As we all prepare for the start of the 2020 NFL season, let’s take a look at the four teams of the AFC South. New quarterbacks, old quarterbacks with new teams, teams completely shaking it up, we have it all in the AFC South.
The Titans ended their 2019 campaign playing in the AFC Championship game. They came up short against the team that would turn out to be the Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. They were led by veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was picked up via trade with the Miami Dolphins, who had replaced long time QB Marcus Mariota.
As we move towards the start of the 2020 NFL season, one thing has become crystal clear is that we are going to at least HAVE some sort of an NFL football season. We’ll even see the Vince Lombardi trophy hoisted in the air sometime around February 2021.
Many fans and season ticket holders are waiting for official word on just how the NFL is expected to handle seating amidst the COVID -19 threat, or if they’ll have seating for fans at all. Team facilities have started to slowly open back up and the coaching staff has been given permission to return to work with certain protocols set in place by the NFL.
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There have been many debates over the years. Waffles or pancakes? Chocolate or peanut butter? Tastes great or less filling? Allow me to add one more related to the NFL draft: Best available or fill needs?
I decided to dig into which strategy works better by researching ten years of drafts from 2009 through 2019. I chose the best team in each NFL division based on the overall record from that same period. I first looked at statistics for each season for these eight teams.
Items such as points scored and allowed, offensive and defensive rankings in each season, sacks allowed and recorded, and depth issues formed the baseline for what I saw as team needs for each draft. Any player chosen that would help improve the team in any of these areas was seen as a need pick, not a best available. Here are the teams and my analysis:
It was a rocky first quarter for the Kansas City Chiefs. Down 21-0, it looked like the underdog Houston Texans were going to destroy the home team. That wasn’t to be the case as the Chiefs took the game over, beating the Texans 51-31. This loss brings up a lot of questions for the Texans coaching staff’s future.
Not many people gave the Texans a chance to win in Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs and their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes were slated to march right through anything the Texans defense could give them. But in that first quarter, the Chiefs looked lost, confused, and like they had completely underestimated their opponents. Kansas City receivers couldn’t hold on to the ball. Their special teams were a disaster, giving up 2 touchdowns. It was ugly.
The Houston Texans will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in what could be a fantastic divisional round match up. Or it could be a total blow out…by either team. What we learned from the Wild Card round is to never be comfortable, as something completely unexpected will happen.
I still can’t get over last weekend. Underdog road teams winning over teams that were almost shoe-ins for the AFC and NFC Championships. It taught us all that, at least in football, to always expect the unexpected. This weekend could easily follow suit.
Before Saturday, this was the game most people had a hard time picking a winner for. The Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills are similar, well-matched teams. In what turned out to be another heart breaker for the Bills fans, the Texans held on to win 22-19, advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs.
This game wasn’t close, to begin with. The Bills had a 16 point lead in the middle of the 3rd quarter. But then Houston flipped the switch and turned this game on its head. In what felt to be frantic fashion, Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson showed everyone why Texans fans love him so, tying the game up and taking it to overtime, and winning the game.
But that simple recap doesn’t begin to tell the story of this wild Wildcard game. This game was crazy, in the most fun way possible.
The year’s first postseason game will kick off on Saturday afternoon with the Houston Texans playing host to the Buffalo Bills.
Houston Texans – This will be the Texans 6th wild card appearance and they’re 3-2 in the wild card round. With the division locked up, Texans coach Bill O’Brien sat most of his starters including his star receiver and quarterback during last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans. But the biggest news came earlier this week, as the Texans activated defensive end, J.J. Watt, off injured reserve. Watt was injured early in the season after tearing his pectoral muscle.
With just two more weeks in the season, the AFC South divisional race got a little clearer Sunday. At least it did for the Houston Texans, who came into Nissan Stadium in Nashville trying to inch a little closer to their second straight division title.
The Texans were able to get the upset over the favored Tennessee Titans, 24-21.
Offensively, the Texans found great success behind running back Carlos Hyde, who rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has had a history of playing very well against his in divisional rival, did not disappoint going for 243 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the Houston Texans right now is, what is the team’s identity? We hear this statement every season regarding one team or another. What constitutes a team identity anyway?
I heard it all day following the Texans loss to the Broncos. The analyst said this team is searching for their identity. Ok, well did they have their identity when they beat the Patriots the week before? I always found this phrase more associated with teams that are young and still working on continuity, not teams 15 weeks into the season.
Houston has far bigger problems then hoping to find an “identity”. They are sitting at 8-5 and tied with a red hot Tennessee Titans team right now. A team who have reeled off 4 straight wins in a row behind new quarterback Ryan Tannehill.