Breaking Down The 2015 Houston Texans

The Houston Texans have missed the NFL playoffs in the last two seasons, but after a 9-7 season in 2014, the team looks to be heading in the right direction under new head coach Bill O'Brien. Houston is listed +4600 to win the franchise's first Super Bowl at Levi's Stadium, but they have to deal with the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South before thinking so far ahead.

The Houston Texans will be bared to all to watch on HBO's much anticipated Hard Knocks, which offers an inside look at the training camp machinations of one NFL franchise. When the Texans go under the national microscope for four weeks, the biggest focus on who rookie head coach Bill O’Brien will pick to QB the team.

The NFL odds makers have listed the Houston Texans at 50/1 odds to win Super Bowl 50 and this team has a championship defense, but the question remains if their offense can score enough points to win.

Houston Texans 2015 Betting Preview

Will the HBO cameras distract or elevate the Houston Texans?

  • 2014 Season Summary: 9-7-0, Finished 2nd in AFC South
  • 2014 Points Scored: 372 points (23.2/g), 14th of 32 in the NFL
  • 2014 Points Allowed: 307 points (19.2/g), 7th
  • Coach: Bill O'Brien
  • Offensive Coordinator: Rick Dennison
  • Defensive Coordinator: Romeo Crennel
  • Stadium: NRG Stadium

Houston Texans 2015 Betting Odds:

  • To Win Super Bowl 50: +4600
  • To Win the AFC: +1800
  • To Win the AFC South: +350

Houston Texans 2014 Betting Trends:

  • Overall Against the Spread Record: 9-6-1
  • ATS Record at home: 4-4
  • ATS Record away from home: 5-2-1
  • ATS Record as favorites: 6-2
  • ATS Record as underdogs: 3-4-1
  • Over/Under Record: 8-8

AFC South 2014 Standings:

Indianapolis 11 5 0 .688 458 369 6-2 5-3 6-0 1.000 9-3 .750 2-2 Won 1
Houston 9 7 0 .562 372 307 5-3 4-4 4-2 .667 8-4 .667 1-3 Won 2
Jacksonville 3 13 0 .188 249 412 3-5 0-8 1-5 .167 2-10 .167 1-3 Lost 1
Tennessee 2 14 0 .125 254 438 1-7 1-7 1-5 .167 2-10 .167 0-4 Lost 10

2015 Houston Texans Offense:

It appears the Peyton Manning to Houston rumors reports won't die. It was three years ago when Manning first showed interest in playing for the Texans, but surprisingly Houston didn't want Peyton and his surgically repaired and untested neck.

Benjamin Allbright of 94.1 FM in Denver is reporting that “certain elements” of the Broncos are ready for the Brock Osweiler era to start in 2015 and tried to trade Manning to Houston during the offseason.  He cites “two unrelated official sources” for the inside scoop.

With the cat out of the bag, a deal for a player of Peyton's talent and age seems improbable leaving the Texans with Brian Hoyer (3326 yards, 12 TDs & 13 INTs, 76.5 passer rating with the Cleveland Browns) and Ryan Mallett (400 yards, 2 TDs & 2 INTs), both of whom are Brady-disciples and have shown brief moments of brilliant play.

Not all is doom and gloom on offense for the Texans in 2015. Running behind a stellar offensive line Arian Foster (260 att, 1246 yards, 8 TDs) will hit the 1500+ yard mark if he can stay healthy. Last season, Foster played 10 full games, missed three due to injuries and missed parts of a further three others with injuries. He still finished the season ranked seventh in rushing attempts with 260. Foster averaged 95.8 yards per game, second only to DeMarco Murray last season. As a whole, the Texans led the league in rushing attempts with 551.

"Well, we have a very good running back," O'Brien said. "So you can rest assured that as long as he’s healthy and he’s out there, we will run the ball. I can tell you that. That’s one thing we will do."

After the Texans lost long-time star WR Andre Johnson in the free agency (now with the Indianapolis Colts), the Texans will hand the top-wideout role to DeAndre Hopkins (76 rec, 1210 yards, 6 TDs). Veterans WR Nate Washington (40 rec, 647 yards, 2 TDs with the Tennessee Titans) and WR Cecil Shorts III (53 rec, 557 yards, 1 TDs with the Jacksonville Jaguars) were signed to back up Hopkins. Houston ranked 17th in total offense in the 2014 season; 24th in passing and 5th rushing.

  • Key Additions: WR Cecil Shorts, WR Nate Washington, QB Brian Hoyer.
  • Key Departures: WR Andre Johnson, QB Thad Lewis.

Houston Texans Projected 2015 Offensive Starters:

  • QB Brian Hoyer
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins
  • WR Cecil Shorts III
  • TE Garrett Graham
  • RB Arian Foster
  • FB Jay Prosch
  • LT Duane Brown
  • LG Xavier Su'a-Filo
  • C Ben Jones
  • RG Brandon Brooks
  • RT Derek Newton

2015 Houston Texans Defense:

The Texans D will be headlined by defending the other-worldly NFL Defensive Player of the Year, DE J.J. Watt. Last year, he racked up 20.5 sacks, forced four fumbles, recovered five, returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown and led the NFL by hurrying the opposing QB 32 times. Watt also lined up on offense as a tight end in 2014, catching three touchdowns. In total Watt scored five TDs (two on defense) and almost carried the anemic the Texans to the postseason.

And that doesn't bode well for the rest of the league, as an angry Watt will have plenty of help in 2015. Not only is first round pick OLB Jadeveon Clowney primed to return to the lineup after missing most of his rookie season due to micro-fracture knee surgery to bolster the Texans pass rush, but DC Romeo Crennel will have the services of newly aquired beast nosetackle Vince Wilfork who played together in 2004. Wilfork will clog up the running lanes until he is double and triple-teamed by the opposing team’s center and guards leaving the opposing backfield left to protect their QB from Clowney and Watt, an imposible task.

To help downfield, the Texans signed former Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore to a three-year, $12 million contract. Moore is only 25 years old and is coming off of the best season of his career in 2014 where he finished with 49 combined tackles, four interceptions and five passes defensed. A free safety with Moore's speed and talent will keep opposing QBs honest and allow for Crennel to be more aggresive with his play calling, especially on third and long situations.

Throw in a healthy ILB Brian Cushing who played most of last season with a broken wrist and this is a recipe for disaster for opposing offenses. He has had three surgeries, one on his broken left wrist, an arthroscopic procedure on his ankle and one on his left knee, the same knee that he tore his ACL in, in 2013. 

The Texans’ defense will improve on an NFL-best 34 takeaways and 7th overall rating in points allowed per game from last year.

  • Key Additions: FS Rahim Moore, NT Vince Wilfork.
  • Key Departures: FS Kendrick Lewis, OLB Brooks Reed.

Houston Texans Projected 2015 Defensive Starters (Base: 3-4 D):

  • DE J.J. Watt
  • NT Vince Wilfork
  • DE Jared Crick
  • OLB Whitney Mercilus
  • ILB Benardrick McKinney
  • ILB Brian Cushing
  • OLB Jadeveon Clowney
  • CB Kareem Jackson
  • CB Johnathan Joseph
  • SS Eddie Pleasant
  • FS Rahim Moore

Houston Texans 2015 Draft Class:

  • Round 1, Pick 16: CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest (44 tackles, 1 INT)
  • Round 2, Pick 43: ILB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State (71 tackles, 3.0 sacks)
  • Round 3, Pick 70: WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State (82 rec, 1165 yards, 10 TDs)
  • Round 5, Pick 175: WR Keith Mumphery, Michigan State (26 rec, 495 yards, 3 TDs)
  • Round 6, Pick 211: OLB Reshard Cliett, South Florida (37 tackles, 6.0 sacks)
  • Round 6, Pick 216: DT Christian Covington, Rice (20 tackles, 2.5 sacks)
  • Round 7, Pick 235: RB Kenny Hilliard, LSU (90 att, 447 yards, 6 TDs)

2015 Houston Texans Schedule:

  • Week 1 Sun, Sep 13 (HOU -1) vs Kansas City | 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 2 Sun, Sep 20 (HOU +2.5) @ Carolina | 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 3 Sun, Sep 27 (HOU -6.5) vs Tampa Bay | 1:00 PM FOX
  • Week 4 Sun, Oct 4 (HOU +1) @ Atlanta | 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 5 Thu, Oct 8 (HOU pk) vs Indianapolis | 8:25 PM CBS/NFL
  • Week 6 Sun, Oct 18 (HOU -3.5) @ Jacksonville | 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 7 Sun, Oct 25 (HOU +3) @ Miami | 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 8 Sun, Nov 1 (HOU -7) vs Tennessee | 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 9 BYE WEEK
  • Week 10 Mon, Nov 16 (HOU +4) @ Cincinnati 8:30 PM | ESPN
  • Week 11 Sun, Nov 22 (HOU -5) vs New York Jets 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 12 Sun, Nov 29 (HOU -2) vs New Orleans 1:00 PM | FOX
  • Week 13 Sun, Dec 6 (HOU -3) @ Buffalo 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 14 Sun, Dec 13 (HOU +1.5) vs New England 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 15 Sun, Dec 20 (HOU -5) @ Indianapolis 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 16 Sun, Dec 27 (HOU +2.5) @ Tennessee 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 17 Sun, Jan 3 vs Jacksonville 1:00 PM | CBS

There is no question that the Colts are going to win the AFC South again, but the Texans earn their first postseason birth as Wild Card team on the back of their turn-over happy defense.

How To Bet The Houston Texans Betting Futures in 2015: Houston will go 12-4 and lose their AFC Wildcard game

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