Are the Houston Texans Contenders?

After finishing 9-7 last season and winning the AFC South Division, the Houston Texans seemed to have found their winning ways. Although losing in the playoffs to the Kansas City Chiefs, it was a good step in the right direction.

They had one of the best defenses in the NFL last year, especially in the second half of the season. They finished the second half of the season with a record of 6-2 with their defense being a huge reason for their playoff push.

Their defense could hold their own, but there was one major problem that was holding them back, their offense. Their offense was ranked in the bottom half of the league and was not even as close as good as their defense was.

Their main issue was their quarterback situation. They had 4 starting quarterbacks last season, Brian Hoyer (9 games), Ryan Mallett (4 games), T.J. Yates (2 games), and Brandon Weeden (1 game). Hoyer was exposed heavily against the Chiefs in the playoffs, where he threw 4 picks and lost a fumble. The Texans would go on to lose 30-0 at home. It was obvious the Texans needed a new quarterback.

A few days ago you may have heard that a guy named Brock Osweiler signed a 4-year, $72 million contract with the Texans. Yup, a quarterback that has only started 7 games in his career will be paid 18 million dollars a year. Gotta love America.

But does Osweiler fix the issue? He’s been hyped up as a top free agent QB, but why? He’s started 7 career games, all last year for the Denver Broncos, where he went 5-2. He threw 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions and threw nearly 2000 yards in those 7 games. His most notable win was against the unbeaten New England Patriots, where the Broncos beat them at home 30-24.

I feel the Texans may have panicked here with Osweiler. They needed a QB real bad and gave him a lot more money than people thought he’d be getting. He’s unproven and certainly isn’t worth all that money right now in my opinion. He’s only 25, so he’ll hopefully get better in the years to come.

The Texans could’ve just gone in different directions. Maybe trading for 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick or just signing a free agent QB like Robert Griffin III and saving money. Now with another big contract being added to the team, it means they’ll have lesser money to spend in the years to come. They’ll still have a projected $19 million in cap in 2016, but it could’ve been more if they went a cheaper route.

The Texans also picked up former Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller to a 4-year, $26 million contract. He rushed 872 yards with 8 rushing touchdowns, along with 397 receiving yards with 2 receiving touchdowns. This was a definite upgrade for the running back position, replacing Alfred Blue as their top running back.

The teams in their division were also not very good last season. The Indianapolis Colts (8-8), Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11), and Tennessee Titans (3-13) didn’t exactly have seasons to remember. But, this offseason these teams all improved in some way. Colts got Andrew Luck back, Titans got the 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft and traded for Demarco Murray, and the Jaguars picked up plenty of free agents.

The Texans hope to continue their winning ways this season and to add more wins and another division title. With the return of one of the league’s best defenses and picking up much-needed weapons on the offensive end, how well will the Texans actually be this season?

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