The Texans 2018 preseason schedule is out! What’s there to be excited about with preseason, you ask?
We came up with eight really, really good reasons to start watching in August.
1. A healthy new season!
Seeing Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, D’Onta Foreman, or any combination of the aforementioned back in a Texans uniform is No. 1 on this list. A healthy squad of starters is really what everyone has been eagerly awaiting since at least the final drive of the final game last year. Even if it is preseason action.
The 2017 season saw a record number of injuries, so much so that Watt even acknowledged it was a Pro Bowl roster on IR. Watson solidified himself as one of the most successful rookie quarterbacks in the history of the game, which ended as abruptly as it seemed to have started. Watt and Mercilus suffered season-ending injuries on that fateful drive against Kansas City while Foreman had his coming-out game against Arizona in Week 11 and had to be carted off the field following his second NFL touchdown in the same day. But who needs reminding, right? It's all in the rearview mirror now...
2. Honey Badger sightings
Fans will get a look at the offseason’s biggest free agent addition, Tyrann Mathieu in a Texans uniform. Mathieu will take up residence in the Texans backfield. In his Player's Tribune essay, he said he hoped to help Houston become the NFL’s best defense once again.
3. A primetime lineup of opposing QBs
Jadeveon Clowney and company will face, even if it is for limited snaps, an awesome lineup of young quarterbacks this preseason: Patrick Mahomes II in his first year as the Chiefs starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff and maybe even Dak Prescott, despite the Cowboys coming to town in Week 4 game usually reserved for backups.
4. A re-do?
The L.A. Rams game might be a nice re-do after last year. Before Watson's season-ending knee injury, both teams had the highest scoring offenses in the NFL. Everyone wondered what a Goff vs. Watson shootout might be like had the Texans quarterback started that game.
5. The o-line
One of the biggest question marks of the offseason is the Texans starting five. The Texans offensive line will be shaping up after training camp and a full offseason. Bill O’Brien said the o-line would have four new starters. Second-year Julien Davenport, who had three starts late last season as a rookie, is currently slated to be the starting left tackle. The Texans added three offensive linemen in free agency (C/G Zach Fulton, T Seantrel Henderson, G Senio Kelemete) and likely will add more through the draft this month. These position battles will be the biggest ones to watch.
6. Improved special teams
Special teams got a makeover this offseason with coordinator Brad Seely, who has 23 years of NFL experience in special teams. And the return game is always intriguing. Tyler Ervin could be back in action while Joe Webb III, a quarterback who also has experience as a returner, and special teams ace Johnson Bademosi are intriguing free agent additions.
7. First look at rookies
First look at all the rookies? Yes, please! Preseason games are the first opportunity for draft picks and college free agents to get a taste of live NFL action. Who looks like an early favorite to make the 53-man roster? Are there any draft picks that could snag a starting spot? Last year, Foreman had the longest run and longest catch play of the preseason. Is there a dark horse in this year's lineup of games?
8. The Backup QB battle
The Texans currently have three quarterbacks not named Deshaun Watson on their roster: DeAndre Hopkins, Taylor Heinicke and Webb. Who will ultimately win the backup job behind Watson? Tune into the 2018 preseason to find out…
Click here for the full 2018 Texans preseason schedule.
The Houston Texans updated 53-man roster, in photos. (Updated 1/3/2019)