Plenty of reasons to like the Texans on the NFL future board for next season

Posted: February 6, 2014 in NFL
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By W.G. Ramirez

Now that it’s sunk in for everyone, that Seattle is a championship city for the first time since the now-defunct SuperSonics won the title in 1979, shouldn’t we be focused on Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona?

Just before this past Sunday’s big game, the Seahawks were anywhere from 10- to 12-1 to win the 2015 Super Bowl, but after they took apart the Denver Broncos, quarter by quarter in humbling fashion, the odds dropped and they’re now a 9-2 favorite to win, according to odds from the LVH SuperBook.

The Broncos are just behind at 5-1, while Seattle’s chief-rival, the San Francisco 49ers is sitting at 6-1. The New England Patriots, who lost the AFC Championship to the Broncos, are 8-1, the Green Bay Packers are 16-1 and the New Orleans Saints are 18-1.Texans_logo(1)

From there the odds jump, and it’s at this point most bettors look for one team to put a little chump change on and hope for the best next season. Personally, I like to look for longshots at 50-1 or higher, on teams I think can make the playoffs – nothing more.

Seriously, if you have $100 wager on a 50-1 longshot to win the Super Bowl, and that team makes the playoffs, you’re sitting on a $5,000 ticket, and the chance to hedge your way out in a matter of three or four games.

Now the team I like off the bat, with such a big number offshore (I’ve seen 50-1), and at 30-1 at the LVH, is none other than the Houston Texans. They have the No. 1 pick in the draft, they have a new coaching staff and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the shocker in the AFC next season.

Whatever first-year coach Bill O’Brien’s direction is for this team, it can only get better. Remember, this is a team that is one season removed from going 12-4 and winning the AFC South.

And during the offseason, the Texans will have some cap space, especially if they say good-bye to veteran quarterback Matt Schaub, and hello to a rookie stud quarterback. The Texans are reportedly leaning toward taking one of two quarterbacks: either Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel, while another possibility is Teddy Bridgewater.

Houston does have top talent to expect back from injury, including Brian Cushing and Arian Foster. On the other side of the ball, lest we forget one of the best defensive players in the game in J.J. Watt, who will now be mentored by Romeo Crennel, the former Cleveland head coach who spent 2010-12 with Kansas City and has won Super Bowl titles in the same capacity in New England. Crennel inked a three-year deal to be Houston’s defensive coordinator.

In addition to Crennel, and an entire facelift to the coaching staff, the Texans also hired former New England linebacker Mike Vrabel (linebackers) as an assistant, and I think both he and Crennel working together will have this defense shaped up.

As for the schedule, Houston faces the NFC East next season, and that’s a division that finished with a combined record of 28-36 last season, while the Texans will also play the Bills, Browns and Raiders – and that trio went 14-34 last season. Thus, seven of Houston’s opponents next season were 42-70 on the year, an average record of 6-10. The AFC South didn’t necessarily impress anyone, either, as the entire division finished the season 24-40. The Indianapolis Colts was the only team with a winning record.

Look, I’m not ready to crown the Texans division champs just yet, after all, Andrew Luck and the Colts will have a say in the matter. But based on the changes on the sidelines, the draft possibilities and a lucrative schedule – a wildcard is a possibility. And getting in the playoffs is the key, when you’re holding a big ticket to hedge against.


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