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Friday, August 11, 2006

It's Texans Prediction Time

Tim's vision of an 8-8 season in 2005 was less far off than my 10-6 prediction was, but neither of us foresaw the implosion of the franchise that in fact materialized. Once again, I'm drinking the Kool-Aid, though. Coaching was the cancer, not a void of talent, an opinion which has been fortified in my mind by Richard Justice's relentless jabs at departed Texans' GM Charley Casserly. I believe that last year's team was a .500 caliber team that was coached into the depths of NFL hell. I believe that a fresh start and a calvary of bright, inspiring minds will breathe new life into this franchise. Without further ado, my 2006 Texans' game-by-game predictions:

Week One v. Eagles: WIN (1-0)
Week Two at Indy: LOSS (1-1)
Week Three v. Washington: WIN (2-1)
Week Four v. Miami: LOSS (2-2)
Week Five: Bye
Week Six at Dallas: LOSS (2-3)
Week Seven v. Jacksonville: LOSS (2-4)
Week Eight at Tennessee: WIN (3-4)
Week Nine at New York Giants: WIN (4-4)
Week Ten at Jacksonville: LOSS (4-5)
Week Eleven v. Buffalo: WIN (5-5)
Week Twelve at New York Jets: WIN (6-5)
Week Thirteen at Oakland: WIN (7-5)
Week Fourteen v. Tennessee: WIN (8-5)
Week Fifteen at New England: LOSS (8-6)
Week Sixteen v. Indy: LOSS (8-7)
Week Seventeen v. Cleveland: WIN (9-7)

Home losses to Jacksonville, Miami and Indy will prove to be the games that cost the Texans a shot at the postseason, as they miss out on an AFC Wildcard berth by one game. The team will gain instant credibility throughout the league, as they take on the no-nonsense personna of their coaching staff and work with a chip on their shoulder from last season. They also stand to benefit from their current status as a forgetten franchise, thanks to last season's demise. Additionally, this is a schedule that should be manageable for Kubiak & Co., if they stay healthy.

I am most excited to watch the Texans' defense this season. Their line is stellar (Weaver, Williams, Payne and Smith in addition to the enigmas of Peek, Babin and Travis Johnson) and their linebacking corps, in my opinion, is vastly underrated. Guys like Polk, Orr and Anderson have impressed me each chance they have gotten to play, and they will thrive in expanded roles this season. Morlon Greenwood will look like a much better signing now that he is out of the 3-4, and Kailee Wong will also revitalize his career in his return from a devastating knee injury. The secondary will prove to be the thorn in the Texans' side, and passing teams will light them up with ease. Next season's #1 pick? Best. Cornerback. Available.

Guys to Watch: DeMeco Ryans
- Ryans will become an instant fan favorite and will take on the role as the face of the defense almost overnight. Mario Williams will have enough flashes of brilliance to earn patience from the Texans faithful, but Ryans will prove to be the steal of the Texans' draft by captaining the defense for years to come.

Bennie Joppru
- Joppru has gotten a ridiculously bad rap as a bust as a result of his seemingly impossible chain of season-ending injuries. He will epitomize the Texans' season, rising from the ashes and fighting like a man possessed to prove that he truly belongs in the NFL. He will become a valuable weapon in the passing game, both as a tight end and out of the backfield.

Kevin Walter
- Kevin Walter is going to get the chance to play the role in which many of us have envisioned Derrick Armstrong thriving - clutch, possession receiver. Andre Johnson, Eric Moulds and the tight ends will keep the linebackers and secondary busy, and Kevin Walter will become David Carr's favorite target, especially on third down rollout plays.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow great article, my prediction is 8-8, with a week one loss to the eagles being the only difference there, it will probably take a little time to gell, though on the plus side i could see us maybe pulling out a win vs the COLTS week 16 if the colts have everything locked up by then, so who knows.

Fri Aug 11, 03:42:00 PM  

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