AFC South Playoff Race Analysis: Week 1
By Max Dambach
Houston Texans (0-1)
Week 1 Results: Lost 29-7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars
What it Means: The Houston Texans could not have had a worse start to the 2017 NFL Season. After making the playoffs two seasons in a row despite subpar quarterback play, the Texans attempted to rectify the issue by trading up to draft Deshaun Watson in the first round out of Clemson. However, Head Coach Bill O’Brien insisted that despite giving up a king’s ransom to acquire Watson, the team would enter Week 1 with Tom Savage as their starter. The very same Savage who has yet to throw a touchdown pass.
O’Brien pulled the plug on Savage after only a half and forced Watson into action. Watson performed moderately better than Savage by putting up a touchdown, but he also held onto the ball too long, made some errant throws, and threw an interception while only managing a 52% completion rate. To make matters worse, the offensive line gave up ten sacks.
On the other side of the ball, the Texans should have been much stronger. Coming off a year in which they were the No. 1 total defense, the Texans should have been able to limit a Blake Bortles-led offense with a weak offensive line and an injury to their star receiver Allen Robinson, but they didn’t manage to force any sacks or turnovers all game long and allowed Bortles to channel his inner Kyle Boller and hand the ball off to Leonard Fournette and let his defense carry him. The Texans can not be counted out of the AFC South Playoff Race this early, but their week 1 performance does not bode well for their playoff hopes.
What’s Next: The Texans head to Cincinnati to face a Bengals team that also looked putrid in Week 1. Both teams desperately need to prove that Week 1 was a fluke with a win.