They say you never know what you got until it’s gone; but the Houston Texans knew what they had before it slowly went away. A franchise quarterback, stellar pass rush and offense powered by dual running backs was all at the hands of the Texans this season but they were all gone as soon as we . Injuries will be part of the story for the 2017 Houston Texans but fans will look back and see that is the start of one of something special for years to come.
This was probably the highlight of the season that the fans did not get enough of. The Texans drafted quarterback Deshaun Watson and the results showed immediately. After quarterback Tom Savage was destroyed by the Jackson Jaguars in the opening game, Watson was inserted, and things took off from there. Despite a 3-4 start, Watson took control of the offense and had the team running up the score, putting up 30+ points in 5 straight games. At one point, Watson was tied for the league lead of touchdowns thrown with 19. But during Week 9, Watson suffered a knee injury, and the offense took a sharp dive. The team that had seemingly had firepower for days was suddenly freezing up on the way to endzone. The Texans only scored more than 20 points in one game for the rest of the season, which was a 31-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
If anything, it showed how much we didn’t know we were lacking, until we started lacking it. Even behind a questionable offensive line, Watson was able to escape the incoming pressure and make plays with his mobility by running for big plays or moving around to throw down the field. It was something that Savage could not do, neither could quarterback T.J. Yates
Injuries for Everybody
Not only did our franchise quarterback get hurt, but the entire team felt the injury sting. Linebacker Whitney Mercilus and defensive end J.J. Watt suffered season-ending injuries; linebacker Brian Cushing missed 10 games which also included a suspension he had to serve for violating the PED policy. Running back D’Onta Foreman suffered a season-ending injury in Week 10. Cornerback Kevin Johnson started the season injured as well as wide receiver Will Fuller. Ironically, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was healthy all season, until he was sat out of the season finale for an apparent calf injury, missing his first game ever in his 5-year career. There were times where players were injured just only for the game and it affected the bottom line when it came to a win or a loss. Sure, the Texans are loaded with talent, but it’s hard to win games when half of it was sitting in Kelsey-Seybold.
Glimmer of Hope, Glutton of Hopelessness
It seemed that everything the fans wanted, and got, went away just as quick. It seemed like one thing would followed by another. Franchise quarterback was gone; feared pass rush was gone.Left tackle Duane Brown came back after his lengthy holdout, but he was traded after one game. It feels like the only highlight was when the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers for the World Series, but the Texans went out over a week later to L.A. and got beat by the Rams. That had nothing to do with anything other than to illustrate smorgasbord of sorrow the team feasted on for the year.
Sometimes, it wasn’t even problems on the field that would put a damper on things. Of course, Hurricane Harvey came through and ravaged the city, leaving a lot of citizens displaced from their homes, including some of the players. Later in the year, controversy erupted when it was revealed owner Bob McNair referred to his players as inmates during the players and owners meetings in November to address social issues. The season ended on more controversy as it was rumored that either head coach Bill O’ Brien or General Manager Rick Smith would be gone.
But despite all the negatives, there were bright moments. Hopkins and Clowney both made the Pro Bowl, while Clowney said
The 2017 Texans season had more downs than ups but that will turn around real soon. Everyone should be back next season, especially Watson, who has proclaimed to be ahead of schedule in his rehab. O’ Brien will be coming back. but, unfortunately, Smith will not be fully in his position, as he takes care of his wife, who is battling breast cancer. This has prompted the team to find a GM in his place for right now If anything, this time last year, there were so many questions surrounding the team but we have most of those answers heading into the 2018 season. Those answers will flip into a story that will be told for years to come.