NFL Odds Predictions - AFC South Preview Houston Texans

By: Bob Harvey | Monday, June 28, 2010

Houston Texans is coming off its first winning season in seven years going 9-7 in 2009. Head Coach Gary Kubiak who was reportedly on shaky ground early last season emerged unscathed and even prospered signing a new three-year deal that will run thru the 2012 season showing just how valuable a winning streak can be win positioned properly. The Texans have made it clear that Kubiak is their guy and it would appear that he finally has all the pieces in place to take the team to the next level.

 

Quarterback Matt Schaub and receiver Andre Johnson make one of the best NFL offensive combinations in football with that duo hooking up 101 times for 1,569 yards and 9 touchdowns. Schaub had a banner 2009 campaign leading the AFC in passing with 4, 770 yards including 29 touchdown passes. He completed 67% of his throws en route to a QB rating of 98.6%. Johnson meanwhile was the AFC’s top receiver with 101 receptions, 1569 yards and nine TD’s.  Overall the Texans ranked fourth in the NFL in offense with an average of 383  yards per game including 290 yards thru the air. The Texans will also get tight end Owen Daniels back after injuries cost him most of the 2009 season.

 

Houston’s big question mark on offense is its running game. Former West Virginia star Steve Slaton who gained 1,282 yards in his rookie season in 2008 regressed big time in ’09, rushing for just 428 yards. His return to form is a must if the Texans are to take that next step. Should Slaton fail to produce, Houston could turn to rookie RB Ben Tate from Auburn who gained 1,362 yards in his senior season. Ryan Moats and Adrian Foster are also options at the RB position.

NFL Football Lines

The Texans will start the season without the NFL defensive rookie of the year, linebacker Brian Cushing who was hit with a four-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. The former USC star had 133 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, and four interceptions. His absence will definitely hurt a Houston that ranked 13th in defense last season allowing 325 yards per game. The Texans signed LB and defensive captain DeMeco Ryans to a six-year deal. Ryans has made the Pro Bowl twice in four seasons and has been the league’s leading tackler since he arrived in 2006. The secondary appears set despite losing Dunta Robinson who bolted for Atlanta via the free agency route. He’ll be replaced by first-round pick Kareem Jackson from Alabama. Bernard Pollard provides veteran leadership on the other side and is coming off a season which saw him grab four interceptions. Defensive end Mario Williams anchors an improving front four and yes it’s the same Mario Williams who was drafted ahead of Reggie Bush in 2006 much to the chagrin of Mel Kuiper and other alleged draft experts. While Bush has been a good player in limited duty with the Saints, Williams is a full-time bona fide star. On special teams kicker Kris Brown looks to rebound from a season in which he missed a career worst 11 field goals.

The Texans were knocking on the playoff door last season, this year they plan to kick the door in. If Schaub and Johnson stay healthy and Cushing comes back strong after his suspension, this figures to be the year that the Texans end their post-season drought.

Houston’s season win total opened and remains at eight. They’re listed at +350 to win the AFC South, 13/1 to capture the AFC crown and 28/1 to win the Super Bowl.

 
 
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