By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Trend Which Cruelly Gave Hope for the Future: Once again, the Texans came into a final game with the chance to finish the season 8-8, their first non-losing season ever. Instead of the hapless Browns, they faced the playoff-bound Jacksonville Jaguars. Cynics will scoff that the Jags rested most of their players that day, but still — the Texans had managed to lose to the Browns in a similar scenario. This time they took care of business.
Final Season Record: 8-8. It wasn't a winning record, but it wasn't a losing record. For Texans fans, it was close to Nirvana.
The Seventh Season: Here We Fucking Go Again
The stars, finally aligned. The coach, finally with his system in place. The fans, their patience about to be rewarded. The 2008 season was finally to be the end of the desultory, playoff-free history of the Houston Texans.
Things didn't quite work out as planned.
But then again, you probably could have guessed that by now.
Season Highlight: None of the Texans were killed in Hurricane Ike.
Season Lowlight: Everyone knew going into the year that the first handful of games would be tough; the Texans just needed to steal one or two to keep themselves alive. Instead they went 0-4, and the playoffs were essentially out of reach before anyone stocked up on Halloween candy. The fourth loss was a heartbreaker to the Colts.
Inexplicable Moment Which Summed Up the Texans' Futility: In that game — the Texans' home opener, after Ike caused them to miss a game — backup QB Sage Rosenfels led the team to a 27-10 lead over Indianapolis in the fourth quarter. And then it was Helicopter Time. Rosenfels scrambled on one play and actually picked up some yardage. Instead of sliding to the ground like most sane QBs, he decided to go airborne (WHY?!?!?), was spun around by three Colts, and fumbled. Toss in another fumble and an interception, and you had yourself a collapse for the ages.
Final Season Record: The Texans added some meaningless victories at the end of the season to reach 8-8 again, but essentially the season ended the moment Rosenfels opted to believe he could fly.
Trend Which Cruelly Gave Hope for the Future: Nope. Not about to go there.
We have learned our Texans lesson too well. Hope is the thing that kills. "Next year" is always going to be better. "Next year" can't get any worse.
Not anymore. Eight years into this one-sided relationship, it's time for the Texans to provide something other than a fluke victory over the Cowboys.
Until they do, we're not predicting, or hoping, or wishing, or expecting anything but more disappointment.
And we hope we end up disappointed with that expectation.
We Predict One of These Predictions Might Be Right. How will the Texans do this year? Beats us. So we decided to ask people who should know, and some people who shouldn't.