The 2014 Super Bowl is behind us. Let’s have a look at the 2015 Super Bowl now that the odds are up at Northbet and see how – or if – the Houston Texans can be a factor.
1 – The Right Quarterback
As for what’s going on in Houston, it’s pretty clear: A new coach and a new regime will start fresh with a franchise quarterback. However, they may not be as far from a Super Bowl as you think – especially if you look at the odds at Northbet. Houston has earned (or perhaps, fallen into) the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and while a player such as JadeveonClowney will be hard to pass up, the expectation is that Houston will indeed take a quarterback with the pick.
Quarterback is the position that has kept the Texans from being better. Houston was 11-1 through 12 games in the 2012 season, but a December swoon from signal caller Matt Schaub is precisely what prevented the Texans from getting a first-round bye and a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl. Houston fell into the wild card round, barely scraped by the Cincinnati Bengals in an ugly game, and then got thrashed in the divisional round on the road in New England. It could have and should have been so much easier for the Texans in that 2012 season. They never should have fallen out of one of the top two seeds in the AFC. They should have gained a week of rest before the divisional round, which would have put them in a far better position to contend for the AFC title. Yet, Schaub lost his edge at the worst possible time. In 2013, he never recovered, suffering through a nightmarish season in which he continued to throw interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, otherwise known as “pick-sixes” in popular football jargon. Schaub was benched, and while Case Keenum showed promise as a backup, he really didn’t make the grade in the games he started. Houston needs a franchise quarterback.
The question is, “Which one?”
Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville is one candidate for consideration, and Blake Bortles of Central Florida is also receiving some publicity. Yet, the best candidate is probably Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M. Manziel can make reckless plays at times. He was also fumble-prone in his 2013 season. However, he’s faster than Bridgewater and has a comparable arm. He can keep plays alive with his legs to a slightly better extent than Bridgewater, and he’s been attending college in a place (College Station, Tex.) that’s not too far from Houston. He’d probably feel comfortable with the Texans. At any rate, though, the organization needs to get this decision right. It could pave the way for a rapid move up the ranks in the AFC.
2 – Offensive Line
The heart of the situation for the Texans is that if they’re going to bring aboard a new quarterback, they need to show they mean business about protecting him. Giving a high-dollar franchise quarterback the security of knowing he has a good offensive line is a natural priority for this team.
3 – Role Players On Offense
If you consider what the Texans need to do to create a next-level offense, quarterback and offensive line aren’t enough. This team has the downfield threats in Andre Johnson and DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins, but it needs its tight ends and non-Arian Foster running backs to become more dangerous. Working underneath routes, the Texans’ complementary skill players can make life that much easier for their new quarterback. Garrett Graham, if he can’t become a better tight end, needs to be seen as expendable. Houston might want to bring in another high-level tight end if it thinks one’s available in the draft.