With Peyton Manning on the mend, there is no better time for the Houston Texans to sweep in and steal the division.
With a miserable 6-10 season last year, the Texans need to have their eyes on the price and build on the success they had over the last two seasons, not the failures.
Offensively, the Texans are one of the best teams in the NFL, and little has changed.
With top running back Arian Foster and solid quarterback Matt Schaub protected by one of the best offensive line groups in the league, both men will have time to execute their craft to the best of their abilities.
Not only will Schaub be getting help from his offensive line, he will be using the newly re-signed Jacoby Jones to go along with Kevin Walter and the best receiver in the league, Andre Johnson.
While the offense was great last season, they lost 10 games because of a porous secondary that couldn’t stop a nosebleed.
Besides stellar defensive end Mario Williams, the Texans had no pass rush last season, and it was exposed weekly by the talented offenses of the AFC.
The biggest acquisition for the Texans was not a player, but a coach, and that man is former Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips.
Phillips is a great defensive mind and he will be held responsible for turning a mediocre team into a Super Bowl contender.
He is doing a pretty good job so far.
To fix the ailing pass rush, Houston took top defensive end prospect J.J. Watt in the first round of this year’s draft and followed it with four consecutive draft picks spent on defense. Not only did the Texans add talent, they added depth.
With Mario Williams switching to outside linebacker to take on the role DeMarcus Ware played with the Cowboys, the pass rush will be drastically better.
The Texans didn’t stop there, though.
Through unrestricted free agency, Houston took their secondary from one of the worst in the league to the top of the AFC South with just two players.
Safety Danieal Manning and cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
Joseph was the second-best cornerback on the market behind Nnamdi Asomugha, and his presence is an instant improvement over what they marched onto the field last year. Add Manning to that mix to control the middle of the field and you have a top-15 defense, at the very least.
If Houston can make sure they’re in the top 10 in most defensive statistics, their offense is good enough to get them to the Super Bowl.
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