The Houston Texans are coming off a disappointing 6-10 season. Losing 5 games by a touchdown or less, many Texans fans were left in disbelief. After starting the season 4-2 The Texans turned around and lost 8 of their last 10, including a devestating loss on a hail mary on the last play of regulation by Jacksonville's Mike Thomas in week 10. The season was pretty much summed up on that play, as the Texans came away with multiple heartbreaks throughout the season. Plagued with a horrible secondary and an offense that seemed to fizzle in big situations, the Texans were more than disapointed in the seasons ending. Well Lord willing that there is a 2011-12 season these are 5 reasons the Texans will compete next season.
- Kareem Jackson: Totalling 71 tackles, 2 interceptions and 10 pass deflections in his rookie bid, this Texan has the possibility of becoming elite in the coming years. With the addition of Wade Phillips and a 3-4 defensive scheme, Jackson will shine at showing his shutdown corner skills off. Look for Jackson to have a sensational sophmore season.
- Wade Phillips: For 35 years Wade Phillips has been scheming defensive plots in his mind. Coming off a season in which he was fired as the Cowboys head coach, Phillips will bring more to the table as strictly a defensive coordinater. Given the Texans defensive personel, the 3-4 scheme seems to benefit the Texans more than a 4-3. 3-4 will cover up the weaker secondary and give a chance for Brian Cushing to show his ability to make plays in coverage. 3-4 seems like a perfect fit in Houston as does Wade Phillips.
- Arian Foster and Ben Tate: After drafting Ben Tate in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft, his rookie season was ended prematurely by an ankle injury in the first pre-season game. That left the door wide open for Foster and he took the opportunity head on. Finishing the season with 1600+ yards on the ground, 2200+ all purpose yards and 16 Touchdowns, Foster made a name for himself in the NFL. Even carrying a majority of the load, there are plenty of people that dont think Foster can repeat this feat a second time. This is where Ben Tate comes in. If he can bounce back and recover from this injury it could be brutal for opposing defensive fronts. With 2 RB rotations becoming trendy amongst NFL teams this will be a tandem to reckon with.
- Matt Shaub and Andre Johnson: With numerous touchdowns between these two former Pro Bowlers, Schaub and Johnson will benefit from the newly found Houston running game. Playing in what will be their 5th season as teamates Johnson has at least 8 touchdown catches a season with Schaub in command under center. Look for that number to rise as defenses will key on Foster more this year showing respect for his numbers last season. If these 2 can get on key with each other and stay on key they will be shredding secondarys in no time.
- The 2011 Draft: It will be interesting to see which way the Texans go with this draft. Maybe another corner in Amukamara to play oppossite of Kareem Jackson. Or maybe a hard nose tackle like Nick Fairley (If he falls to 11) to fit into the new 3-4 scheme. J.J. Watt and Cameron Jordan will also interest The Texans and tempt them in the first round. Anyway they go The Texans will have a good solid draft this year. The 1st and 2nd round picks will be key in this draft.
So there they are, my 5 reasons why The Houston Texans will compete next season and give the division powerhouse Colts, A Maurice Jones-Drew led Jaguars squad and a never underestimated dangerous Tennessee Titatns team a run for their money. If a 2011-12 season takes place look for these Texans to step up to the challenge and be very competive.