Of all the 2015 playoff teams, the Houston Texan received the least amount of respect, and with good reason. Though they finished the regular season with three straight division wins — including two on the road — the AFC South was not a well-respected set of teams. Unsurprisingly, the Texans got walloped in the first round by the Chiefs, 30-0.
In an attempt to gain that respect and make a serious run as a contender, the Texans sold out in the offseason by throwing $72 million ($37 million guaranteed) at quarterback Brock Osweiler. Considering the struggles the Texans suffered with Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett behind center, this should come as no surprise. But Osweiler remains an unproven commodity, and will his addition be enough for the Texans to take that next step? Battle Red Blog helps us break down the Houston Texans.
2015 record: 9-7, lost to Chiefs in Wild Card Weekend
Matchup with Lions: Week 8 in Houston
Line: Texans by 4
Last meeting: Texans 34, Lions 31 (OT) (2012)
Notable free agent additions: (QB) Brock Osweiler, (RB) Lamar Miller, (OG) Jeff Allen
Notable free agent departures: (OG) Brandon Brooks, (C) Ben Jones, (RB) Arian Foster
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: WR Will Fuller, C/OG Nick Martin, WR Braxton Miller, and Tyler Ervin (EDGE, a new hybrid slot WR/RB position we created just for him)
Biggest offseason addition: QB Brock Osweiler
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: How does Brock Osweiler do as the new franchise quarterback? Can he develop chemistry with his young arsenal of weapons? Can he adjust to a new offense under Bill O’Brien? Can he at the very least be good enough to guide this loaded roster to some wins without screwing it up?
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Kevin Johnson cementing his status as an elite young corner, Jaelen Strong potentially breaking out as DeAndre Hopkins’ partner in crime, J.J. Watt going on a quest to win his fourth DPOY trophy, and of course this team taking the next step from division winner to AFC contender.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: J.J. Watt recovering from his various ailments [Editor’s note: Since writing this, Watt has undergone hernia surgery but is expected to be ready by Week 1], Kevin Johnson rehabbing from a broken foot and broken wrist, and Duane Brown coming back from a torn quad.