With a healthy Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and Ahman Green (along with a plethora of many other RBs) the team last year seemed unstoppable. Unfortunately, injuries plagued this team as they led NFL with the most players on injured reserved.
The 2008-2009 schedule does not seem any easier. Their opponents are as follows:
The Texans certainly do have the talent to make it to the playoffs but health still remains an issue for them. Dunta Robinson, the veteran CB, is expected to miss at least half of the upcoming season. That leaves second year player Fred Bennett as the starter.
The other CB lining up alongside Fred Bennett still remains a question mark as recently acquired Jacques Reeves, Demarcus Faggins, and third round draft pick, Antwaun Molden, battle it out in training camp for the starting position.
Kevin Walter and Andre Davis will compete for the second WR position. Andre Davis poses a deep threat while Kevin Walter is very consistent and has sure hands. The wide receivers of the Houston Texans are usually underrated as they can be ranked in the top 10 in the NFL when healthy.
And unfortunately for Sage Rosenfels, Matt Schaub is still the starting QB for the Houston Texans. Matt has proven himself to be a formidable opponent when healthy while Sage is arguably the best backup QB in the NFL. Minnesota has expressed interest to trade a third round draft pick for Sage but the Texans want to keep a good backup QB in case Matt Schaub does get injured.
The starting RB is expected to be Ahman Green, but his age and health issues have posed a problem for the Texans. Fortunately, there is a vast amount of depth for the Texans at that position—Chris Brown (acquired from the Titans), Steve Slaton (third round draft pick), Darius Walker, and Chris Taylor.
And let's not forget about the big 'ol, scary, beastly Mario Williams and the D-line. Mario Williams has proven that he is not a fluke and a much better draft pick than Vince Young and Reggie Bush. Vince Young has yet to throw more touchdowns than interceptions and Reggie Bush has yet to prove himself to be a phenom.
Mario Williams led the AFC in sacks last season and is expected to only improve. DT Amobi Okoye has one year under his belt. He's expected to have a breakout season. Roosevelt Colvin (Patriots) was added as the pass rusher alongside Mario Williams.
If the quarterbacks aren't scared of that D-line, the linebacker corps should scare them. It is anchored by 2006-2007 defensive rookie of the year, pro bowler, and leader, Demeco Ryans. Next to him is a very consistent Morlon Greenwood. The linebackers and D-line should be able to apply enough pressure to the quarterback to ease the secondary's job and make it much easier.
The O-line has also gone through a tremendous upgrade. The Texans used their first round draft pick on left tackle, Duane Brown. He is expected to start. The Texans have also acquired Chris Myers (center from the Denver Broncos) and legendary coach, Alex Gibbs. Gibbs has installed the ZBS (Zone Blocking System) for the Texans' O-line which is expected to improve the running game tremendously.
Here is the tough Texans' 2008-2009 schedule along with my predictions:
Week 1: Houston @ Pittsburgh—L
Week 2: Houston vs. Baltimore—W
Week 3: Houston @ Tennessee—W
Week 4: Houston @ Jacksonville—L
Week 5: Houston vs. Indianapolis—L
Week 6: Houston vs. Miami—W
Week 7: Houston vs. Detroit—W
Week 9: Houston @ Minnesota—W
Week 10: Houston vs. Cincinnati—W
Week 11: Houston @ Indianapolis—L
Week 12: Houston @ Cleveland—L
Week 13: Houston vs. Jacksonville—W
Week 14: Houston @ Green Bay—L
Week 15: Houston vs. Tennessee—W
Week 16: Houston @ Oakland—W
Week 17: Houston vs. Chicago—W
Prediction: 10-6 (Wild Card playoffs)