The League

Tim McHale
Texans Blogger

Tim McHale

The editor-in-chief of SB Nation's site for all things Houston Texans, the aptly named Battle Red Blog.

Houston in the hunt

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I tried. Really, I did. I did not want to be the Texans fan who "objectively" deemed the Houston Texans as the 2009 non-playoff qualifier with the best chance to make some noise in the playoffs in 2010. I'm a homer, sure. But that'd be the easy way out, and I was determined not to take it.

I researched the other options. And while I like several teams to be markedly better this season (Detroit, Kansas City, and Washington, to name a few), I couldn't sell myself on the notion that those teams would make the playoffs, much less win a game or two there. I also considered the near-miss teams of '09 (Atlanta, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and the like), especially in conjunction with 2009 playoff teams that seem primed for a step back (Arizona and Philadelphia, perhaps?). Still, I can't see those near-miss squads doing much more than qualifying for the postseason. A deep run? Hard to fathom at this point.

As my analysis wound down, I was left staring at the one team I'd hoped to avoid. Thus, feel free to disclaim this opinion as little more than the kool-aid inspired rant of a Texans fan, but I have to say that I believe the Houston Texans are the 2009 non-playoff team most likely to make a playoff run in 2010. The offense was prolific, albeit devoid of a running game, last year; this season, I expect the running game to be improved and the passing game to stay the course. The defense looked like it had a chance to be the worst in league history over the first quarter of the 2009 season before becoming passable. Although the Texans' defense will never be confused with the Ravens', a statistically mediocre defense may well be enough for a team as talented as the Texans are on offense to qualify for, and win in, the playoffs.

If nothing else, look at the sheer number of heartbreaking losses the Texans had in '09. Both losses to the Colts, both losses to the Jags, the loss to the Titans, and the loss to the Cardinals could very easily have gone the other way. Had the Texans managed to win just one of those games, they would have been in the playoffs. They didn't, of course, and that's why the Texans were sitting at home (as they always have been) when the playoffs started.

2010's a new year. Here's hoping it brings two new things to the Texans and their fans: A playoff appearance and a playoff victory.

By Tim McHale  |  July 13, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  | Category:  Houston Texans , NFL , Playoffs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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