While the summer season brings much enjoyment to the average person, for an NFL fan, it represents a desolate wasteland where Sundays just aren't quite as vibrant as in the autumn months. However, with each passing day, we inch closer to the beginning of the 2023 NFL season, which officially kicks off on September 8 this year.
Whether you've had your favorite team's tweet notifications turned on all summer or if you've decided to tune out all football news entirely, you'll be able to learn everything you need to know about your team going into the 2022-23 season right here.
In today's article, I'll be discussing the Houston Texans.
I'm working on season guidebooks for all 32 NFL teams, which will all be released within the next few weeks. To check out another team's guidebook, click here:
2021 Season Recap
Houston was very bad last season, but they weren't quite the worst team in their division, beating out the Jaguars by one game. The Texans actually had a couple of impressive wins against the Titans and the Chargers, but those were the only two teams they beat aside from Jacksonville.
Houston had to deal with the Deshaun Watson drama for most of the season and finished near the bottom of the league in basically every team statistic imaginable. Rookie QB Davis Mills took over the team early and flashed some potential, but the Texans were simply too weak overall to accomplish much in 2021.
Significant Roster Moves
The Texans lost a bunch of guys from last year, most notably in trading QB Deshaun Watson to Cleveland. QB Tyrod Taylor, who battled injuries all of last season, also departed, along with LB Zach Cunningham and S Justin Reid. Four offensive linemen with significant playing time last season went unsigned as well, leaving a host of holes in Houston's roster.
The Texans did their best to regroup in the offseason, but they didn't make any additions that really made headlines. Being in rebuild mode, Houston is looking for young talent to plug into their offensive and defensive schemes.
2022 Draft Class
Houston had nine selections in this year's draft and they actually made some exciting selections. Derek Stingley Jr. will instantly become Houston's CB1 and Kenyon Green has also secured a starting spot at Guard. Jalen Pitre and Christian Harris are currently listed as backups, but will likely develop into solid starters at safety and linebacker, respectively.
While WR John Metchie III out of Alabama would have been an excellent addition to Houston's receiving corps, he was unfortunately recently diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia causing him to sit the entirety of the 2022 season. The good news is that it is the most curable form of leukemia, so Metchie will hopefully be able to work his way back to football in 2023. Bucket Squad wishes John a full and speedy recovery.
The Texans will take on the AFC West and the NFC East to go along with their six divisional games. Their other three opponents are the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and Cleveland Browns. With an opponent prior season win percentage of .488, Houston has the 14th easiest schedule in the NFL.
Houston's lone primetime game is a Thursday night game versus Philadelphia.
The Texans return 13 of their 22 offensive and defensive starters from a season ago, which is right in line with a lot of the other teams in the league who struggled in 2021. Houston's depth chart is filled with a bunch of guys who the casual NFL fan might not have heard of, which certainly isn't the best indicator of a successful season on the horizon. The team is young, so maybe they have some guys who will grow into the system over the years.
Lovie Smith was hired in the offseason to become the fifth head coach of the Houston Texans, and he will also control the defense rather than name a defensive coordinator. Pep Hamilton and Frank Ross both enter their second season in their respective coordinator positions.
Oddsmakers have set the regular season win total for Houston at 4.5 games. As of right now, the Texans are by far the least likely team to win their division and conference. At +25000 to win the 2023 Super Bowl, they are also last among all teams in the league.
Bucket Squad Predictions
Similar to the sports books, I have very low expectations for the Texans in 2022. I think Lovie Smith will maybe help the defense play better this year, but they just don't have the pieces in place on offense or defense to make much of anything happen in the short term. Rebuild mode is not fun for fans of a team, and that's just where the Texans are currently.
What do you think? Will Houston be better or worse than I'm projecting? What offseason moves made by the Texans surprised you the most? Leave a comment down below and be sure to check the "NFL" section of the website for more NFL team guidebooks as I finish them.
Written by Nick Swatson
Expert Nick Swatson discusses all the news, predictions, and outcomes surrounding the NFL.