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The New Normal

The Texans start operating like a bona fide NFL team.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Pittsburgh -2.5

PREDICTION: Steelers 23, Texans 13

BUCKET RATING: COIN FLIPPER
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Arian Foster's hamstring will need to be full strength if the Texans are going to run to daylight.
Aaron M. Sprecher
Arian Foster's hamstring will need to be full strength if the Texans are going to run to daylight.
Mario Williams's becoming more comfortable at linebacker would make everyone happy.
Aaron M. Sprecher
Mario Williams's becoming more comfortable at linebacker would make everyone happy.

Sunday, October 9 — vs Oakland

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: Because you can set your watch to Raider ineptitude and buffoonery. When wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey ran one of the fastest 40-yard dash times at the combine a couple years ago, it became a lock the Raiders would take him. (They did.) When Terrelle Pryor announced he was going pro, character baggage and all, the Raiders were on everyone's short list. (They took him.) Fans getting into brawls, Al Davis growing new lesions on his head, it's all so easy. So when I say I know what will happen for Oakland in a road game against a good team, I just know. They're the Raiders.

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: Um, let's not forget that as shitty as the Raiders appear and feel and smell, they were 8-8 last season, two games better than the Texans.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -6.5

PREDICTION: Texans 31, Raiders 13

BUCKET RATING: MUST WIN
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Sunday, October 16 — at Baltimore

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: The one area of the Texans that really does feel improved is the pass rush, and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (despite getting upper QB echelon love) can be flustered into mistakes.

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: Because Ray Lewis is frightening and the Texans appear to be, at times, easily frightened. Oh, also, Ray Rice.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Baltimore -6

PREDICTION: Texans 17, Ravens 14

BUCKET RATING: STEAL
_____________________

Sunday, October 23 — at Tennessee

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: Because this will be Week 7, which means Matt Hasselbeck will be at least two weeks into his stint on injured reserve. This would mean Jake Locker at quarterback. I actually sit around some days expecting a Jake Locker pass to sail through my window. Not. Very. Accurate.

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE:  Because I'm just not ready to say this Texans team is a 5-2 team with that schedule. Sometimes it's not the physical games but instead the accumulation of several physical games that can be a pitfall. The Texans play a six-week gauntlet to open the season. It has to catch up with them. Picking them to lose isn't so much a Titans thing as it is a "bound to happen at some point" thing.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -2

PREDICTION: Titans 21, Texans 20

BUCKET RATING: COIN FLIPPER
_____________________

Sunday, October 30 — vs Jacksonville

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: For the same reasons the Texans might lose to the Titans in Week 7, I think they will beat the Jags in Week 8. Go look at Jacksonville's schedule. The two weeks before they come to Houston, they play at Pittsburgh and host Baltimore. There's a decent chance the Jags could come out of those games looking like Andy Dufresne after his first year in the Shawshank when the "Sistas" would regularly, um, "get ahold" of him. Oh, also, Jacksonville is not good.

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: Little known fact: Matt Schaub throws a kick-ass Halloween party every year for the players. Perhaps the Texans are collectively still hungover from the party. Other than that (and maybe the Texans turning the ball over four or five times), I'm struggling to come up with a reason.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -6

PREDICTION: Texans 34, Jaguars 20

BUCKET RATING: MUST WIN
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Sunday, November 6 — vs Cleveland

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: Because THIS will be the week they finally break through and go three games over .500 for the first time in franchise history! It's a winnable game against a young quarterback. It's time to take it up a notch. BAM!

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: Have you looked at the Browns' schedule? (If the answer is yes, and you're not a Browns fan, then clearly you have a gambling problem.) Here are their first seven games: vs Cincinnati, at Indianapolis, vs Miami, vs Tennessee, at Oakland, vs Seattle, at San Francisco. The only thing missing is a couple cash grabs against some Sun Belt Conference schools. So with a rusty Peyton Manning in Week 2 and a bye week before the Oakland game, the Browns could easily come into Reliant at 5-2 with some confidence, and then who knows what?

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Texans -7

PREDICTION: Texans 26, Browns 13

BUCKET RATING: MUST WIN
_____________________

Sunday, November 13 — at Tampa Bay

WHY THE TEXANS WILL WIN: Other than a Week 17 win over the Saints, the Buccaneers didn't beat a single team that finished last season over .500. Also, the Texans fall in between road games against the Saints and the Packers on the Bucs schedule. A classic "sandwich" situation, for "you" degenerates.

WHY THE TEXANS WILL LOSE: Maybe there's something to be said for learning how to win, even if it was a bunch of close games against the NFL's Pop Warner division. Tampa Bay has a ton of young talent on the defensive side of the ball and Josh Freeman is ripe to make "the leap" this season.

SPREAD IF THEY PLAYED TONIGHT: Bucs -3

PREDICTION: Bucs 23, Texans 21

BUCKET RATING: COIN FLIPPER
_____________________

Sunday, November 20 — BYE

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6 comments
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HECTEC
HECTEC

I dont think this article was long enough. On a sidenote, David Carr's wife attends Texans preseason games? with Dan Pastorini?

todd DeMoss
todd DeMoss

as the Lord can attest, from what I witnessed last night, Olsen's hamstring was the least of her worries in terms of what may torn, indeed.

The OSD
The OSD

Is it just me, or does the picture of Mario look like he is a 12 year old girl who just won tickets to a Justin Bieber concert? Great read Sean. Nice pull with the Superman II diner scene.

PeterJakes
PeterJakes

In all fairness, Bree Olson has a very nice hamstring.

Jared
Jared

The annual preseason hype around the Texans might be getting old for some, but I say this: at least there IS legitimate reason to be hyped again, and coming off a 6-10 disaster, that wouldn't normally be easy to say. And unlike last year's "blind faith" experiment, the hype is MUCH more deserved this time around. It's just a matter of taking the sense of urgency that was blatantly obvious this offseason and translating it to the field. This team has 11-12 win talent, but still has a lot to prove.

Of all the must-wins I see them needing the mulligan on, I think @JAX is the one. In fact, I'd switch the Tennessee road game with the Jacksonville road game on the list of coin-flippers. The Titans are better (way better), but EverBank is a haunted house from the deepest bowels of hell from which the Texans never seem to get out alive. And Jake Locker isn't as good as Blaine Gabbert.

I think they win 3 of the coin-flippers, and I do think they'll get a steal or two. Not necessarily because I think they're better than those teams, but even last year, when they lost all 3 steal games, they could have easily won two of them were it not for the horrendous pass defense, which is largely fixed. 11-5 is my overall prediction (with a few bottles of Jack stashed in a special palce just in case).

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

If Foster stays healthy, and Kubiak actually uses him for a whole game, I think this may be the year we finally make it to the playoffs. I think everyone knows Kubiak did a horrible job of game management last year. That being said, I have to think there is some kind of personal issue going on between he and Foster. Like the way Tate looked in preseason as a second option.

By the way, did anyone notice if Dan Pastorini is still sitting next to David Carr's wife during every preseason game? I probably would have played poorly here like Carr if I saw that notorious p-hound sitting next to my wife every time I took to the field.

 
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