I'll be the first to throw a record out there for 2007….10-6. That's right, I see the best season in Texans history on the horizon. Am I crazy? Maybe. Would I predict a 4-12 season considering I work for the team? No. So take everything here with a grain of salt, but give some of these points some thought and see where you're at.
I've thought about this coming season a lot over the past few weeks. (There is some down time during two-hour OTA practices). Let's start by looking at last year.
Houston went 6-10 after starting the season 1-4, that's a 5-6 record over the last 11 games of the season and we all know how the season ended, two consecutive wins, one coming against the Super Bowl Champion.
Now think back to the Tennessee game in Nashville, the Titans game in Houston and the Buffalo game at Reliant Stadium. Were those games winnable? I think so. But that was last year and even when you consider that the Texans were an eyelash from being a .500 team in 2006, we're looking forward.
So consider the following:
Do you feel like the Texans running backs are better or worse than at this point a year ago?
How about the quarterback situation?
Are the linebackers currently on the roster better suited for a 4-3 defense then they were in 2006?
Has the defensive line improved?
If you answered yes to any of these questions (I answer yes to all), don't the Texans have to improve from a year ago?
Also, if there are football gods, and let's hope there are, do you expect to have 17 players placed on IR this season? Let's hope not. When you consider Houston went 6-10 with three opening day starters on the offensive line placed on injured reserve, along with the starting fullback, not to mention a Pro Bowl kick returner who played in just two games, 2006 was a pretty successful season.
Back to this season.
Try this on for size. Can you honestly say the Colts have improved since last season? They've lost a handful of starters on a defense that wasn't that good to begin with. Have the Jaguars improved?
Jacksonville is looking to trade for Daunte Culpepper, clearly their in turmoil at the quarterback situation.
And yes Tennessee has Vince, but isn't Adam (I refuse to use his arcade name) Jones the one Titan that has killed the Texans over the last two seasons? (Other than VY's 40-plus yard scamper in overtime last year)
Jones is going to be out for at least one of the games vs. Houston this year, possibly both. In addition, Tennessee has done little to help their stud QB out on offense, they certainly didn't add a four-time Pro Bowl running back.
The rest of the schedule outside of the division isn't easy, but it's not that tough either. KC at home will likely be Brodie Croyle's first NFL start, not worried. Do matchups on the road at Carolina and Atlanta really scare you? Not me.
At San Diego will be tough, there's no way to spin that, but will the Raiders offense be that much better than a year ago? I doubt it. Is anyone looking at the Browns as a threat this year? I'm not.
The Saints at home should be an electric atmosphere in November, but is there defense anything to lose sleep over? Didn't think so.
The season will shake out over the last three weeks. I expect the Texans to be right around eight or nine wins already when the Broncos come to town for a Thursday night prime-time matchup on Dec. 13.
That's followed with a game at the RCA Dome (Houston is 0-5 in Indy) and a home game to finish the season against the Jags. I see this as the most difficult stretch of the 2007 slate.
I'm hoping there will be some momentum built over the first three months of the season that allows the Texans to power through that part of the schedule.
We'll see what happens, but remember where you saw 10-6 first, it won't be the last.