The Houston Texans, as it sits right now, is on the second-longest win-streak currently entering Week 12 of the NFL season.
The longest win-streak belongs to the New Orleans Saints, with nine in a row after starting the Season 0-1, losing to Fitzpatrick and the Bucs.
The Saints high-flying offense and new-found defense with the addition of Eli Apple has New Orleans on everybody’s radar as the NFL’s elite. That leaves the question; Why are the Texans overlooked as a serious contender? The answer may be found through context.
Houston extended Bill O’Brien’s contract after a 4-12 season because they saw the potential in the six games that Deshaun Watson started for Houston under O'Brien in 2017. Watson's season was short lived after tearing his ACL during practice after an epic week eight showdown throwing for 402 yds and 4 TD's against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
After having the rest of the regular season and offseason to rehab, the city was in full-hype mode anticipating Watson’s return. If I were to tell you last year, that in 2018, the Texans would be on a 7-game win streak going into Week 12, with a healthy Deshaun Watson, and a healthy defense, the city would erupt.
In 2018 witnessing game after game, win after win there is a lethargic feeling amongst the fans. The Houston Texans, after finishing at the bottom of their division last year, was handed the easiest strength of schedule according to cbssports.com. The ranking of the schedule is based on last year’s opponent’s record.
Usually, some teams improve, discrediting the offseason rankings, but as it stands, the Texans schedule remains the easiest, and with such teams as Jacksonville and Philadelphia both struggling, the schedule has become easier. I understand the Texans can’t help but play the schedule that was handed to them, but Bill O'Brien and the Texans continue to muster just enough to get a win as if it were like pulling teeth.
It has been 11 weeks, and we have yet to see the Deshaun Watson that enabled Bill O'Brien to receive a contract extension. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Texans currently Rank 16th in total offense and 19th in passing. With an offense that anemic, it would be understandable that the team would be struggling in today’s NFL. With the heroics of Romeo Crennel’s 6th rank Defense, the Texans manage to win, despite the offense not being able to take the opportunity to close out games. With all eyes on teams such as the Saints, Rams, Chiefs, Steelers and even Chicago, the Texans are an inconspicuous blur in the crowd of NFL teams that have yielded their fate of the 2018 NFL season.