With my breakfast article yesterday, I noted the top players in the league that the Texans faced in 2015 and the ones they will face in 2016. That was based on the NFL players voting to date.
I figured I'd put my own spin on the ranking and list the top 25 offensive players the Texans defense will face in 2016 this week. Then, next week, I'll rank the top 25 players the Texans offense will try to shut down next week.
So, with no official criteria, just gut feel and experience seeing these guys on the field, here it goes...
- QB Tom Brady, Patriots - Until it's official, he stays atop the list.
- QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers - It's always a fun year when Brady AND Rodgers are on the list.
- TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots - Didn't play full game vs. the Texans and still was the difference.
- QB Andrew Luck, Colts - When he's healthy, he's been a thorn in the Texans' side.
- RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings - AD stands for all day, as in, he's a horse all day.
- WR Amari Cooper, Raiders - He's going to have another stellar season in year two.
- QB Philip Rivers, Chargers - It's easy to forget about good 'ol Philly.
- G Josh Sitton, Packers - He might be the best offensive lineman the Texans face all season.
- WR Demaryius Thomas, Broncos - He's a slight hair ahead of…
- WR Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos - His quickness and shiftiness in space is a major concern.
The Texans will travel 15,308 miles in the 2016 regular season, and play in these venues.
- WR T.Y. Hilton, Colts - Because he ALWAYS is vs. the Texans defense.
- WR Jordy Nelson, Packers - If he's 100 percent, he's the Packers version of DeAndre Hopkins.
- WR AJ Green, Bengals - He didn't do much in 2015 vs. the Texans, but killed them in 2014.
- TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs - Two big ball games vs. the Texans in 2015 won't be forgotten soon.
- WR Julian Edelman, Patriots - Didn't play vs. the Texans in 2015; can be a huge issue as a slot receiver.
- G Kyle Long, Bears - From the day he arrived in Chicago, he's been a star on the offensive line.
- WR Randall Cobb, Packers - He can be a matchup nightmare vs. the Texans, or anyone really.
- RB Jeremy Hill, Bengals - When he's rolling downhill, look out.
- WR Allen Robinson, Jaguars - His ability to go get the rock makes him difficult to cover.
- RB Jamaal Charles, Chiefs - Only at this spot due to concerns about health, is he 100 percent?
- QB Blake Bortles, Jaguars - His ability to make off-schedule or scramble plays is a concern.
- RB DeMarco Murray, Titans - First look at Murray since playing in Dallas in 2014.
- WR Allen Hurns, Jaguars - It seems all he does is score touchdowns vs. the Texans in Jacksonville.
- T Andrew Whitworth, Bengals - The longtime veteran is a rock on the left side for Dalton.
- QB Andy Dalton, Bengals - Only beaten Texans once, at NRG in '14 - he's back in '16.
Others receiving votes, in no certain order:
WR Donte Moncrief, Colts
QB Marcus Mariota, Titans
TE Delanie Walker, Titans
WR Laquon Treadwell, Vikings
WR Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs
QB Alex Smith, Chiefs
QB Derek Carr, Raiders
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 12/29/2020)