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Houston Texans 2012 NFL Season Preview, Predictions

  • By NFL.com
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Houston Texans

www.houstontexans.com
2011 record: 10-6 (First in AFC South)

Fearless Forecast

  • Bucky Brooks

    Gary Kubiak’s bunch is the class of the AFC South. However, they must get outstanding performances from Matt Schaub and Arian Foster to wrestle home-field advantage away from the Patriots.
    Prediction: 12-4, first in AFC South

  • Daniel Jeremiah

    This team is loaded. Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson lead an explosive offense while Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt fit perfectly in Wade Phillips' attacking defensive scheme.
    Prediction: 12-4, first in AFC South

  • Adam Schein

    Even after jettisoning DeMeco Ryans and Eric Winston, you could easily argue Houston has the best defense and run game in the AFC.
    Prediction: 10-6, first in AFC South

  • Steve Wyche

    If Matt Schaub stays healthy, the Texans could be the AFC rep in the Super Bowl. Getting home-field advantage will be key.
    Prediction: 11-5, first in AFC South

In The Spotlight
Brooks Reed | #58 | LB

Most people look at Mario Williams' departure and point out that the Texans only had him for the first five games of last year and, thus, shouldn’t miss him. Which is fair. But Wade Phillips' defense demands a player who can command attention coming off the edge, and Reed is first up to fill that role after registering six sacks after Williams' injury last year.

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3 Pivotal Games
Week 3 at Broncos
This season is about taking the next step for the Texans. For years, it was Peyton Manning’s presence in the AFC South that held Houston back. Manning’s not in the division anymore. Denver hasn’t established itself as a Super Bowl contender quite yet. But for the Texans this is the first big date to circle.
Week 13 at Titans
A Thanksgiving date in Detroit gives the Texans 10 days to prepare for their trip to Nashville, to face the team that figures to be their biggest challenger in the AFC South. At one point, the Titans beat the Texans seven straight times. The Texans have won four of seven since. So this one should be competitive.
Week 14 at Patriots
The Texans then get eight days to get ready for Monday night in Foxboro. This could be a titanic game for Houston for several reasons. First, there could be playoff seeding at stake. Second, this would most definitely serve as a measuring stick and potential confidence-builder for Houston going into the postseason.

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