Texans have yet to prove themselves as Super Bowl contenders
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 23:10
In 2002, Houston was blessed with another NFL franchise after the Houston Oilers flew to Tennessee in 1997. After nine complete seasons, four with a .500 winning percentage or better and one playoff debut in 2011, the Houston Texans is an overrated program that is flourishing in the weakest division of the NFL.
Currently the Texans are leading the AFC South with an undefeated record (4-0) headed by quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson. Together the trio has gathered 1,601 yards in the first four weeks against teams who have been sub-par for the past four years.
AFC South rivals Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans both have defenses that rank in the bottom tier of the AFC. Jacksonville currently ranks 15th in the conference with 138 total points allowed in the first four games of the season. Tennessee ranks just above the Jaguars with 181 points allowed but with fewer yards.
Both Jacksonville and Tennessee have failed to make the playoffs or advance into the second round of since 2008. The Texans have yet to prove themselves against strong defenses such as Baltimore or Chicago.
Given that Houston is still considered a relatively new franchise, their success of reaching the playoffs within the first decade of conception is a feat not to curl your nose at.
The 2011 season proved to be a remarkable season for Houston as they achieved their second winning record (10-6) and advancing to their first appearance in the playoffs. But with the absence of Peyton Manning in 2011, the Texans plowed through division rivals Indianapolis Colts with a 34-7 victory to secure the top spot in the AFC South. In hindsight, Houston’s advance to the playoffs was without contention because of Manning’s absence in the Colt’s lineup. Since 2002, the Texans are 3-17 against Indianapolis; all of the losses coming from Manning’s hands.
In week six Houston will lineup against the Green Bay Packers at Reliant Stadium. Aaron Rodgers and company will give the Texans their first chance to prove themselves as Super Bowl contenders this season.
Green Bay has begun this season with a 2-3 record, but since the Texans joined the NFL, the Packers have only won one game against Houston in three matchups. If Houston can claim another victory against the cheese heads in 2012, a Houston Super Bowl title could be in conversation for 2012.
Following the Packers from week six, the Texans travel to Maryland to line up against the AFC North leader Baltimore Ravens; a matchup Texans fans are anxious to see after losing to the Ravens in the 2011 Divisional Playoffs.
Led by quarterback Joe Flacco, the Raven’s offense ranks third in the AFC with 130 total points scored with an average of 398.8 yards per game. Although the Texans’ defense is ranked third in the league, the Raven’s passing will challenge the defensive abilities of corners Johnathan Joseph and Jackson Kareem.
Until the Texans prove themselves against superior teams such as the Ravens and the Patriots (week 14) the possibility of having a Lombardi Trophy in their trophy case will remain vacant for years to come.
After suffering a season ending injury against Kansas City in 2011, Schaub still has the weight of proving himself in playoff situations to Texans’ fans, as well as leading a dominant offensive attack to leading defenses around the league.
Texans fans can continue to scream “Super Bowl season” every September, but until Houston can consistently win against veteran teams that have established themselves as powerhouses they will always remain a mediocre team who slips into the playoffs.