A glimpse of NFL rosters in shells and shorts is prone to generate the prediction machine.
According to Will Brinson from CBS Sports, the Houston Texans are one of his seven teams that will make the jump and qualify for the postseason at the end of the 2023 campaign.
Given all three of the Colts, Texans and Titans used high picks on quarterbacks — drafting Anthony Richardson, CJ Stroud and Will Levis, respectively — I almost wrote “AFC South Sleeper Team” here, but it felt like too much of a cop out to lobby for three teams. The Jags are huge favorites to win the division, and rightly so: they have the best roster, and I trust their QB/coach combo. And while I’m not a huge Stroud fan (a sentence that makes me laugh every time I write it, sorry not sorry to my good buddy Dave Stroud) I am a big DeMeco Ryans fan, and I think the Texans are being slept on for their roster improvements this offseason. With Damien Pierce/Devin Singletary and a good offensive line, this team should be able to run. Bobby Slowik is VERY intriguing as a first-year offensive coordinator coming from Kyle Shanahan’s system. The pass-catchers aren’t flashy, but this is the best floor Houston’s had in a while there. Will Anderson Jr. is the highlight on defense, but the Texans also added a lot of non-flashy veteran guys who could raise the bar for this unit, too. People will yell at me for this but guess what: DOOOOOON’T CAAAAAARE.
It is possible for the Texans to make the playoffs given the 2020 provision for a third wildcard team. In the three seasons since, an eight-loss wildcard has found its way into the playoffs: ’20 Chicago Bears, ’21 Philadelphia Eagles, and ’22 Miami Dolphins. Last year even saw single-digit win division champions with the Jacksonville Jaguars (nine) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (eight).
If mediocrity settles in the AFC, and Houston just needs to hold steady with eight losses, the opportunity would be there for the Texans to appear in the postseason for the first time since 2019.
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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire