After starting the 2013 season 2-0, the wheels not only came off but the car exploded into an inferno of twisted metal and despair. The Houston Texans would lose 14 consecutive games to close out their season, earning themselves the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
30. Houston Texans (2013 Record: 2-14)
It wasn't all bad. Oh wait, yes it was. Their star quarterback became a pick-6 machine, their head coach nearly died on the field and then was fired and they lost much of their depth to free agency. Fortunately, they got their quarterback in the draft. Oh wait, no they didn't. Instead, is the Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, Tom Savage and T.J. Yates show!
Key Losses: Earl Mitchell, Antonio Smith, Danieal Manning, Owen Daniels, Andrew Gardner, Darryl Sharpton, Ben Tate, Bryan Braman, Lestar Jean, Joe Mays, Brice McCain, Sam Montgomery, Terrell McClain
Key Acquisitions: Chris Clemons, Andre Brown, Kendrick Lewis, Jerrell Powe, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ricardo Mathews
Given how limited the quarterback position is, I seriously doubt the Texans make serious headway from their 2-14 season. In this league, you better have Tim Tebow-like luck on your side if you are going to try and win games with no talent at the quarterback position. I just don't see it happening.
With that said, the road to .500 is not impossible given how kind the Texans regular season schedule is. With matchups against equally dysfunctional teams like the Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars twice, the road to .500 is not as daunting as it could have been.
Projected Record: 5-11
MHR Staff Rankings
MHR Staff Commentary
Kyle: I ranked them lowest thinking Andre Johnson was out the door. If he stays… well, they still might be my lowest ranked team. The Texans lost the will to fight in 2013.
Jon: This team may break the sack record this fall. I’d put money on them coming close. Look out, Andrew Luck.
Pete: The Texans weren’t the worst team in the NFL last year, Matt Schaub was. This team with even semi-competent QB play is a playoff team. The question remains though: Who will be their semi-competent QB? Is there a trade for Ryan Mallett still in the works, or was that just draft day diversions?
Topher: Just a few years ago the Texans had one of the most talented rosters in the NFL but in 2014 they are a very old team on offense (except for QB) and their defense has seem some changes as well. A big reason for the Texans success in recent years was Wade Phillips who has now moved on, and while I think JJ Watt will still dominate the NFL, I think their defense as a whole won’t be as dominant as the previous great Texan’s D. I think they’ll improve on 2013 (hard not to) but with questions in terms of coaching and their offensive future and identity, I don’t see them doing much this year.
Jacob: J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney together, along with Louis Nix gives the Texans one of the most menacing, young pass rushes in the league; however, Houston largely failed to address their main problems (pass coverage, quarterback play, and pass blocking) in the draft. The Texans will find themselves back in second in the AFC South, but they’ve got a long way to go to return to their years of contention. 7-9 wins.
Mike: Sweet! They have a brand new pass rusher, albeit a lazy one, to pair with J.J. Watt. They still have no one to throw the ball to go along with an aging running back and disgruntled wide receiver.