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For the first time since the Houston Texans began as an NFL franchise back in 2002, they will start a season without owner Robert McNair, who died at the end of last year before getting to see his Texans make it to the postseason once again.
Despite quarterback Deshaun Watson staying healthy for all sixteen games and throwing for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns, he was sacked 62 times and intercepted 9 times and was shut out until the fourth quarter of the playoff game that they went on to lose.
The Texans’ front office has done their best this offseason to ensure a safer season for Watson and a better defense against the pass, and we take a look at some of those moves along with the odds and predictions of Houston’s 2019 season.
The 2018 Houston Texans started the season off posting a 9-3 record the hard way – which is to begin by losing the first three games in a row and then having to put together a 9-0 streak right after that.
The final tally was an 11-5 record that was good enough to put them in first place of the AFC South, just one game better than the team they would end up playing in the Wild Card game, the 10-6 Indianapolis Colts.
The postseason did not go quite as well for the Texans, who were held by the Colts to just one touchdown in that Wild Card game, and that score did not happen until the fourth quarter when a comeback was too difficult for Watson to mount.
With the death of team owner and businessman Bob McNair at the age of 82 from cancer, the Texans face their first season ever in the NFL under new ownership.
McNair’s wife Janice has taken over as the Texans principal owner, while the couple’s son, Cal, who had been the chief operating officer, will now become chairman and CEO of the franchise.
Neither Janice or Cal have team ownership experience.
One of the major problems with the Texans offense last season was the lack of protection for Watson, who was sacked a league-leading 62 times in the regular season and three times during their Wild Card loss to the Colts.
General manager Brian Gaine attempted to fix that by adding depth to the offensive line, first by signing free agent tackle Matt Kalil, formerly of the Carolina Panthers, as well as by drafting tackle Tytus Howard in the first round, who can play at both tackle and guard.
The Texans have also deepened their secondary by signing cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Briean Boddy-Calhoun along with safety Tashaun Gibson.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu, who signed a three-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs for $42 million, with $26.8 million of that money guaranteed.
Cornerback / Safety Kareem Jackson, who agreed to a $33 million deal with the Denver Broncos, with $23 million of that guaranteed.
Cornerback Kevin Johnson, who signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills for $3 million, with just $400,000 of that guaranteed.
Safety Tashaun Gipson, who agreed to a three-year, $22.5 million deal with $11.25 million of that money guaranteed.
Cornerback Bradley Roby, who signed a one-year deal for $10 million with $9.5 million of that guaranteed.
Quarterback AJ McCarron, who agreed to a one-year deal worth $3 million, with $2.5 million of that guaranteed.
Offense: Offensive line (tackle)
Defense: Cornerback, safety, edge rusher
The Texans ended up with 7 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they were:
Over the last decade, the Houston Texans have been to the playoffs five times but have never been to the Super Bowl in their franchise’s history, which began in 2002.
Those five playoff appearances are the Texans’ only ones in their seventeen-year history, and three of those were lost in the Divisional Round (2011, 2012, 2016) while the other two were lost in the Wild Card Game (2017 and 2018).
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was leading the team for three of those postseason visits, while coach Gary Kubiak was in charge of the previous two playoff runs.
Oddsmakers seem to think that the Indianapolis Colts will be the team to beat in the AFC South this season, giving them better odds than the Texans to win that division.
When it comes to the odds for winning the AFC Championship, Houston has been given the eighth-best chance, tied with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Texans are a long shot to win a Lombardi Trophy in 2019-20, with sixteen other teams that have better odds of winning the Super Bowl than them.
Yes, for the first time in franchise history, the Texans will travel to London to play a game against the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars.
The game will be played at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, November 3 at 9:30 a.m. EST and will be the second of two games played at Wembley, the other being the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, October 27 at 1 p.m. EST.
The Houston Texans will act as the home team for their London game, although they are still scheduled to play eight of their games at NRG Stadium (aka the Houston Astrodome or simply ‘the Astrodome’) their home field in Houston.
Can the upgraded front line keep Watson safe this season, or will he be forced again to operate effectively while facing a 41 percent pressure rate like he did last season?
Will the upgraded secondary get the job done, or will the Texans remain in the league’s basement when it comes to pass protection?
Now that Watson has proven he can stay healthy (despite being dumped to the ground quite often), is it time for him to shock the football world again like he did his rookie season?
You would have to either be a true Texans fan or a football gambler with some incredible inside knowledge to feel good about taking the odds the Houston team’s been given in 2019, but stranger things have paid off huge, so you just never know.
Houston Texans Postseason
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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