We made it. You can set down all that off-season baggage because football has arrived. No more ridiculous hot takes, overzealous speculation, or baseless projections to fill the void. All 32 NFL teams have their chance to silence doubters, end discussions, and write their own narratives as we move through the preseason and into the real action. Granted, preseason isn’t our favorite version of football, but it serves a purpose nonetheless.
For the Houston Texans, the 2018 preseason couldn’t have come any faster. Last year’s campaign brought more excitement and subsequent pain than anyone could have predicted. Despite rostering a top-flight defense for several seasons, their offense had routinely limited the team’s success. The Texans could neither maintain time of possession nor consistently put points on the board and it plagued them late in games. Just a few weeks into the 2017 season it appeared as though Houston had found a cure. The offense started clicking and began producing at a prolific rate. Success on both sides of the ball gave the Texans a whole new outlook.
Unfortunately, we never got to see them fulfill their potential. Injuries to key players like Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt became insurmountable, and their momentum vanished. Fans of the franchise were stuck watching their team finish 4-12 and feeling all their playoff hopes fade into memory.
The 2018 season brings serious anticipation as the star-studded Texans have a shot at a dramatically different outcome. Houston may have found their franchise quarterback in last year’s draft and still roster a top 5 defense coming into this season. A year of recovery time brought back almost every injured starter. On paper, the Texans’ personnel are apt to compete for AFC glory. Now it’s time to see if they can earn it between the whistles.
Head coach Bill O’Brien led the team to victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason opener. Despite lacking any effect on the standings, the 17-10 win in Arrowhead Stadium sets a good tone for the team’s expectations. While the starters don’t play for very long and the games don’t mean much, the preseason still holds value. It’s a tool teams and fans alike use to see new players, new ideas, and ultimately a new reality.
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