Detroit Lions 2016 Opponent Preview: Houston Texans


After spending three weeks at home, the Detroit Lions head back on the road for a week 8 game at the Houston Texans.

The Detroit Lions conclude the first half of their 2016 season with a road game at the Houston Texans. It’s the only road game they play in the second quarter of the season – a stark contrast to the first quarter when they play three of four on the road.

To check up on the Texans, I got together with Randy Gurzi of Toro Times. My questions followed by his answers are below.

1. How would you assess the Texans’ offseason? Did they do what they needed to do through the draft and free agency?

The Houston Texans either had the best offseason or the worst depending on who you ask. Some believe signing quarterback Brock Osweiler was a huge win, others say it was a mistake.

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As for me, I find it all humorous. Anyone who isn’t wearing rose colored glasses for Peyton Manning knows the quarterback was not the reason for Denver winning the Super Bowl. So let’s play pretend here…Osweiler stays in (which he should have) and he wins the big game (which he would have). Now all a sudden the Texans sign him and they have a franchise QB at a bargain price!

The way quarterbacks are judged is ridiculous. Osweiler is a huge upgrade over Brian Hoyer and he isn’t overpaid. He actually got less-than-market value and they now have a guy who is ready to go today rather than wasting J.J. Watt‘s prime on a rookie who needs years to groom.

They also hit a home run with running back Lamar Miller and got a lot more speed on offense in the draft. I’m not sold on the picks of Will Fuller or Braxton Miller because I felt both went higher than they should have. Nick Martin in the second round though is an underrated move that will pay dividends.

2. Which rookie are you most excited to see play in 2016 and why?

I’m interested to see if Fuller is a complete wide out. I worry they spent a first round pick solely on a complimentary piece (much like the Dallas Cowboys did with running back Felix Jones in 2008). If he’s simply a deep threat he will help, but I can’t stop shaking my head as to why they passed up on Josh Doctson. Will we look back on this several years later and laugh like we do when we think about Dallas taking Jones over Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte?

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3. What is the biggest question that still needs to be answered heading into training camp?

How does J.J. Watt look after surgery? He had five torn muscles and ended the playoff game in the locker room. If he’s healthy he’s one of the two best defensive players in the league. The other, Von Miller, led Denver to their title. A healthy Watt could do the same thing if they can get him rolling in the post season.

4. What are your expectations for the Texans in 2016?

I think they will repeat as AFC South champions and finally make a little noise in the post season. I think about two weeks into the season those who hated the Osweiler signing will fade away and be quiet and he will be the steadying force on offense that helps them get at least one post season win.

5. Right here, right now, are you marking down the game(s) against the Lions as a win, loss or toss-up for the Texans?

That’s one I think they can win. I have no hard feelings against the Lions and I remember going to games in Athens, Georgia and being in awe of what Matthew Stafford can do with the football. I just have very little faith in their head coach Jim Caldwell. He has a record of regressing each season he returns to a team and until Caldwell proves me wrong, I can’t shake the feeling that things will get ugly for any team that has him as the top guy.

Next: Checking in on the Washington Redskins

For more on the Houston Texans, check out Toro Times.