The Houston Texans finished 2018 with a record of 11-5 which was enough to see them seal the AFC South title and advance into the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Unfortunately for Bill O’Brien’s side, they were beaten in the Wild Card Round 21-7 by their division rivals Indianapolis Colts. Preparations are already underway for the new campaign where Texans fans will be hoping their team can learn from their experience of last year and advance further in the playoffs.
This will be quarterback Deshaun Watson’s third season in the NFL. He broke onto the scene in 2017 in his rookie year where he made an immediate impact in the league. His campaign ended prematurely though, after just seven games as he tore his ACL which ruled him out for the rest of the year. Texans fans were able to see Watson for a full season in 2018 where he threw for 4,165 yards and had 31 all-purpose touchdowns. That was enough to see him named in the 2019 Pro Bowl and is further proof that Houston have their franchise quarterback who they can build around over the next few years.
AFC South Set To Be Competitive Once Again
The first target this season for O’Brien will be to defend their AFC South crown where they are likely to face strong opposition from all three of the other teams in the division. They are +220 in the NFL betting on the division with the bookmakers to do just that, with the Colts ahead of them at +120.
Indianapolis were just one game behind the Texans in the standings last year and with Andrew Luck fully fit now and having a formidable offensive line, they are going to be a strong force in 2019 themselves. There were also signs last year that Tennessee Titans are heading in the right direction, while the Jacksonville Jaguars will surely be much better than their 2018 record of 5-11 this time around with Nick Foles as their quarterback.
Justin Reid Can Fill Shoes In Secondary
Texans will be without the services of Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson this year as the two safeties left for the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos respectively. O’Brien will not be too concerned about losing those players as Justin Reid had a standout year last season after being selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Reid had big interceptions from passes by Dak Prescott and Alex Smith last year. He reads the game very well and is a leader in the backfield, therefore, O’Brien is happy to put his confidence him as a regular starter in 2019. Tytus Howard was the Texans’ first pick this year in the draft. The Alabama State graduate will be a useful addition at offensive tackle, while tight end Kahale Warring could be seen sooner rather than later after he was selected in the third round.
It should be an exciting season for a good young Texans team who are improving and may not be far away now from their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.