After a 12-4 season, with another early exit out of the second round of the playoffs, there will be no Bulls On Parade for the Houston Texans this season. And again a hallow absence appearance in the Super Bowl this season. Yes, the Texans have shown that they have grown in certain areas especially not giving up when the score, weather, or the clock may not appear to be in their favor as they displayed against teams like Jacksonville, Detroit, and Chicago.
This team still has proven that they can not simply close the deal when it comes to positioning for playoff runs and games for that matter. With huge and dare I saw embarrassing loses to the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots, just as hope was on the horizon, it was shadowed by mediocre reality that is this team has so much to accomplish as the clock continues to tick against them.
Texans QB Matt Schaub played lights out during the first half of the season, then we saw a different Schaub. One who questioned his decision making, played a little more conservative than we all had seen, and looked completely shook against defenses that weren't of a high caliber. The Texans finished the month of December with a 1-4 record, where Schaub only threw 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions.
They lost their opportunity to have a first round bye, host the playoffs until they the Super Bowl and have the number one seed in the AFC.
One thing is abundantly clear amongst the Houston faithful this Monday morning after the damaging rematch loss to the New England Patriots, Schaub must go.
After everyone or at least some people come down, the reality is Matt Schaub will more than likely he'll be wearing number eight come next season. This does place head coach Gary Kubiak's job in jeopardy because now the expectation to make the AFC Championship and even the Super Bowl has reached greater heights. Heights that Kubiak may not be able to reach and could move the Texans and Bob McNair to go in a different direction - hopefully a winning direction.
Its been ten years, and the time is now for these Texans to reach that mountain top of hoisting that Super Bowl trophy for all to see, especially the fans of the Texans.
One thing is for sure a superstar has emerged with not just talent but an ability to intimidate offenses from this year forward. A superstar power in JJ Watt, a man that has racked up 20.5 sacks on the season, along with becoming a leader of men before our very eyes, in only his second year in the NFL.
Texans RB Arian Foster showed out again this year, as the offense needed to begin with him and most cases ending with him as well working closely with the staff and Coach Chick Harris on a weekly basis. Foster finished with an amazing 15 touchdowns, and 1424 yards as he continues to excel with time.
Andre Johnson in his tenth season finished just shy of 1600 yards on the season displayed to many that he is still a top 5 receiver in this league.
The secondary is lackluster at best most times and will continue to be the Achilles heel of this defense as well as this team. Wade Philips is an excellent defensive coordinator, and under system especially with the huge blow of losing Brian Cushing to injury was able to keep this defense in tact. If the Texans could ever get their hands on a Nnamdi Asomugh, he'd fit right into Wade's system, and return to the dominate corner he was was while playing for the Oakland Raiders. You then slide Jonathan Joesph over and possible trade Kareem Jackson for a draft pick. Because these two corners have been inconsistent and can not continue at that pace, they will get burned every time by better quality team in this league.
The Texans will have eight Pro Bowlers this season which is a plus at the individual positions. They just have to come together as a team, close the deal, and take their rightful place in the AFC, which is at the top. However other teams such as the Denver Broncos with Peyton Manning, the possible return of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and still can't count out the New England Patriots with Tom Brady at the helm.
Is there an upside for the Texans in 2013? Absolutely, WR DiVer Posey will be a year improved and contribute offensively. Along with the highly anticipated return of Brian Cushing with JJ Watt and the rest of that defense, can make any offensive coordinator second guess his scheme when they face the Texans. Also we'll see how well the Texans do in this year's draft. If I were the Texans, to shore up the 1-2 running back combo, I'd be strongly looking at UCLA's Jonathan Franklin.
It's time for the Houston Texans to step their game up, and GM Rick Smith has his work cut out for him this off season. The Texans will rebound and rise to the occasion by making the AFC Championship game next season.