Thursday, January 2, 2014
Houston Texans season wrap-up
By Tania Ganguli
Arrow indicates direction team is trending.
Final Power Ranking: 32
Preseason Power Ranking: 7
Biggest surprise: This is an easy one for the 2013 Houston Texans: The quarterback situation. We went into the season with a fair discussion about whether Matt Schaub was the guy to lead the Texans to the Super Bowl. But what most everyone assumed along with that was the Texans could at least count on Schaub to not make the kinds of huge, costly errors that can lose you games. Schaub's streak of four consecutive games with a pick-six was unpredictable. The Texans' attempts to regain control of the position -- starting Case Keenum, then going back and forth between the two -- didn't work.
Biggest disappointment: You could use this spot for the quarterbacks again, but the Texans were not wont for disappointments. We'll go with Ed Reed here, the future Hall of Fame safety who came to Houston in hopes (both his and the Texans') that he would help lead the Texans to a Super Bowl. First, Reed had a surgery the Texans didn't expect. The recovery time he needed meant he was never really fully healthy, despite his insistence that he was. Reed struggled to make an impact for the Texans and when his playing time diminished, he didn't handle it especially well. He left Houston throwing knives, saying the Texans' defensive scheme wasn't a good fit for a lot of its players.
Biggest need: Quarterback. Case Keenum did not do enough to show that he can be the Texans starter next season. I'm not going to say he's doomed, but the Texans need another option for their starter next season. At first glance, the quarterback free-agent class doesn't look like it'll be a great one, but you never know how a veteran can react to a new locale. This year's draft class of quarterbacks figures to be led by Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel could also be an option.
Team MVP: J.J. Watt is disappointed he didn't reach the 20 sacks, 20 batted passes and 20 tackles for loss, but he should be proud of the way he played this season. He was terrific against the run and pass. Pro Football Focus gave Watt a grade that was nearly three times better than the next best 3-4 defensive end. Watt became the second player in Texans history to have back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks after Mario Williams. He'll go to his second consecutive Pro Bowl this season.