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NFL Offseason Discussion: AFC South

DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson
Credit: Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle

Houston Texans

Houston had a great season in 2018. They made a playoff run, but lost to their division rival, Indianapolis, in the Wild Card round. Houston finished the season with a record of 11-5. Deshaun Watson’s connection with DeAndre Hopkins allowed the wide receiver to have the second most receiving yards in the league. The team was also successful at stopping the rush. Houston’s defense finished 3rd against rushing yards. However, the defense was not great against the pass. The team allowed 4,477 receiving yards which was only better than Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Kansas City.

It is clear that the majority of these teams did not need to concern themselves with their ability to stop receiving yards. Though none of these teams made it to the Super Bowl. Going into the playoffs I was thinking the Texans were going to end up in the AFC Championship, but the Colts played very well against them.

 

Recent Changes

The Texans promoted their Tight Ends coach Tim Kelly to offensive coordinator. They also released Demaryius Thomas, who they traded for before the trade deadline in 2018. Thomas had 275 yards on 23 passes and two touchdowns in the seven games he played in for the Texans. When the Texans traded for him last season I did not think it was the right place for Thomas who ended up getting hurt in December any way.

 

Anticipated Team Adjustments

Re-Signing Jadeveon Clowney: I would be surprised if the Texans moved on from Clowney. Last year was the second season, since Clowney was drafted in 2014, that both JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney have been healthy at the same time. I would figure that the team wants at least one more year of these two on the field at the same time. Fortunately the Texans have the 3rd most cap space and can make this happen.

Offensive Tackle: Julie’n Davenport and Kendall Lamm both had low blocking ratings at the end of the year. I believe that if the team can make adjustments at their offensive line they may be able to achieve a playoff berth in 2019.

Running Back: This is a team that clearly needs a dominant running back. Lamar Miller, their number one running back, has had a difficult time getting to a 1,000 yards in one season. By now Houston should know that Miller is not a game changing running back. D’Onta Foreman was a third round pick in the 2017 draft. I have been anticipating a breakout from Foreman but he has been stuck on injury reserve for so long. It is hard to tell if Houston will ever consider him as a primary running back.

I could see the Texans signing a running back in the NFL Draft this year.

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