The Houston Texans are at the crossroads of their season, where they have to decide which direction they will go for the remaining ten games with a 1-5 record.
Houston Texans: Analyzing remaining 10 regular season games
1-5 record is misleading but indicative of where the team stands
The Houston Texans are, without a doubt, the most talented that is 1-5 right now in the NFL, and they are arguably the best team with a losing record that can turn this thing around if we are excluding the fiasco that the NFC East is.
No losing team has the caliber of a quarterback that the Texans have in Deshaun Watson. Houston’s signal-caller has lived up to the hype in October and has the production to back it up.
Watson has thrown for 994 yards, 9 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions, a 69.2 completion rate, and is averaging a 119.6 quarterback rating through the three games in the month of October.
But he has a 1-2 record to show for it. The most painful truth is that their defeats against the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans were winnable games that turned into late losses.
This team's perception would be entirely different if they won the last 3 games and were 3-3 as they host the Green Bay Packers in Week 7. However, we don’t live in an alternate universe. Ownership, players, and fired head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien have themselves to blame for this poor performance in their first six games.
The coaching had been questionable in prior seasons, but there was no denying the deep decline this year as players no longer bought what O’Brien was selling. Houston is 1-1 in a more stable setting with Romeo Crennel as the interim head coach, but the team cannot afford to go 5-5 in their next 10 games and expect to make the postseason.
Houston is in the tough predicament that they have to run the table if they hope to even be in the playoff conversation.
Winning record results to possible playoff bid
Not to point out the obvious, but an 8-8 record or worse isn't going to move the needle for a Houston Texans' playoff bid. Houston needs 9 to 11 total wins to make the postseason, and it's difficult that they go 10-0 in their remaining games. Texans can realistically afford two more losses with a 1-5 record.
The Texans are 1-1 against their opponents in the AFC South, so they have to win out their remaining 4 AFC South games to finish with a 5-1 record to maintain their hopes alive. Watson remains the best quarterback in the division, so it's entirely feasible to accomplish that feat as far-fetched as it may seem.
That leaves their remaining six games against the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, and the Cincinnati Bengals. Houston can realistically still make the playoffs.
The Texans remaining opponents are split evenly right now when it comes to teams above and below the .500 record mark.
The Packers (4-1), Browns (4-2), and Bears (5-1) are the three toughest teams on paper that have a record above .500. Meanwhile, the Patriots (2-3), Lions (2-3), and Bengals (1-4-1) are the three teams with a record below .500 on the Texans schedule.
Houston's home games will be against the Packers, Patriots, Bengals, Colts, and the Titans. They will go on the road to play the Jaguars, Browns, Lions, Bears, and the Colts. (Houston has a 3-0 on the road and 1-2 at home in their first six games of the season).
Injuries and each team's COVID-19 situation will impact the roster they field on game day, so everything remains up in the air on who is available. The Texans playoff run is still a possibility, but it is a fine line from here on out.