Texans: No Hops, No Glory
The Texans seemed to be making strides early in 2020 when they pulled of a miraculous comeback in the AFC Wild Card Game against the Bills. That momentum would carry into the first quarter against the Chiefs as Houston jumped ahead 24-0. We know what happened next. I still think that was the worse thing to happen to the Texans because Houston was never a great first quarter scoring team all season long. Of course, the Chiefs would win the Super Bowl.
But then, the collapse would only lead to more nightmares. The big one of course was the shocking trade for DeAndre Hopkins, by far the NFL’s best receiver, to an Arizona team that has a legend at the end of his career and a quarterback that should be mentioned among the best in the game. This move shocked and saddened every one of us as our chances of a Super Bowl run seem to be fading.
The Texans made up for this by trading for Brandin Cooks, a talented, but recently injured receiver who is nowhere near the rate Hopkins was. Even though the Texans drafted ok in the draft, the feeling among us as fans is one of anger and concern. Fans want Bill O’Brien fired and can’t see any reason why Houston would be a contender.
Recently, the NFL has been hit by players testing positive for COVID-19 including a number of Texans and Cowboys players. So now, that puts the pressure of their being a season in effect. Anthony Fauci, undoubtedly the most famous physician right now, has said that football might not happen this year. The NFL is willing to work around and make adjustments although the crowds for the game might be like the size of those attending a spring ball game.
If that isn’t enough, the first four weeks of the schedule, which may or may not happen because of potential for another outbreak in the winter, include two games against arguably the two best teams in the NFL. The Texans open up against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City on a Thursday night, the only primetime game for them.
The next week, they host the Baltimore Ravens at home. After that, a road trip to Pittsburgh and a home game vs. Minnesota. Four playoff teams from weeks 1-4. This will be the biggest key for the Texans’ season. Although the second half of their schedule is more favorable, the Texans will have to pick up at least a couple of wins. 2-2 or 3-1 would be huge. But, without Hopkins, and against the Super Bowl champion and league MVP, not everyone has the Texans losing these games.
For Deshaun Watson, who of course, is seeking at least a three-year extension to his contract, this will have to be his coming-out party. We know how capable he is when he is protected. We know how clutch he is. But, can he reach the pinnacle of quarterbacks on a team that has had playoff aspirations and failures to reach the Super Bowl? The only thing that will help Watson reach the national prominence like Mahomes is a trip to the AFC Championship game and beyond.
This is the biggest test the Texans will face in their recent history. No top wide receiver. A great defensive player plagued by injuries, and a quarterback who’s had to prove himself even in college plus a coach who is or might be on the hot seat despite receiving praise of planning to kneel with the team in the fight against racism. For the Texans, there is no way to go but beyond their limit unless it’s time to rebuild.
There’s no question that 2020 hasn’t been a kind year to us. Then again, it’s no question the same could be said for everywhere else in the world. Yet with sports slowly starting to pick back up, it’s going to be a while before everything can be as close to normal. For Houston’s teams, this year will be a year of trying to get themselves success for us again.
While again, no team who wins the championship this year deserves the asterisk because of a
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shortened season, it’s unusual that we face these circumstances right now. Yet, here we are, set to try and complete a season while hoping that this pandemic, which has been a wake-up call for all of us, ends within a year. As Houstonians, we continue to show pride and show how strong we are even if we are misunderstood by others who try to wonder what to make of us.
Yet, we hope that all three of our teams can rise up, overcome the adversity given to them, and bring us glory to show that Houston is a championship city. Who cares about the haters and who cares about the elite? We don’t need to join them because they got their own struggles that we don’t have.
All we can do is get ready and be prepared for the teams to step on the fields and the court and represent H-Town to the promised land. Championships and success will come now or in the future, but being proud of our teams for giving us reasons to be excited about why we are proud to be Houstonians is definitely the first thing we should make.
Let’s continue to be fans of our sports and let’s continue to fight against COVID-19.
Let’s go Houston.