2015 Record: 9-7-0
Head Coach: Bill O' Brien
New Faces for 2016 - QB Brock Osweiler, RB Lamar Miller, DB Antonio Allen
OFFENSE: Former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler come into training camp as the starter after signing a huge free agent deal. Osweiler threw for 1,967 yards with ten touchdowns and six interceptions while filling in for Peyton Manning during the teams' Super Bowl season. Brandon Weeden was one of four QBs to play for the Texans last season and will be the primary backup entering this season.
Lamar Miller comes over from the Miami Dolphins as well to lead the running game after going for 872 rushing yards last year (4.5 ypc average) and scored eight touchdowns, including an 85-yard burst. Alfred Blue had 698 yards (3.8 ypc) and scored two times on the ground and will spell Miller in the backfield.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is the deep threat for the Texans after a monster season in which he had 111 receptions for 1,521 yards and eleven touchdowns.
Rookie Will Fuller (Notre Dame) appears to be in line to be other starter. Also on hand are Cecil Shorts III (42, 484, two TD), Jaelen Strong (14, 161, three TD) and rookie Braxton Miller (Ohio State). The tight end is C.J. Fiedorowicz (17, 167, one TD).
DEFENSE: J.J. Watt (17 1/2 QB sacks) is the top defensive player in the NFL and he is the starting defensive end for Houston along with Christian Covington in the 3-4 set. The nose is massive Vince Wilfork, who is back for his 13th NFL season. Watt has been on the mend for back surgery in the off-season as camp opened.
The linebacking unit has Brian Cushing and Benardrick McKinney inside with Whitney Mercilus (12 sacks) and John Simon (five sacks) on the outside. Former top draft pick Jadeveon Clowney (4 1/2 sacks) is also ready to spell the regulars along with Max Bullough.
Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph man the corner spots while Andre Hal (four picks last season) and Quintin Demps are the safeties.
OUTLOOK: The Texans need to continue from the late season surge they made to make the playoffs when they won seven of their final nine games.
Head Coach Bill O' Brien will look for more continuity from the offense this season with Osweiler at quarterback and now Lamar Miller at running back. Along with big play maker DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver, the Texans have the potential to be a big scoring team this season. That would be a huge shot in the arm after the team averaged just over 21 points per game last season, which was 21st in the NFL.
The defense is solid (ranked number three in the league last year) allowing just 310 yards per game. The pass defense was third overall, allowing only 210 yards and the Texans gave up just 19.6 points per game. They also had 45 QB sacks, which was fifth in the league.
This team should win the AFC South once again, but the Indianapolis Colts will have something to say about it as they look for a bounce back season after slipping to a .500 finish a year ago. Jacksonville is also considered to be a team on the rise, so the Texans have their work cut out in the 2016 season.
Fearless forecast - 10-6 this year (playoff team)
2016 TEAM SCHEDULE
Week 1 - vs. Chicago
Week 2 - vs. Kansas City
Week 3 - at New England
Week 4 - vs. Tennessee
Week 5 - at Minnesota
Week 6 - vs. Indianapolis
Week 7 - at Denver
Week 8 - vs. Detroit
Week 9 - BYE
Week 10 - at Jacksonville
Week 11 - at Oakland (Mexico City)
Week 12 - vs. San Diego
Week 13 - at Green Bay
Week 14 - at Indianapolis
Week 15 - vs. Jacksonville
Week 16 - vs. Cincinnati
Week 17 - at Tennessee