Balls on line: Call your shot
I'd love to see what you guys think of how Texans will do in 2008. I think we'll go 10-6. Here's why.
1. Alex Gibbs will by himself improve the O-Line tremendously. But in addition, look at our O-Line for next year
LT D. Brown
Sorry but that O-Line plus Gibbs is going to give us an above-average O-Line for the first time in Texans history.
2. Our Defense is a rising giant.
DE Mario (NFL Defensive Player of Year candidate- again), Kalu, Weaver, etc.
DT Okoye (Rising star - remember he came into NFL as a 19-year old. The dude was good last year and will step into being great this year), Travis, Okam, etc.
LB Ryans (All-Pro), Adibi, Greenwood, etc.
Safety CC + somebody (I see Safety as the weakness of our D in 08 but that's not a bad place to have your weakness)
CB Bennett, Molden, Reeves, Dunta
3. Slaton will not start but will finally give us another playmaker on Offense besides Andre. Somebody else who can bust out a 65-yard play occasionally.
4. Schaub/Rosenfels should be adequate at QB. Especially with an improved O-Line, Backfield, and Defense to take the pressure off of them.
5. Special Teams. Texans are historically above-average in this area and should be again this year.
Also, and this may be a more shocking prediction than Texans at 10-6, I am picking the Colts to take a fall this year. I think Texans, Jags, and Titans will all overtake them. History shows that Marvin Harrison at his age will fall off the map this year. I think Colts will be 7-9. They won't do worse than that simply because Peyton will not let them. But besides Peyton, the rest of the offense won't be great. (I think Reggie Wayne will put up great stats and be a top 5 Fantasy Football WR because of Peyton but he's not a great NFL WR) And they always have issues on Defense.
Surprise teams in a bad way this year: Colts, Redskins (took major hits in coaching and rookie WR's rarely have impact in their first year - Redskins may be candidates for NFL worst team this year)
Surprise teams in a good way this year: Texans, Vikings
AFC playoffs: Patriots, Texans, Jags, Titans, Browns, Chargers
NFC playoffs: Cowboys, Giants, Saints, Cardinals, Packers, Vikings
Super Bowl: Patriots or Chargers vs. Cowboys
I really don't see the Colts falling off that hard. They still have playmakers, but I could see the Jags or the Titans falling off, thus leaving us a shot at the playoffs. Both sides of our line look great and has a HUGE amount potential. I see as making the playoffs =D.
The Texan line should be much better, no question. But I am going to wait before calling Steve Slayton a playmaker. I like him in college, but I am not conviced he fits a zone blocking scheme. I am no zone blocking expert, but it would seem to me they will have to come up with new plays just for Slayton.
I will say 9-7, which is not bad. They are in a really tough division, which really hurts them.
I dont see the Colts falling that much (although they are not what they once were in my opinion).
The Titans still dont, and aparently dont care to get, any playmakers at wideout. I am not sure who is running that team, but three high draft picks in three years on runningbacks?????? Whatever...
I would vote the Texans getting better for sure. But maybe not in wins and loses. They keep getting tough schedules, which seems unfair. Going 9-7 in the division is tough...
The Titans for sure will be the team that falls off. Vince is not a franchise QB, and his receiving crew keeps getting worse every year. You eventually have to be able to throw the ball down field. The fact that they keep drafting RB's shows me that they have no faith in Vince, they know they will never win with his arm, they have to run the ball to win. Bringing back Kearse was a waste of money and time for them(he is done). No playoffs for Vince.
The Colts will be fine. As long as Manning is under center they will be a playoff team. What scares me about the Colts is Anthony Gonzalez, I think he will be better than Brandon Stockley in the slot. He has had a full year with Peyton now and will be much better. They win the south again.
I would be really suprised if Garrard has the season that he had last year, he proved in the playoffs that he can throw ints. But at the same time Garrard got some playoff experience and that could make them dangerous. I like the signing of Jerry Porter, He will be a big upgrade at WR, i think he can be a very good WR if happy. The D got better with the draft. They have the best back field in the league. I dont think they lose there playoff spot but they dont overtake the colts.
If the Texans can stay healthy they will take the other wild card spot. The biggest upgrade the Texans made was at the coaching postion. Alex Gibbs and Ray Rhodes will make a huge upgrade to our O line and our DB's, our two areas of biggest need. They will make our O line and DB's so much tougher. Playoffs....
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