After losing in the divisional round of the playoffs for the 2nd straight year the Houston Texans goal for 2013-14 is getting to the Super Bowl. On offense the Texans have been a pretty solid team but feel they needed a few more weapons to get them to their ultimate goal of a Super Bowl title. Here’s a look at the Texans top 5 players on the offensive side of the ball.
1. Arian Foster: Foster has went from an undrafted free agent to a top tier RB in the league. He’s the work horse of the Texans offense, and led the league in carries with 351 last season. After leading the league in yards back in 2010 Foster missed 3 games in 2011 and still tallied over 1,300 yards rushing. His 17 TD’s led the league last season as he played in every game returning to form. If the Texans are going to make it to the promise land they’ll need Foster to be the RB he’s been over the past 3 seasons. Since 2010 he’s racked up 3,994 yards, 37 TD’s, and over 4 yards per carry.
2. Andre Johnson: Since entering the league Andre Johnson has been one of if not the best WR in football. Until last season when Calvin Johnson did it only Andre and Jerry Rice had ever led the league in receiving yards consecutively. And though it was his 10th season Johnson showed no signs of letting up. At 1,598 yards on 110 catches he had his best statistical season yet as a pro. The Texans all time leading receiver also eclipsed the 800 catches, and 11,000 yards last season.
3. Matt Schaub: After losing to the Patriots twice last season and one of those losses ending the Texans season, Texans QB Matt Schaub has taken plenty of criticism as of late. Schaub has been the Texans starting QB since he was traded for in 2007 and hasn’t ever looked back. The biggest knock against him is that he is injury prone and he doesn’t shoe up big in big games. Both can be argued, and for Schaub to win over the people who’ve been critical of him he’ll have to play at a high level for the whole season. Which I believe he can do, given a totally healthy offensive line and receiving core. Even with the 2 losses to New England Schaub still is a good QB in the NFL. The Texans won 12 games last season behind Schaub, only Peyton Manning had more wins last year. And the Texans beat his Broncos in Denver behind a 300 yard passing performance from Schaub.
4. Duane Brown: Regardless of how you feel about the importance of a good offensive line one thing is a fact. If you want to win big in the NFL you need to protect your QB’s blindside. Most every team that’s won a Super Bowl in recent memory has gone off that model. Knowing this, the Texans shouldn’t be too far off their goal of a Super Bowl title with All Pro LT Duane Brown protecting Schaub n the pocket. Brown was the Texans 1st rd pick in 2008 and is now arguably the best player at his position in the whole league. Brown played for a stretch from 2011 to 2012 in which he didn’t have one holding penalty and didn’t give up a sack. That garnered him a Pro Bowl spot and a NFL All Pro selection in 2012.
5. DeAndre Hopkins: Not since 2003 when the Houston Texans took Andre Johnson in the 1st round had the team ever used anything higher than a 2nd round pick on a WR until now. DeAndre Hopkins was drafted this year to be the compliment Johnson’s never had during his time as a Texan. Hopkins is a naturally gifted athlete. His last season at Clemson he caught 14 TD’s and had over 1,400 receiving yards. After 2 embarrassing losses to the offensive power house that is the New England Patriots the Texans knew they needed to address this problem right away. With hid speed and raw ability Hopkins could turn the Texans offense into something really special. Andre Johnson has gotten double teamed and covered over the top for at least 5 straight years now and still manages good numbers. If teams still play like that Hopkins should be able to make them pay. With Hopkins on the field with Johnson teams will have to pick which WR they want to double team, much like the Atlanta Falcons with Roddy White and Julio Jones. If the Texans get production to the tune of 55-65 catches, 800-950 yards, and 5-7 TD’s out of Hopkins he did his job. And if you couple that with a healthy Andre Johnson you might have the best 1-2 WR combo in the AFC.