Do The Texans Still Have A Shot?
For some reason I love to start my blog posts with semi-rhetorical questions, only to spend the entire post answering that exact question. So I will. And even after a 38-17 manhandling at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I, a usually pessimistic person, remain extremely optimistic.
The 2007 Cleveland Browns. The Browns lost, 35-7, at home, to the Browns week 1 of last year. They ended up finishing 10-6 and a tiebreaker away from a playoff spot. Can the Texans replicate that? It’s possible. Allow me to make the comparison, player to player;
QB: Browns – Derek Anderson, Texans – Matt Schaub
Anderson came out of nowhere to throw for nearly 4000 yards to go with his 29 touchdowns. Matt Schaub is also an underrated, unknown QB that could do the same, even with his less-than-stellar performance this week.
HB: Browns – Jamal Lewis, Texans – Steve Slaton
The two players couldn’t be more different. Lewis is a bruiser, Slaton is the shifty, elusive, Westbrook type. But the Browns signed Lewis at the beginning of last season and ended up with over 1500 total yards and 11 total touchdowns. With the Texans zone-blocking scheme perfect for Slaton, give him a couple more reps to get used to the Texans playbook and we can expect big things form the former Mountaineer.
WR: Browns – Braylon Edwards, Texans – Andre Johnson
Both receivers have been absolutely dominant so far in their young careers. Edwards was drafted third overall in 2005, Johnson went third in 2003. Last season, Edwards broke out with 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns. Many compare the two, both huge receivers with speed. Johnson got injured early last year, but returned mid-season to finish with 851 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. Providing he stays healthy, can he have a similar season to Edwards last year? He had 10 catches for 112 yards this week against a tough defense. So it looks like it
TE: Browns – Kellen Winslow, Texans – Owen Daniels
I’m not gonna come out and say Daniels can top Winslow’s 1106 yards and five touchdowns, but when a QB needs a security blanket, he has his tight end there for him. Daniels could have an 800-yard, 5 touchdown type season, which is good enough for me.
LT: Browns – Joe Thomas, Texans – Duane Brown
Thomas was far and away the best offensive lineman in the 2007 draft. If I remember correctly, Brown was the 7th tackle taken this year. Regardless, both were young, thrust into starting roles as rookies, and performed admirably, with Thomas making the Pro Bowl. Will Brown make the Pro Bowl? I doubt it, but he’s huge and has potential, and it looks like the Texans have finally found their left tackle.
I’m not even gonna get into this too much. I know the Texans have a week secondary, and though they got torched on the run this week, with young stars like Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye (one of the youngest players in the league, even though he’s a second year pro,) and Pro Bowler and former Defensive ROY Demeco Ryans anchoring their defense, the Texans should be fine.