A glimpse of NFL rosters in shells and shorts tends to generate prediction machines.
According to CBS Sports’ Will Brinson, the Houston Texans are one of seven teams that will make the leap at the end of the 2023 campaign and qualify for the post-season.
All three Colts, Texans and Titans used high picks on quarterback – drafting Anthony Richardson, CJ Stroud and Will Lewis, respectively – I almost wrote “AFC South sleeper team” here, but that seemed to cop out too much. There is a lobby for three teams. The Jags are the big favorites to win the division, and rightly so: they have the best roster, and I trust their QB/coach combo. And while I’m not a big fan of Stroud (a sentence that makes me laugh every time I write it, not sorry for my good friend Dave Stroud) I am a big DeMeco Ryan fan, and I think the Texan on Sleep. Coming this off season to improve their roster. With Damien Pierce/Devin Singletary and a good offensive line, this team should be able to run. Bobby Slovic is very intriguing as the first year offensive coordinator coming over from Kyle Shanahan’s system. The pass catchers aren’t flashy, but this is the best destination Houston has had in a while. Will Anderson Jr. is the highlight on defense, but the Texans also added plenty of not-so-flashy veteran players who could raise the bar for this unit as well. People will yell at me for this but guess what: DON’T CAAAARE.
Given the provision for a third wildcard team in 2020, it is possible for the Texans to make the playoffs. In the three seasons since then, eight-loss wildcards have found their way into the playoffs: the ’20 Chicago Bears, the ’21 Philadelphia Eagles, and the ’22 Miami Dolphins. Last year also saw division champions with single-digit wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars (nine) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (eight).
If mediocrity continues in the AFC, and Houston needs to hold steady with only eight losses, the Texans will have an opportunity to make the postseason for the first time since 2019.