LAST SEASON: 12-4 (first place AFC South)
The bar graphs reflect the average rating given by the voters for each category.
Category averages are weighted by importance to generate overall score.
Roster: On the defensive side of the ball they are loaded with playmakers, especially in the front seven. Guys such as J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, Whitney Mercilus and others should be productive for a long time and there is solid depth here, especially at linebacker. The offense may be a different story, as most of their playmakers are veterans like Andre Johnson, who will be near the end of their careers in 2016. They need strong offensive drafts in the next couple of years. -- Horton
Quarterback: The Texans' non-QB roster ranked eighth, at least six spots higher than the rankings for any of the teams ranked lower than Houston overall. Quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster and Johnson all have contracts set to expire after the 2016 season, but there's no real sense this group is going to win a championship together. Schaub has proven to be competent, but he might have found his ceiling. -- Sando
Draft: The jury is still out on draft returns from 2010 and 2012, but the selection of Watt in 2011 -- drafted one spot behind Blaine Gabbert -- could turn into a legendary pick given his early pace. Houston did a nice job in 2013, but it's hard to imagine what this offense would have been like without the services of Johnson in recent years, and finding solutions to keep the passing game effective could be the big question going forward. If 2013 pick DeAndre Hopkins emerges, we could have the answer to that question. -- Kiper
Front office: Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith have built a team that fits their system (particularly that of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips) very well. The addition of Ed Reed and the unheralded additions of Shane Lechler and Greg Jones in free agency were very good moves, though Reed is just a short-term fix. The return from injury of Cushing will help the defense. The key question is can Schaub make this team a genuine contender instead of simply a good team? -- Polian
Coaching: I have to give a lot of credit to owner Bob McNair for sticking with Kubiak. There were calls for his head after the team went 6-10 a couple years ago, but under Kubiak's leadership they have won the AFC South and a playoff game in each of the past two seasons. He's done a good job of coaching and hiring Wade Phillips has helped out the defense. The next step for Kubiak is getting Schaub to play at a higher level in the playoffs. -- Edwards