Tag Archives: Houston Texans

Who Should the Texans take? Clowney or Manziel?

By: Evan

The Texans have a tough choice to make. An exciting quarterback? or a can't miss defensive prospect? Courtesy of Buildingadam.com
The Texans have a tough choice to make. An exciting quarterback or a can’t miss defensive prospect?
Courtesy of SB Nation

As the Superbowl hype dies down, NFL fans get focused on the draft and their team’s needs to improve its roster. The team in the news the most is the Houston Texans, a team with plenty of talent but one that vastly underachieved this season winning only two games, hence securing the first overall pick. The only problem with having the first overall pick this year is the decision on whether to go offense or defense. The two seemingly obvious choices to go number one are Johnny Manziel or Jadeveon Clowney. Both were stars at the college level, yet both have questions that GM’s and scouts want answered. Ironically, the Texans faced a similar predicament in 2007, on whether to draft the elusive and wildly popular Reggie Bush or stud defensive end Mario Williams. The Texans took Williams and he did have a successful stint with the team, setting the franchise record for sacks and forced fumbles before he signed the most lucrative contract for a defensive player in NFL history with the Buffalo Bills. Bush, on the other hand has bounced around the NFL, from New Orleans to Miami to Detroit and has never really reached his potential as an elite running back. Having the number one pick can be a double edged sword as you get the number one player on your wish list, but making a mistake with the number one pick can set back your franchise.

Why the Texans should pick Manziel:

Will the Texans take the electrifying Johnny Football? Courtesy of NY Times.com
Will the Texans take the electrifying Johnny Football?
Courtesy of NY Times

Johnny Football would immediately bring excitement to the city of Houston and its deep football roots. He is “box office” and can perform at a very high level. Manziel fits the mold of the new generation of QBs that can extend plays with their feet, a deadly weapon for those who know when to slide and avoid injury. He can also throw, racking up 4,117 yards last season, good for 9th in the country. He also held the 3rd highest passer rating at 172.9 only below Bryce Petty and heisman winner Jameis Winston. In the AFC South with the emergence of Andrew Luck and with the Jaguars presumingly drafting a quarterback whether it be Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles, the Texans need someone who can put points on the board. Johnny is also a Texas kid born and raised, so the pressure of playing under the most football-centric state shouldn’t faze him. There have been some questions about Manziel’s height as he measured below six feet tall, but he does have big hands to grip the ball in inclement conditions, a good sign for NFL quarterback prospects. Some also question Johnny’s dedication to football due to his antics last summer when he partied with various celebrities such as Drake and LeBron James. Although his partying may seem immature, Johnny’s play on the field spoke for itself. As a fierce competitor, I believe he will realize the difference in preparation required for the NFL game compared to the college game and will spend more time in the film room, readying himself for NFL defenses. The Texans clearly need to take Manziel if they want to resurface as a playoff team. Look at the teams who made the playoffs this year, Denver, New England, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Cincinnati and San Diego in the AFC and Seattle, Carolina, Philadelphia, Green Bay, San Francisco and New Orleans in the NFC. All have one common denominator, an average to elite quarterback. Even if Johnny if average in his rookie year, I believe the Texans could make the playoffs with the talent surrounding him.

Why the Texans should pick Clowney:

Will the Texans take Jadeveon Clowney just like they did with Mario Williams? Courtesy of Sports Illustrated.CNN.com
Will the Texans take Jadeveon Clowney just like they did with Mario Williams?
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Jadeveon Clowney has been deemed the next great defensive end, drawing comparisons to legends like Bruce Smith and Lawrence Taylor. If the Texans take the so-called “next great defensive end” could you imagine him on one end of the line of scrimmage and JJ Watt on the other? That would be the most feared defensive line in the NFL without a doubt. Clowney is fast and is an athletic freak of nature at 6’6 250 pounds with long arms, he has the ideal frame to beat tackles off the edge. Drafting Clowney would provide the Texans with two defensive stoppers who could come after Andrew Luck twice a year. Although pressure on the quarterback doesn’t necessarily equate to wins, it can definitely alter game plans. Another reason why the Texans should take Clowney is  the safety of the pick. If Clowney would to fail and be a bust, it would be hard to see anyone criticizing the Texans for taking the supposedly next “Bruce Smith or Lawrence Taylor”. If Clowney reaches this potential, he would be one of the all time greats, a sure-fire hall of famer with impeccable credentials. Clowney is the safer bet but does he have the potential that Johnny does?

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Conclusion:

If I had to send in the draft card, I would choose Manziel. As the saying goes “scared money doesn’t make money” and I believe the Texans need to take the risk, however big it may be. Defensive ends, however talented they may be, don’t win championships, quarterbacks do. This is not to say that Johnny will win a Superbowl or even be an elite quarterback, but he would provide the Texans with the best chance to win a title.

2013-2014 Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

By: Jon

 

Projected Record: 4-12

AFC South Rank: 4th

Breakdown:

Blaine Gabbert
Blaine Gabbert

After a disappointing season last year, the Jaguars will be returning almost all of the same starters as last season. The Jaguars will be led by third year quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert was only able to play half of the games last season because of injuries and ineffectiveness. Gabbert has shown flashes of success and potential, but he has not been able to sustain his success for a game, let alone a season. Gabbert may have his best group of receivers and running backs this season. On the outside, the Jaguars have Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts, Mercedes Lewis, and athlete Denard Robinson. Justin Blackmon, fifth overall pick in 2012 draft, is one of the most talented wide receivers to come out of college in the last few years. During his rookie season, Blackmon caught 64 passes, recorded 864 yards, and tallied 5 touchdowns. Blackmon has the size and physical ability to become a true number one receiver in the NFL. Along with Blackmon, Cecil Shorts looks like he can become a proficient wide receiver, after a 979 yard campaign. At the running back position, the Jaguars have one of the best in the game, Maurice Jones Drew. Although MJD is not the back that can carry a team to 6-7 wins just by himself anymore, he is a solid back who is easily able to record 1000+ yards and 7+ touchdowns. Last year, Jones Drew was injured for all but six games. Over the previous three seasons, Drew rushed for about 4500 yards and scored 28 touchdowns against teams that would focus on him instead of the passing game. The Jaguars should improve on their 30th ranked offense in the league last season.

Tyson Alualu
Tyson Alualu

On defense, the Jaguars were not better than their 30th ranked offense. The defense was ranked 29th in points allowed per game. The Jaguars have six new starters including two rookies on defense. Although they have new players, they still do not have a lot of talent. In the secondary, the Jags are starting two rookies at cornerback and safety. The rookies may make a few mistakes and blunders, but they should be able to grow and gain experience through their mistakes. Although he is not a great talent, Dwight Lowery has played a lot of NFL games and should be a mentor for the young players. The linebacking corp should be the best group on the Jaguars defense. Last year, Paul Posluszny and Russell Allen combined for over 240 tackles. Although they do not rush the quarterback, they are stout agains the run and strike fear into the receivers going across the middle. The front four of the Jaguars could be the most underrated part of their defense. On the edge, the Jags have Tyson Alualu and Jason Babin. Although they do not have a stud on the front line like other teams, Babin can be a solid pass rusher and Alualu is a stud against the run. Although they do not have many notable players, the Jags defense can become a solid unit if they play inspired and together as a team.

Schedule Analysis:

Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs are a talented team that should make significant progress this season with a new coach and quarterback. The Jags will be unable to score score enough points to keep up with the talented Chiefs offense. Although they will play with a lot of emotion since it is their season opener, he Jags will lose their first game.

@Oakland Raiders – In one of the worst games of the season, the Raiders will beat the Jaguars at home. Both teams have little talent. It will be the new Raiders offense versus the new Jags defense. Although Pryor is not good, the Jags defense is horrible and the Raiders should score enough points to win.

@Seattle Seahawks – The Jags have no chance against Seahawks on the road. The Seahawks are the best team when they play at home and the Jaguars are one of the worst teams on the road. This game should be over in the third or early fourth quarter.

Indianapolis Colts – The Colts surprised a lot teams by winning 11 games and making the playoffs. Luck will torment the Jags young secondary. Luck will be the  best quarterback they have seen and will be unprepared for the skill and intelligence of the Colts.

@St. Louis Rams – The Rams look like a team that will take the next step in the NFC. When the Rams play at home, they are a dangerous team because they are incredibly quick and the turf makes them even quicker. The Jags will keep the game close, but they will ultimately lose and fall to 0-5.

@Denver Broncos – The young corners will go to school against Peyton Manning. The Jags do not have the ability to apply pressure or guard the receivers so Manning may be able to duplicate his ridiculous outing. The game in the high altitude will affect the Jaguars who are not used to the altitude.

San Diego Chargers – The Jaguars will get their first win of the season against the Chargers at home. They will be happy to return home from two road games. Although they will not have much support from the crowd, the players will be motivated to get their first win of the season.

San Francisco 49ers – The defending NFC champs will have little trouble mutilating the bad Jags. The Jaguars will have a lot of difficulty scoring against the physical and fierce 49ers’ defense. The Jags will go into the bye week with a horrible game and a 1-7 record.

@Tennessee Titans – After the bye, the Jaguars head to Tennessee in a game that they can win. Although the Jags will play hard against a fellow division rival, they will come up short and eventually lose to the Titans. The Titans have a little more talent and are playing at home.

Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals and the Jags are similar teams because they are young and have little talent. In another ugly game, the Jaguars should win because the Cardinals are coming from across the country. Gabbert, MJD, and Blackmon should take advantage of a poor Cardinals team.

@Houston Texans – The Texans are a really good team with a lot of talent. This means that the Jaguars will lose by a lot since the Texans reserves probably has as much talent as the Jaguars starters. The Texans will be able to score a lot of points on the Jags because they are extremely dynamic and the Jags are not good at defense.

@Cleveland Browns – The Jaguars have a good chance to beat the Browns. The Browns do not have a good offense so they will be unable to take advantage of the porous defense. The Jaguars have some talent on offense. The game should be close, but I think the Jags will come through with the win.

Houston Texans – The Texans are a really good team with a lot of talent. This means that the Jaguars will lose by a lot since the Texans reserves probably has as much talent as the Jaguars starters. The Texans will be able to score a lot of points on the Jags because they are extremely dynamic and the Jags are not good at defense.

Buffalo Bills – The Bills have a young team and quarterback like the Jaguars. The teams are similar because the defense is the weak parts of their games. The game should be relatively high scoring. However, the Bills are likely to win the game because they have more weapons and talent.

Tennessee Titans – The Jaguars should be able to end the season on a high note. The Jaguars need this win unless they want to remain at 3 wins for the season. By the end of the season, the offense should be more coherent. The Jags should win the game and reach their fourth win of the season.

@Indianapolis Colts – The Colts will be fighting for their playoff lives. As Luck accomplished during their first meeting, the Colts are going to throw the ball around the field and destroy their defense. The Jaguars will end a disappointing season with only four wins.

All pics and stats from espn.com

2013-2014 Houston Texans Preview

By: Jon

 

Projected Record: 12-4

AFC South Rank: 1st

Addition:

Andre Johnson
Andre Johnson

For the last few years, the Texans have tried many different receivers in an attempt to find a complement for All-Pro Andre Johnson. For years, the Texans have hoped that Kevin Walter would one day assume that position. However, it never came to fruition so the Texans looked toward the draft to find an adequate complement. The Texans feel that they have finally found the player to play opposite Andre Johnson and that is first round pick DeAndre Hopkins. Although raw out of Clemson, Hopkins has all the physical talent and athleticism to compete against any cornerback. During practice and preseason games, the Texans coaching staff has raved about Hopkins’ ability to catch the football and run after the catch. Foster and Johnson will draw a lot of attention on offense so Hopkins should face one on one coverage for most of the season. When going against a corner one on one, Hopkins should win most of the matchups because he is big and stronger than most of the corners in the NFL. The extra target will only help Matt Schaub improve as a quarterback. Last season, the Texans ranked 11th last season in passing yards per game. They must improve that number if they are going to compete for a Super Bowl. The Texans have one of the most talented rosters in the league and should convert their regular season success, over the last few years, to postseason success. With playmakers, such as Johnson, Schaub, Hopkins, Foster, and Daniels, and a solid offensive line, the Texans should rank inside the top five among offenses in the league.

JJ Watt
JJ Watt

On defense, the Texans made two key signings to improve their linebacking core and secondary. Although Joe Mays took some of Matt Schaub’s ear off during their game against the Broncos, the Texans added Mays because of the benefits he provides to the defense. Mays will add depth to the talented Texans’ defense. Along with Mays, the Texans added one of the greatest safeties of all-time to their secondary. After years with the Ravens, Ed Reed signed as a free agent with the Texans. The Texans are hoping that Reed will help the 16th ranked passing defense from last season. Although Reed has lost a step, he still has the experience and ball hawking ability to be a productive safety for the Texans. Along with Reed, the Texans added DJ Swearinger in the second half to improve the depth at the safety position. In the draft, the Texans added to their defensive line. Along with the DPOY and the best defensive player in the league, Houston selected Sam Montegomery and Trevado Williams in the third and fourth round. Every team needs extra defensive line players because they are big men and need to be changed frequently.

Schedule Analysis:

The Texans will have a great chance of making the playoffs again this season. The Texans are a solid team in a poor division and should win double digit games. The Texans begin the season on Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have been in a down turn the last few seasons. The Texans should come out in the season opener and beat the Chargers pretty handily although it is on the road. After the Chargers, the Texans return home against the lowly Titans. Houston in their home opener should come out with a lot of energy and destroy the Titans. After two easy games, the Texans play three of the toughest teams in football, @Ravens, Seahawks, and @49ers.  The Texans will probably win only one of the games because beating the Ravens and 49ers on the road is incredibly difficult for any team. The two games before the bye should be tough wins for the Texans. The Rams are an up and coming team, but should not beat Houston on the road. After beating the Rams, Houston heads to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. The Chiefs may have won the number one overall pick last season, but they are incredibly talented and should surprise a lot of people. The Texans will win, but it will be a tough game.

After the bye, Houston has a tricky schedule that could lead to a few stumbling blocks. The Texans begin the first part of their second half against easy teams. They should win the four games against the Colts, @Cardinals, Raiders, and Jaguars. Houston is playing three of the worst teams in football during the four game stretch so they should be able to rest a few of their stars. After an easy beginning to the second half, the Texans will face the Pats in Houston. After being drubbed twice by the Patriots on the road last season, the Texans should come be extremely motivated and should have the desire to win the game. I think that the Texans will win the game because they will desperately want this win and the Pats are not the same team as last season. After a huge win, Houston will probably face a let down against the Jaguars on the road, but still hold on and win. After the Jags, the Texans head to Indianapolis and play the Colts. The Colts and Andrew Luck should win the game if they have any chance of reaching the playoffs. After playing the Colts, Houston returns home to play the Broncos. The Texans have been known for playing bad games late in the season against good team, and I expect that trend to continue against the Broncos. After the tough loss to the Broncos, they head to Tennessee and play the Titans. The Titans should be their 12th win of the season. The Texans should win the South division and earn the second seed in the AFC and gain a first round bye in the playoffs.

Key Players:

Matt Schaub
Matt Schaub

Matt Schaub must improve as a quarterback if the Texans are going to make serious noise next season in the playoffs. The Texans have one of the most talented team in football and Schaub should not be holding them back from reaching their potential. Among the top teams in football, the Texans have the worst quarterback. Although Schaub is an average quarterback in the league, the Texans need better if they are going to win the Super Bowl. This season, Matt has a good chance of improving because he has another weapon to work with on offense. If Matt can have the success and make the next leap like Joe Flacco, the Texans will be in great shape offensively.

Ed Reed
Ed Reed

On defense, if Ed Reed can rebound from his injury and play productive football for the Texans, their defense will reach new heights. Ed Reed is a ball hawk and a player maker who can quickly convert defense into offense. The combination of JJ Watt and Ed Reed could be lethal for the Texans. JJ Watt ability to rush the passer and deflect passes could enable Reed to pick off passes and return them to the house. Reed is great at reading the opponents eyes and predicting where the ball will be thrown before it is thrown. Every team that wins the Super Bowl is great at turning the ball over and reducing the amount of possessions the opposing team has. Reed will provide veteran leadership to a team that has not won a lot in the playoffs, as well.

 

All pics and stat from espn.com