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Texans Owe Their Current Success to the 2010 Season
2005 was a rough year to witness. The Texans had showed improvement each year until then but completely collapsed. The team was so dysfunctional & broken that it had to be blown up from the top down. Kubiak & Smith were hired and the roster needed to be purged. After only 4 years there were only 7 players left on the team that played in 2005. In 2012 there is only 1 left on the team (AJ) and only 4 others left in the entire NFL (J Babin, D Carr, J Gaffney & D Robinson). As important as the changes made in 2005 were, 2010 is the reason the Texans could be playoff contenders for the next decade.
The 2010 season was another terrible year for Texans fans to watch. 2009 was the first winning season in team history. Instead of following that with another good season, the team goes 6-10. Again, it seemed as if another team collapse was imminent.
The events/decisions made in the offseason and during the season impacted the team for the better.
-Impact players from the 2010 draft – K Jackson, B Tate, E Mitchell, D Sharpton & G Graham
-Impact player signings in the 2010 offseason – Wade Smith
-The team decides to go young with K Jackson & G Quin at cornerback (not pursuing D Robinson)
-B Tate gets injured in the preseason opening the door for A Foster
-A Foster helps the team get the P Manning monkey off their back in the first game
-A Foster leads the league in rushing forcing defenses to finally respect the rushing game
-A Foster cements his place as the Texans starting RB with 18 TDs
-The team starts the season 4-2 but the defense shows signs of being really bad
-The team loses close last minute games against the Jags, Jets, Ravens & Broncos
-The team loses 8 out of the last 10 games of the season
-The team has a historically bad defense
-The Cowboys have a bad year and W Phillips gets fired
The fact is that if the Texans had won any of those close games things change. If the Texans would have signed D Robinson the defense would have been better (even if marginally) in 2010. Even a 1 game improvement in the win column affects the draft order. No JJ Watt or B Reed. If the team wins 2-3 of those close games, there’s a good chance we still have Frank Bush as DC. Welcome back to the 7-9 to 9-7 merry go round. It’s because of the poor season that Kubiak had no choice to change his DC. It’s because of the poor season & decision to play young CBs that the team felt they needed to get J Joseph & D Manning.
Sometimes teams need a poor season to improve. P Manning & A Luck were picked after the Colts were the worst team in the NFL. E Manning went to the Giants because they went 6-10. The Steelers were 9-7, 13-3 & 10-5 before going 6-10 and drafting B Roethlisberger.
Having your team go 6-10 is not enjoyable to watch but sometimes there is a silver/gold/platinum (J Joseph/JJ Watt/W Phillips) lining that makes it a little better. When the Texans return from New Orleans in February with new hardware for their trophy case, remember that the suffering in 2010 was all worth it.
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