Houston Texans: 3 Key Factors to Winning the AFC South in 2018

Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson, Broncos
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans were riddled with injuries a year ago, which thwarted their chances to pull off the AFC South crown. What will it take to reverse fortunes in 2018?

Oh, what could have been with the Houston Texans in 2017?

For any Houston fan, last year should have been a magical season. The Texans had one of the most formidable front-seven defenses in the NFL, arguably the game’s best unheralded wide receiver and a first-year quarterback taking the league by storm.

Alas, it all fell apart.

Texans fans know the story. Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a torn ACL last November, ending his oh-so promising debut. All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt suffered a season-ending knee injury, as well as EDGE Whitney Mercilus suffering a torn pectoral.

Just like that, the playoff-hopeful Texans fell to 4-12.

On a positive note, Houston remains stacked entering 2018. Watson is back, as are Watt and Mercilus. The AFC South might not be as formidable either, as two of the Texans’ three divisional rivals underwent massive coaching changes during the offseason.

Still, it’s going to take a combination of effort, X-factors and a bit of luck to get head coach Bill O’Brien’s squad back atop the division once the regular season is finished.

And here are three keys to ensure that happens in 2018.