NFL Preview: Houston Texans

Owner: Bob McNair

Reliant Stadium

Head Coach: Gary Kubiak, 31-33, 5th year as Texans’ HC, under contract until 2012. Kubiak has one of the best offenses in the league, but will have to improve the running game dramatically if they want to make any noise.

Offensive Coordinator: Rick Dennison

Defensive Coordinator: Frank Bush

Special Teams Coordinator: Joe Marciano

GM: Rick Smith

2009 Record: 9-7, 2nd in AFC South

Additions:

Danny Clark OLB, Giants

Neil Rackers K, Cardinals

Wade Smith C, Chiefs

Aaron Glenn CB, former cornerback retires as a Texan

Rookies

Kareem Jackson CB, Alabama #20 overall

Ben Tate RB, Auburn #58

Earl Mitchell DT, Arizona #81

Daryl Sharpton MLB, Miami #102

Garrett Graham TE, Wisconsin #118

Sherrick McManis CB, Northwestern #144
Shelley Smith G, Colorado State #187
Trindon Holliday KR/PR, LSU #197
Dorin Dickerson TE, Pittsburgh #227

Losses:

Rex Grossman QB, Redskins

Ryan Moats RB, Vikings

Chester Pitts G, Seahawks

Dunta Robinson CB, Falcons

2009 Rankings

OFF: 24.2 (10th) Points, 383.1 (4th) Yards, 290.9 (1st) Pass Yards, 92.2 (30th) Rush Yards

DEF: 20.8 (17th) Points, 324.9 (13th) Yards, 217.9 (18th) Pass Yards, 106.9 (12th) Rush Yards

2009 Individual Leaders

QB Matt Schaub 396-583 4770 yards 67.9% 8.2 avg 29 TDs 15 INTs 25 SCK 98.6 RTG

RB Steve Slaton 131 rush 437 yds 3.3 avg 32 long 3 TDs

REC Andre Johnson 101 rec 1569 yds 15.5 avg 72 long 9 TDs

Brian Cushing 133 tackles 4 INTs

Mario Williams 9 sacks

Bernard Pollard 4 INTs

2010 Outlook:

For the past two seasons, the playoffs have eluded the Texans, but once again this year, Kubiak and Co. are expected to be playoff contenders. If they don’t make it in again, they’ll have wasted another year with their super talented team. I see them finally breaking through because last year I think they learned from some easily correctable mistakes, ie half back pass inside the 10 yard line in loss against Jaguars). The Texans will make the playoffs, but how much noise can they make if their running game isn’t effective?

Impact Fantasy Players

Matt Schaub – Health is the only worry you’ll have about Schaub if you draft him. Top 3 QB.

Andre Johnson – Best WR in the game. Plus he’s going to go out and prove he deserves a new contract.

Owen Daniels – Coming off an ACL injury, don’t expect him to be up to how well he played before it. Most likely will be out for the entire preseason.

Steve Slaton/Ben Tate/Arian Foster – training camp will determine who’ll be the starter. Slaton is coming back from injury and needs to fumble less. Tate is a rookie, but is in the right blocking scheme for his skill set, but missed some time during summer workouts with a hammy injury. Foster doesn’t have any question mark other than can he prove he’s the best runner for kickoff weekend.

Projected Starting Lineup

Offense

QB: Matt Schaub LT: Duane Brown

RB: Arian Foster LG: Kasey Studdard

FB: Vonta Leach C: Chris Myers

WR: Andre Johnson RG: Antoine Caldwell

WR: Kevin Walter RT: Eric Winston

TE: Owen Daniels K: Neil Rackers

Defense

DE: Antonio Smith OLB: Brian Cushing (Xavier Adibi wk 1-4)

DT: Amobi Okoye CB: Kareem Jackson

DT: Shaun Cody CB: Glover Quin

DE: Mario Williams FS: Eugene Wilson

OLB: Zac Diles SS: Bernard Pollard

MLB: DeMeco Ryans P: Matt Turk

Schedule

1 Sep 12 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM

2 Sep 19 at Washington Redskins 4:15 PM

3 Sep 26 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 PM

4 Oct 03 at Oakland Raiders 4:05 PM

5 Oct 10 New York Giants 1:00 PM

6 Oct 17 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM

7 Oct 24 BYE

8 Nov 01 at Indianapolis Colts 8:30 PM ESPN

9 Nov 07 San Diego Chargers 1:00 PM

10 Nov 14 at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM

11 Nov 21 at New York Jets 1:00 PM

12 Nov 28 Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM

13 Dec 02 at Philadelphia Eagles 8:20 PM NFLN

14 Dec 13 Baltimore Ravens 8:30 PM ESPN

15 Dec 19 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM

16 Dec 26 at Denver Broncos 4:05 PM

17 Jan 2 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM

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