The Bit: Bye Week Edition
So here we, as fans, sit with a team that is 6-3. This is a Texans team that is honestly a play or two away from being 9-0. This is a team seated two games atop the AFC South, a team who’s never been out of a loss, a team who’s won SIX straight games, and a team who now displays a record that, on paper, they should have.
To go on further, this is the same team that is also a play or two away from being 2-7. This Texans team underperformed on offense (and maybe even defense) their first five games, was out-coached for five of the six first games, and was down to one offensive threat until they traded for Demaryius Thomas to replace often-injured Will Fuller.
I am one torn Texans fan because I can’t tell if the Texans are a fraud, or if they are what they should be. Looking back to OTAs, I would have pegged the Texans as having a 6-3 record at their bye week with losses to New England, Dallas, and Jacksonville.
As week 10 of the NFL approaches, the Texans are ranked 14th in total yards and scoring offense per game and defensively are ranked 9th in total yards and 7th in points allowed.
I’d say the defense is right on schedule, but the offense has some slack to pick up, as most of us expected a top-five offense based on the sample Watson previewed last year. In their defense, if you take away the first three abysmal loses and the awful offensive showing against Buffalo, they are playing better in all phases of their game, and that offense (yes, credit to Lamar Miller for showing up for two whole games) is what is expected, no matter the opponent.
The optimist viewpoint of the first half of the 2018 Houston Texans is this: they control their own destiny. Offensive kinks seem to have been ironed out, starters have been lost, and some gems have been found. The offensive line is playing like a gelled unit now. Watt is BACK. Watson has worked on his turnovers and limited the number of unnecessary hits taken.
This is a team that has eight games to keep improving, because let’s face it—the only good team they’ve played is New England, and that may be the BEST team they play until the playoffs. Washington, Indianapolis (yes, they’re improving each week as well), and Philadelphia will all be tests to show us how our team stacks up against talented squads. So pay close attention to those games.
The realist in me wonders: how would Houston stack up against New England (again), Kansas City, or any of the NFC juggernauts? If that doesn’t make you a little nervous, then let me know which happy pills you’re taking, so I can partake and chug the entire bottle.