Could the Houston Texans go from the AFC South’s worst to first in 2023-24?
Last season, the Houston Texans went 3-13-1, finishing last in the AFC South. Do they have a realistic shot at winning the division in 2023-24?
2022 was obviously a disastrous campaign for the Texans. From Week 7 to Week 15, the team posted a nine-game losing streak, their longest streak since 2013. They also failed to win a single home game all season as they went 0-7-1 at NRG Stadium.
Houston ranked 31st in total offense with 283.5 yards per game. Only the Los Angeles Rams averaged less (280.5).
Things weren't pretty on the defensive side of the ball, either. The Texans allowed a league-worst 170.2 rushing yards per game, the most since the 0-16 Detroit Lions back in 2008. They also ranked 30th in total defense, allowing 379.5 yards per contest.
Looking at the stats, it's easy to see why they struggled mightily and only won three games.
Will the Houston Texans have enough pieces to win the AFC South?
Head coach Lovie Smith was fired and replaced by former Texans linebacker and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.
Hiring Ryans isn't the only solid move the team has made this offseason. Houston re-signed offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, traded for guard Shaq Mason and signed free agents like tight end Dalton Schultz, running back Devin Singletary, wide receiver Robert Woods, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, and backup quarterback Case Keenum.
The Texans hold the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. They are expected to select a quarterback to replace last year's starter Davis Mills. That means the team will draft either Alabama's Bryce Young or Ohio State's C.J. Stroud.
Houston also owns another first-round pick this year (12th overall), which they could use on a talented wide receiver like USC's Jordan Addison. Addison, Schultz, and the running back tandem of Singletary and Dameon Pierce would give Young or Stroud a talented group of weapons to make life a lot easier.
The Texans could possess the firepower to improve in 2023 and win the AFC South. The team went from worst to first a few years ago, going 4-12 in 2017 and then 11-5 the following season. They could pull it off again next season.
The AFC South is not one of the NFL's toughest divisions. Other teams in the division, like the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans, aren't dangerous by any stretch of the imagination. Plus, last season's winner, the Jacksonville Jaguars are good, but not unbeatable.