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2015 Power Rankings #29: Houston Texans

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This team is in for a little bit of regression and an injury to their star offensive player doesn't help them.

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Disclaimer: I am not a professional or a psychic. These predictions are probably wrong and your guess is as good as mine unless it's something crazy.

2014 Record: 9-7

Cuts: D.J. Swearinger, Chris Myers, Andre Johnson

Trades: Ryan Fitzpatrick to Jets, Case Keenum to Rams

Losses: Brooks Reed

Signings: Brian Hoyer, Cecil Shorts, Nate Washington, Vince Wilfork, Rahim Moore, Stevie Brown

Draft Class: Kevin Johnson, Benardrick McKinney, Jaelen Strong, Keith Mumphery, Reshard Cliett, Christian Covington, Kenny Hilliard

Questions:

Which quarterback takes the starting role?

Can anyone fill in for Arian Foster?

Can Jadeveon Clowney live up to his draft status?

Can one of the other receivers be a competent #2 to DeAndre Hopkins?

After being the worst team in the NFL in 2013, the Houston Texans won nine games in 2014 and were a Cleveland Browns win away from actually making the playoffs. However, I expect the Texans to regress in 2015. The Texans have to face the second place teams in the AFC, pitting them against a 10-win Bengals team, a nine-win Bills team, and a nine-win Chiefs team that are much more intimidating that last years matchups against the last place squad. Not to mention they have to play against what looks to be a more competitive AFC East.

And they have to do this with Arian Foster hurt.

The Texans back-ups at runningback haven't proven that they can be a suitable replacement for Foster and it's scary to think of Brian Hoyer/ Ryan Mallett having to carry an offense on their shoulders even if they have DeAndre Hopkins, Nate Washington, Cecil Shorts, Jaelen Strong, and C.J. Fiedorowicz.

Defensively the Texans still have J.J. Watt around and they got some new guys to help him and the other Texan defenders. They drafted Kevin Johnson and Benardrick McKinney, they signed Vince Wilfork, Stevie Brown, and Rahim Moore, and the Texans hope that first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney can stay healthy and give the Texans the best pass rushing duo in the NFL. Even so, I doubt that it'll be enough to help out an offense that has no quarterback and looks to be without their offensive cornerstone for at least half the season.

Best Case Scenario: J.J. Watt and the Texans defense makes things as easy as possible for whoever plays quarterback for the Texans, whose only job is to not throw interceptions and try to throw touchdowns to DeAndre Hopkins, who isn't double covered because he has some help.

Worst Case Scenario: Neither of these quarterbacks succeed because there is no running game and no capable #2 receiver, which leaves them forcing the ball to DeAndre Hopkins and wasting the efforts of the Texans defense.

Predictions:

J.J. Watt doesn't win the MVP, but takes the Defensive Player of the Year award and an All-Pro vote as a consolation prize.

Jadeveon Clowney has a 10 sack season.

DeAndre Hopkins has a 100 catch season.

Arian Foster is cut after the season.

Wins: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars

Losses: Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts (Twice), New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons

Record: 4-12

Previous Entries:

#32: Washington Redskins

#31: Tennessee Titans

#30: San Francisco 49ers