Houston Texans: Could Andre Johnson Get to New Heights and a 1,600-Yard Year?

Ross ZelenCorrespondent IIAugust 11, 2011

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 28:  Wide receiver Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans completes a catch in the back of the endzone for  a score as he was defended by linebacker Tim Shaw #59 of the Tennessee Titans at Reliant Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Over the course of Houston Texans franchise history, few have had the effect on an entire city like wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Johnson, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, has been a dominant force as a wideout for both David Carr and now Matt Schaub. 

Now, it is time for Johnson to take his phenomenal game to the next level with a 1,600-yard season as he helps lead the Texans to a berth in the playoffs. In the always competitive AFC South, Johnson goes up against some of the best secondary players in the league two times a year. However, Johnson has been extremely close to 1,600 yards twice, in 2008 and 2009, where he had over 1,500 receiving yards. 

Only Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt and Randy Moss have had 1,600-plus-yard seasons since Jerry Rice's incredible 1,848-yard season in 1995. It is a very good possibility that Johnson could join Rice, Harrison, Holt and Moss with a 1,600-yard season, with an improved Texans team and the continued development of Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Schaub. 

Johnson has led the NFL in receiving twice, in 2008 and 2009, when he had 1,575 and 1,569 receiving yards, respectively. With an improved Texans defense under Wade Phillips and a revamped offensive line following the pickup of highly-touted rookie Darius Morris from Temple, Johnson could have the help he needs coming back from an injury-plagued season.

Johnson only played in 13 games last season and still had 1,200-plus yards receiving, and he was banged up for a fair amount of the year. With 50 touchdown receptions in his eight-year career, it is a safe bet to say that Johnson will be good for at least six or seven touchdown grabs this season. 

Fantasy football owners need to pick up Johnson, who is probably the best wide receiver on the market, early in their drafts if they want to possibly be a part of an historical season. Otherwise, plan on Johnson carrying another fantasy team to perhaps a championship year on the backs of a 1,600-yard season. 

Do you think Andre has it in him to stay healthy and get to 1,600 yards, or will he come up just short in his attempt to define his greatness?