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Offseason spotlight: Can the Texans win the AFC South?

  • By NFL.com
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Texans quarterback Matt Schaub has yet to make it through a full season as the starter due to injuries.

As part of NFL Network's 32 teams in 32 days series, airing daily on Total Access, NFL.com takes a look at a key question facing each NFL team.

NFL Network analysts Rod Woodson and Solomon Wilcots discuss the state of the Houston Texans. After finishing consecutive seasons with 8-8 records, do the Texans have a legitimate shot at winning the AFC South this season?

Read their takes and then enter the discussion below.

Woodson: Not sold on Schaub

I don't think they do. I'm not completely sold on quarterback Matt Schaub.

Schaub hasn't been healthy for the couple of years he's been the starter in Houston. Until I see him healthy and until I see him show up every week, I won't be sold on him. Can he prove to be the stable quarterback everyone wants him to be in Houston? That's the question. If he's not, then who is?

I'm also still waiting to see how the defense emerges from the offseason additions, both through free agency and the draft. Is this defense going to be dominant or is it going to be average?

I see the Texans as the fourth-best team in a tough AFC South. I think the Texans are right behind the Jaguars and Titans. I really believe the Jaguars have a shot at the playoffs. The Titans won't be as dominant but will still be good. I don't see Indy being there, either.

Wilcots: All about defense

I do think the Texans have a legitimate shot. But to me, it's not about the offense.

This offense was really good last year, ranking third in the NFL in offense. They have a strong running game with Steve Slaton under the direction of Alex Gibbs. Andre Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league. They have a prolific passing attack.

The Texans' success is all about the defense and its ability to finally put pressure on a quarterback like Peyton Manning and force turnovers. The Texans' ability to stand up strong against Jacksonville -- they've already done that. They've beaten the Titans. But they have to prove that they can beat a team like Indianapolis.

If they can defend their home field in the AFC South, the Texans could win 10 games this year. That may not win the division, but it shows how good they are and just how close they're getting to being the team they want to be.


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