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Houston Texans

BWTB: Holiday Hope


This is not a day for negative people. The men and women who built this country overcame tremendous adversity to win independence and build the world's greatest nation.

So while you hang out with family and friends today here's something to toss around when the conversation covers the Texans (and doesn't it always seem to?).

Those who think they have a pretty good idea as to what they might do this year have no more of a crystal ball than you and your fellow Fourth of July celebrants. NFL seasons rarely play out the way we think they will. You need not look further than our own beloved franchise which began last season as a Super Bowl contender but, well, you know what happened. 

This will certainly be a better season than 2013. The question is how big a bounce will the Texans get?

The Colts imploded without Peyton Manning in 2011 only to finish 11-5 the following year with a first-time NFL coach and quarterback (Chuck Pagano [Bruce Arians] and Andrew Luck). The 2008 Miami Dolphins, armed with a first year NFL head coach, Tony Sparano, and a thought-to-be 'washed up' Chad Pennington, vaulted back from a 1-15 year to go 11-5. And Just last season, the Kansas City Chiefs rebounded from 2-14 to make the post season under Andy Reid, Alex Smith and a feisty defense.

Defensively, the case for the Texans dramatically improving has to include a healthy Brian Cushing, a hell-raising front seven with Watt being Watt, and a back end that capitalizes. On offense, improving the minus-20 turnover margin will be a start. Yes, health has to be there, particularly at tackle. And Ryan Fitzpatrick has to play the way he did when we got Buffalo off to great start in 2011 and was named September's AFC Offensive Player of the Month.

Is it a lot to ask? You bet. However, no one at NRG Stadium is in this for a participation ribbon. They want wins and they want them fast.

Considering all the unknowns with this team, projecting final records is risky business. But if you think there is no shot at making something special happen, you haven't been paying attention. This is the NFL, where unusual things happen every weekend and every year. It's up to the Texans to push hard, stay healthy, play smart and let the story be told.

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