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2023 Texans NFL Projection/Ranking

OptimisticTexan

2024 / Rebuilding Block 4 After Playoffs / Texans
T-29. Houston Texans
Overall score: 70.3



CATEGORYSCORENFL
RANK
Overall roster (minus QB)65.330
Quarterback73.323
Coaching73.025
Draft77.315
Front office65.732
1. Reason for hope: With No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud at quarterback, there's reason to believe an exciting era is on the horizon in Houston. New coach and franchise icon DeMeco Ryans also has brought excitement and optimism. Houston has a young team it hopes can grow up together around Stroud, who has the traits of a franchise quarterback. -- Graziano


2. Reason for concern: Stability and continuity through the front office and coaching staff -- that is what I care about with this organization going forward. The Texans haven't been great in hiring, supporting and developing coaches since GM Nick Caserio took over in 2021. Ryans deserves much better, and the organization needs to establish some stability under him. -- Riddick

3. Stat to know: The Texans' trade from No. 12 up to No. 3 for edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. was the second-largest first-round overpay in the past 20 drafts, according to our approximate value-based draft pick valuations. It can work out -- the top overpay was Julio Jones, after all -- but expensive trade-ups for non-quarterbacks are exactly the sort of move that we have learned, on average, are bad bets. It was not a trade that instills confidence in the front office, which ranks 32nd in these rankings. -- Walder


**Continuation of my post that I hadn't had a chance to finish**
1. The Texans QB room offers excitement in general. Stroud brings strong rookie work ethic and appears to be a fighter, Mills could have a bounce back season as QB2 in this new system, while CK brings the glue to the room as a solid veteran.

2. From what's being seen at this point.....the FO and coaching staff are delivering. They would be the least of my concerns. My biggest concerns are with the OL and WR's. If this OL gels and the running game is strong....the receivers could be just fine.

3. I believe analyst and reporters alike hated the Texans made the big splash on Day1 of the draft by getting Stroud at 2 and Anderson at 3. I truly think if any other organization had made the move, they would've been applauded...the Texans doing it just pissed everyone off. If Anderson becomes the beast he appears to capable of becoming.....what they paid to get him will be a moot point. Stroud was a justified pick at 2. Had the Texans bypassed Stroud at 2....analyst and reports would've roasted them for being inept. The Texans walked away from RD1 of the draft with the 1A or 1B player on offense and the #1 player on defense. It cost them to make this happen, but if the defense hits this season, that's a massive win for Caserio, Ryans, and Texans fans.
 
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Porky

Hall of Fame
It's hard to argue those ratings right now. I think the arrow is pointing up, but that Will Anderson trade was indeed pricey. It may work out, but if it doesn't, NC's head ought to be on the chopping block.
 

The Pencil Neck

Hall of Fame
I personally think that looking at that trade in isolation and without context like that is short-sighted and lacking in an understanding of strategy.

To me, it's all about getting both Stroud and Will Anderson as opposed to just getting one of them. If we take WA at 2, we can't afford CJ at 3. If we make that trade to trade up and get CJ at 3, then we got a bargain.

I understand that there are people who don't agree with that, but that's the way I look at it.
 

76Texan

Hall of Fame
T-29. Houston Texans
Overall score: 70.3



CATEGORYSCORENFL
RANK
Overall roster (minus QB)65.330
Quarterback73.323
Coaching73.025
Draft77.315
Front office65.732
1. Reason for hope: With No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud at quarterback, there's reason to believe an exciting era is on the horizon in Houston. New coach and franchise icon DeMeco Ryans also has brought excitement and optimism. Houston has a young team it hopes can grow up together around Stroud, who has the traits of a franchise quarterback. -- Graziano


2. Reason for concern: Stability and continuity through the front office and coaching staff -- that is what I care about with this organization going forward. The Texans haven't been great in hiring, supporting and developing coaches since GM Nick Caserio took over in 2021. Ryans deserves much better, and the organization needs to establish some stability under him. -- Riddick

3. Stat to know: The Texans' trade from No. 12 up to No. 3 for edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. was the second-largest first-round overpay in the past 20 drafts, according to our approximate value-based draft pick valuations. It can work out -- the top overpay was Julio Jones, after all -- but expensive trade-ups for non-quarterbacks are exactly the sort of move that we have learned, on average, are bad bets. It was not a trade that instills confidence in the front office, which ranks 32nd in these rankings. -- Walder

1. The Texans QB room offers excitement in general. Stroud brings a strong rookie
Texans should win 10 games according to @steelbtexan though.

Does a 29th rank team even win 6 games, ever?
 

76Texan

Hall of Fame
We don’t know how the season will unfold. Can’t go off of last season rankings because this is a totally new team with talent finally. Plus they have a very weak schedule
It's not the ranking from last season.

By the same reasoning that you stated, you can't say that the schedule is weak.

To me, it's not.
I think they'll end up playing roughly the same number of games against playoff teams or thereabout.
(About 8 games).
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
Since @Number19 said so. :brando:
No fair dragging me into your exchange. But...I was referring to the Power Rankings. I don't know what this ranking is, but it's not what I was referencing. And did I predicted wins? I believe I said we should be competitive with those teams in the lower half of the rankings, of which there were 10 at the time (#907, Welcome Home DeMeco Ryans). I'm liking the makeup of our team and we should see marked improvement over last season. But 10 wins? I bet the betting odds say "no". My gut says it's going to come down to coaching. 10 wins is not out of the realm of possibilities, but realistically maybe 8 is more probable.
 

76Texan

Hall of Fame
No fair dragging me into your exchange. But...I was referring to the Power Rankings. I don't know what this ranking is, but it's not what I was referencing. And did I predicted wins? I believe I said we should be competitive with those teams in the lower half of the rankings, of which there were 10 at the time (#907, Welcome Home DeMeco Ryans). I'm liking the makeup of our team and we should see marked improvement over last season. But 10 wins? I bet the betting odds say "no". My gut says it's going to come down to coaching. 10 wins is not out of the realm of possibilities, but realistically maybe 8 is more probable.
That was a Power Ranking by ESPN.

Actually, the Texans had moved up 2 spots since the end of the draft.
Post-draft, ESPN had the Texans at 31.

 

Khelar

Rookie
10 wins is wildly optimistic.

No one asked but my predictions are here
Ravens-L
Colts-W
Jags L
Steelers-L
Falcons-W
Saints-W
Panthers-L
Bucs-W
Bengals-L
Cardinals-W
Jags-L
Broncos-L
Jets-L
Titans-W
Browns-L
Titans-L
Colts-W

That's 7 right there and I think even that may be a little optimistic. Where do the other 3 come from

Maybe we can steal one off the Jags as we do always have their number but unfortunately I think Lawrence is the truth and that offense is going to be dangerous. Maybe we can get 2 off of the Steelers/Panthers/Broncos run but that seems unlikely. I just don't see where 10 wins would come from unless Stroud has an excellent rookie season
 

76Texan

Hall of Fame
10 wins is wildly optimistic.

No one asked but my predictions are here
Ravens-L
Colts-W
Jags L
Steelers-L
Falcons-W
Saints-W
Panthers-L
Bucs-W
Bengals-L
Cardinals-W
Jags-L
Broncos-L
Jets-L
Titans-W
Browns-L
Titans-L
Colts-W

That's 7 right there and I think even that may be a little optimistic. Where do the other 3 come from

Maybe we can steal one off the Jags as we do always have their number but unfortunately I think Lawrence is the truth and that offense is going to be dangerous. Maybe we can get 2 off of the Steelers/Panthers/Broncos run but that seems unlikely. I just don't see where 10 wins would come from unless Stroud has an excellent rookie season
Sweeping the Colts is not a guarantee.
Last year, they were their best player, All-Pro S Leonard.
The other All-Pro, J Taylor missed several games.
Other good players sustained injuries as well and they fired their HC mid-season while shutting down Matt Ryans.
They also cut their kicker after he stunk in week 1 against the Texans. (He was never that bad; it looks like he threw the game; that was how bad be played.)
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
10 wins is wildly optimistic.

No one asked but my predictions are here
Ravens-L
Colts-W
Jags L
Steelers-L
Falcons-W
Saints-W
Panthers-L
Bucs-W
Bengals-L
Cardinals-W
Jags-L
Broncos-L
Jets-L
Titans-W
Browns-L
Titans-L
Colts-W

That's 7 right there and I think even that may be a little optimistic. Where do the other 3 come from

Maybe we can steal one off the Jags as we do always have their number but unfortunately I think Lawrence is the truth and that offense is going to be dangerous. Maybe we can get 2 off of the Steelers/Panthers/Broncos run but that seems unlikely. I just don't see where 10 wins would come from unless Stroud has an excellent rookie season
That's fine, but you have us losing to Cleveland. That's unacceptable.
 

Khelar

Rookie
Sweeping the Colts is not a guarantee.
Last year, they were their best player, All-Pro S Leonard.
The other All-Pro, J Taylor missed several games.
Other good players sustained injuries as well and they fired their HC mid-season while shutting down Matt Ryans.
They also cut their kicker after he stunk in week 1 against the Texans. (He was never that bad; it looks like he threw the game; that was how bad be played.)
Well I don't think a single one of these wins is a guarantee this is a franchise coming off of 3 awful seasons with a rookie head coach, a lack of star power, and a rookie QB (or Davis Mills). I won't feel confident going into any of these games lol. But this is my optimistic prediction assuming we get serviceable QB play from whoever starts.
 

KA4Texan

Woof!
Contributor's Club
I don't care how good the Browns could be, should be, I just hope for this season it is a long, painful season to be a Browns fan.

I think I would laugh for an entire offseason if we ended up #1-2 pick again and it wasn't even our suck that got us there.

Im not holding my breath I'm hoping the Texans go deep and their first rd may as well be a second rd and the Browns is highly valuable.

IF that were to happen though.... it would certainly be a test if a human being can OD on laughter.

As for where we will rank, I think some will be surprised, many more will be disappointed, but I expect to look and finish better than last season. I'd say if we had our first next season, we would probably be picking tail end or just outside top 10 pick.
 

OptimisticTexan

2024 / Rebuilding Block 4 After Playoffs / Texans
10 wins is wildly optimistic.

No one asked but my predictions are here
Ravens-L
Colts-W
Jags L
Steelers-L
Falcons-W
Saints-W
Panthers-L
Bucs-W
Bengals-L
Cardinals-W
Jags-L
Broncos-L
Jets-L
Titans-W
Browns-L
Titans-L
Colts-W

That's 7 right there and I think even that may be a little optimistic. Where do the other 3 come from

Maybe we can steal one off the Jags as we do always have their number but unfortunately I think Lawrence is the truth and that offense is going to be dangerous. Maybe we can get 2 off of the Steelers/Panthers/Broncos run but that seems unlikely. I just don't see where 10 wins would come from unless Stroud has an excellent rookie season
Split with the Jags and a win over the Browns.....that's 9. I could see the Panthers game being a real toss-up, especially if the defense is hitting their stride. The Titans in WK16, at Houston, could be decided on who's the healthiest. If the defense is hitting their stride as predicted by the Panthers outcome....it should continue at this point as well. I'm going to stick with my 6-9 wins.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
Sweeping the Colts is not a guarantee.
Last year, they were their best player, All-Pro S Leonard.
The other All-Pro, J Taylor missed several games.
Other good players sustained injuries as well and they fired their HC mid-season while shutting down Matt Ryans.
They also cut their kicker after he stunk in week 1 against the Texans. (He was never that bad; it looks like he threw the game; that was how bad be played.)
Fast forward a year and there is no guarantee that Leonard is back healthy this year or ever.

And J Taylor is on the outs with the team.

There is a changing of the guard for every team in this division. The Jags were just a year ahead of the other three teams on rebuilding and establishing new core players.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
Looking at the division there are two main areas I think the Texans are the best:

1) Offensive line: I don’t see this one as up for much debate relative to the other teams in the division. Anything less than a top tier OL will be a disappointment given what the team has invested in the position.

2) Defense: A fair amount of projection here obviously. But I believe in DeMeco’s ability to get the best out of players and I like the looks of every level of this defense. The DL has a bonafide game wrecker in Anderson along with solid veteran players like Hughes, Collins and Rankins. LB has a mix of vets and young ascending players. Least talented of the three levels of the defense but this is DeMeco’s strong point, I can’t imagine one of his defenses being weak at LB. Then the secondary… this unit has the potential to be a top tier unit like the OL. There is not a weak link in the chain and there is depth at all levels.

If you have the best OL and defense, you have a good chance of winning a lot of games!
 

ArmyBengal

Retired Army Medical NCO
Power Rankings are next to useless. Kind of like mock drafts, despite me enjoying them to no end.

That being said, the Jags were ranked just 2 spots higher, at 27 heading into last year and won the division.
They went from last to first in a single season, but I cannot speak to why that happened and really don't care to be honest.
I'm just giving an example of what not only "can" happen, but actually "has".

I have already made comments that I think the Texans are going to be much better this season.
I personally don't think their schedule is bad, despite however those teams finished last year.
If things click sooner rather than later and Ryans has this team pushing hard, they are going to surprise teams this year.

Oddly, the two worst teams from last season (Bears and Texans) are the teams I am expecting big jumps from this year.
Two 9-8 teams made the playoffs in the AFC last year and 9-8, 9-7-1 and even an 8-9 team made the playoffs in the NFC.

Then again, like any NFL fan, I could be completely wrong and they both stink again...
 

Lucky

Ride, Captain, Ride!
Staff member
They went from last to first in a single season, but I cannot speak to why that happened and really don't care to be honest.
The 2022 Jags scored 151 more points than the 2021 Jags. Someone might care.
 

ArmyBengal

Retired Army Medical NCO
The 2022 Jags scored 151 more points than the 2021 Jags. Someone might care.
Agree, the Jags are in the Texans fans sphere of concern and you all might care about that.
I just brought them up as an example to the question asked, but don't give much thought to them, if at all.
 

Lucky

Ride, Captain, Ride!
Staff member
Agree, the Jags are in the Texans fans sphere of concern and you all might care about that.
I just brought them up as an example to the question asked, but don't give much thought to them, if at all.
How can the Texans get close to .500? That seems to be the goal to reach for this season. Well, score as many points as you give up seems to be the obvious answer.

The Texans scored 17 ppg in 2022. And gave up 24.7 ppg. Which side of the ball can improve the most, and by how much? A case can be made that the Texans have improved at every level on defense. And one can expect the young players that were already on the roster (Stingley, Pitre, and Harris) will make a big step up in their 2nd year. Also, the Texans strength of schedule should be improved. I look at that via the QBs they play. Using The Athletic QB Tiers, the Texans play 2 games vs Tier 1 QBs, 4 games against Tier 2 QBs, 5 games vs Tier 3 QBs, 5 games vs Tier 4 QBs and one vs a rookie QB. And the games against rookie QBs could rise depending on if/when the Colts and Titans pivot towards a rookie. That averages out to the Texans playing against a Tier 3 QB for every game. It's not a reach that this defense could become average in 2023. In 2022, the 16th rated defense allowed 21.7 ppg. Becoming an average NFL defense should reduce the points allowed by 3 ppg.

Trying to reach breakeven in points scored/allowed would be difficult in this scenario. But what can be expected of the Texans offense in 2023? First, the Texans have made a point of emphasis on improving the rushing attack. The Texans finished 31st in rushing offense in 2022. So there's lots of room for improvement. The Texans have made attempts to solidify the offensive line and add depth to the RB position. Add to that a scheme that has produced an average of a top 10 rushing attack in SF over the past 5 seasons. While it may not be realistic for the Texans to attain a top 10 rushing attack in year 1 of the Ryans era, an average run game seems doable. The average run game produced around 122 yards/game in 2022. That would be an improvement of 35 rushing yards/game. That would make a difference.

What about improvement in the passing game? It would seem difficult to make huge strides in passing yards, when the focus in 2023 is to be on the run game. The Texans will have a rookie QB, and several new receivers to mesh into the passing offense. It would appear to be unrealistic to become an average passing offense out of the gate. But improving the passing efficiency from somewhere between next to last (76.8 QB rating) and average (87.9) seems obtainable. Let's split the difference and say the Texans can get to a passing rating of 82.3 in 2023.

Now, were looking at offenses that had average run games with below average (but not horrible) passing efficiency and the points they created. The closest comparison I found was the 2022 Washington Commander offense with a run game that average 126 yds/game and had a passing rating of 84.7. That Commander average 18.9 ppg.

What kind of record can you expect from a team that averages 18.9 ppg and allows 21.7 ppg? Pythagorean expectation is a formula that sabermetric statisticians in baseball use to calculate a team's expected record. And while there are much fewer games in a football season, there shouldn't be too much variance in taking a guess at an NFL teams expected record. The formula is:

1/(1+(points allowed/points scored)² x 17 = 7.33 wins. Which is the number of wins I came up with looking at the schedule. I would put the variance as one game in either direction. The win total is currently sitting at 5.5, so I see the over as a very positive play.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
How can the Texans get close to .500? That seems to be the goal to reach for this season. Well, score as many points as you give up seems to be the obvious answer.

The Texans scored 17 ppg in 2022. And gave up 24.7 ppg. Which side of the ball can improve the most, and by how much? A case can be made that the Texans have improved at every level on defense. And one can expect the young players that were already on the roster (Stingley, Pitre, and Harris) will make a big step up in their 2nd year. Also, the Texans strength of schedule should be improved. I look at that via the QBs they play. Using The Athletic QB Tiers, the Texans play 2 games vs Tier 1 QBs, 4 games against Tier 2 QBs, 5 games vs Tier 3 QBs, 5 games vs Tier 4 QBs and one vs a rookie QB. And the games against rookie QBs could rise depending on if/when the Colts and Titans pivot towards a rookie. That averages out to the Texans playing against a Tier 3 QB for every game. It's not a reach that this defense could become average in 2023. In 2022, the 16th rated defense allowed 21.7 ppg. Becoming an average NFL defense should reduce the points allowed by 3 ppg.

Trying to reach breakeven in points scored/allowed would be difficult in this scenario. But what can be expected of the Texans offense in 2023? First, the Texans have made a point of emphasis on improving the rushing attack. The Texans finished 31st in rushing offense in 2022. So there's lots of room for improvement. The Texans have made attempts to solidify the offensive line and add depth to the RB position. Add to that a scheme that has produced an average of a top 10 rushing attack in SF over the past 5 seasons. While it may not be realistic for the Texans to attain a top 10 rushing attack in year 1 of the Ryans era, an average run game seems doable. The average run game produced around 122 yards/game in 2022. That would be an improvement of 35 rushing yards/game. That would make a difference.

What about improvement in the passing game? It would seem difficult to make huge strides in passing yards, when the focus in 2023 is to be on the run game. The Texans will have a rookie QB, and several new receivers to mesh into the passing offense. It would appear to be unrealistic to become an average passing offense out of the gate. But improving the passing efficiency from somewhere between next to last (76.8 QB rating) and average (87.9) seems obtainable. Let's split the difference and say the Texans can get to a passing rating of 82.3 in 2023.

Now, were looking at offenses that had average run games with below average (but not horrible) passing efficiency and the points they created. The closest comparison I found was the 2022 Washington Commander offense with a run game that average 126 yds/game and had a passing rating of 84.7. That Commander average 18.9 ppg.

What kind of record can you expect from a team that averages 18.9 ppg and allows 21.7 ppg? Pythagorean expectation is a formula that sabermetric statisticians in baseball use to calculate a team's expected record. And while there are much fewer games in a football season, there shouldn't be too much variance in taking a guess at an NFL teams expected record. The formula is:

1/(1+(points allowed/points scored)² x 17 = 7.33 wins. Which is the number of wins I came up with looking at the schedule. I would put the variance as one game in either direction. The win total is currently sitting at 5.5, so I see the over as a very positive play.
Like the idea of looking at the season using the qb tiers. With an improved defensive backfield, linebackers and pass rush, we may improve more than your projection. Will be exciting to watch.
 

Khelar

Rookie
No, DeMeco will not let this happen.

You think a midget is going to beat the Ryans Texans?


Swept by the Jags? There are 3 constants in life. Death. Taxes. The Texans winning in Jacksonville. Even Coach Culley won there.
Even if you’re right about the Browns and Panthers games there are other games on there I called wins that we may very well lose. It’s hard to predict any teams record preseason but this team especially. We have so many new players and a whole new coaching staff that everything is just a huge question mark. There aren’t any games I currently feel confident enough to call a W anywhere near 100% right now.

As for the Jags I do think they sweep us. They got better this offseason and Lawrence is a good QB unfortunately
 

KA4Texan

Woof!
Contributor's Club
I don't think the Jags sweep us. Simply because even when they have the clearly better team they still seem to struggle against us.

So, although I agree we are a team of question marks. IF they didn't sweep us last season, I cant say I believe they do so this year.

They have improved, but even with the question marks, I do believe we have too... how much is just one more question mark.
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
At this point in the season, I find all of y'all's lack of faith disturbing.

Undefeated, baby.

NO EXCUSES!!!!!!

You know, I've been here since the beginning .... 2002 before the franchise even had a name, been here for all the ups and downs in between .... and despite the fact that I think Demeco was the right hire, I just can't find it in me to get excited about this franchise .... It is Afterall the Texans, they could jump in a rose bush and come out smelling like 💩
 

JB

Innocent Bystander
Contributor's Club
You know, I've been here since the beginning .... 2002 before the franchise even had a name, been here for all the ups and downs in between .... and despite the fact that I think Demeco was the right hire, I just can't find it in me to get excited about this franchise .... It is Afterall the Texans, they could jump in a rose bush and come out smelling like 💩
You've become inured to Houston football
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
You know, I've been here since the beginning .... 2002 before the franchise even had a name, been here for all the ups and downs in between .... and despite the fact that I think Demeco was the right hire, I just can't find it in me to get excited about this franchise .... It is Afterall the Texans, they could jump in a rose bush and come out smelling like 💩
This is where I'm at with the Texans org at this point.
 
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