you?
22 months ago

I give them credit where credit is due; each of the wins required mental toughness and obviously, huge offensive performances. On the other hand, they were playing defenses that were relatively bad. Not to mention that Jacksonville offense.... you can't argue the fact that those two games were ugly for Houston.

The elite thing ... I feel that Tom Brady is playing at an extremely high level right now. Peyton Manning has completely stepped his game up since the Texans played them in week 3. Stafford, Flacco and Cutler have no place on that list, in my opinion.

I don't need much convincing. They're a good team. Injuries ( you mentioned a few ) have been damaging to Houston in the past. You can't discount the impact of injuries, whether they come at the fault of the team or not.

At this point, I'm excited to see them play New England. The Patriots were not so hot this week, either...

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