3 Massive Questions Facing Houston Texans For 2024 NFL Season

Houston Texans
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have been one of the most discussed teams in the NFL this offseason, and rightfully so.

The Texans have been very busy, adding superstar talent on both sides of the ball. They swung a trade for wide receive Stefon Diggs and also signed edge rusher Danielle Hunter in free agency.

Diggs and Hunter will join a Houston club that already won 10 games and captured the AFC South division title last year, so on paper, the Texans are loaded.

But the game isn’t played on paper.

If Houston wants to seriously challenge the Kansas City Chiefs for AFC supremacy, it is going to have to answer these questions first.

Will the pass defense be any better in 2024?

The Texans ranked just 23rd in the NFL in pass defense this past season, which is not exactly favorable when you’re going up against Patrick Mahomes.

Houston has tried to address the issue over the last several months, signing cornerbacks Jeff Okudah, CJ Henderson and Myles Bryant in free agency. It also selected fellow corner Kamari Lassiter in the second round of the NFL Draft.

Clearly, the Texans understood there was a pretty big hole at the cornerback slot opposite of Derek Stingley and are attempting to fill it. And you know what? As good as Stingley has been, even he is not a stable presence, as injuries have limited him to just 20 games over his first two seasons.

At safety, Jalen Pitre struggled throughout an inconsistent 2023, and Jimmie Ward was ravaged by injuries in his debut campaign in Houston.

Make no mistake about it: the Texans’ secondary has to be better this coming season if the team wants to be taken seriously as a contender. The AFC is loaded with talent at quarterback. That spells bad news for any defensive backfield that isn’t up to snuff.

Will C.J. Stroud avoid the sophomore slump?

C.J. Stroud was historically good during his rookie season, throwing for 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns and just five interceptions over 15 starts.

But will he be able to replicate that success in 2024?

We have witnessed sophomore slumps too many times before to say that Stroud is exempt from it happening. Yes, Stroud is a phenomenal talent, but now, defenses have seen plenty of film on him and know what to expect going into September. Opponents will make adjustments. It’s up to Stroud to adapt.

Of course, there is a very good chance that Stroud doesn’t experience any sort of slide in his second year. Heck, he might be even better this time around.

That being said, we cannot ignore the fact that it can happen, and it doesn’t even have to be some colossal dip in production. Perhaps Stroud merely just stagnates, which would, in turn, unquestionably limit the Texans’ ceiling in 2024.

Will Stefon Diggs be content with his role?

When Houston acquired Diggs from the Buffalo Bills in April, everyone lauded the Texans for adding Diggs to a wide receiver group that already includes Nico Collins, Tank Dell and Noah Brown.

Obviously, that receiving corps looks pretty lethal.

However, no one pointed out the elephant in the room: will Diggs be fine with sharing targets with that many receivers?

Diggs caught over 100 passes in each of his four seasons with the Bills. He was targeted no less than 154 times in any of those campaigns, topping out at 166 in 2020.

How will the 30-year-old react to seeing a potential massive reduce in touches?

Collins registered more receiving yards (1,297) than Diggs (1,183) in 2023, so he will actually be Houston’s No. 1 receiver going into 2024. Dell himself recorded 709 yards in 11 games.

Stroud has already developed a rapport with Collins and Dell and may favor both wide outs over Diggs, particularly early in the season. Let’s also remember that the Texans have a very good tight end in Dalton Schultz and swung a trade for running back Joe Mixon, an adept pass-catcher out of the backfield.

That is a whole lot of weapons at Stroud’s disposal, meaning he will be spreading the wealth.

Diggs has a history of volatile behavior, so what’s going to happen if he only gets one or two targets in a late October game? Will he express any sort of displeasure? Or will he just accept it as an occupational hazard given the talent around him?

Everyone has been talking about how unstoppable the Texans’ offense could be, but there hasn’t been enough of a conversation surrounding what could go wrong.

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