By Danny Cox
The Houston Texans won the AFC South with a 12-4 record in 2012 and got their first ever playoff win as well. In 2012, they’re returning the majority of their excellent squad from a year ago, have some new additions, and are ready to improve upon their best season ever.
It’s all going to start in San Diego against the Chargers, and honestly, the Texans shouldn’t have the hardest time beginning the season on a high note.
Quarterback Matt Schaub is the perfect leader for Houston, and he’s got the talent to back it up as well. He’ll come out firing with a number of weapons at his disposal that will be hard for the Chargers to defend against.
Actually, wide receiver Andre Johnson is hard for any team in the NFL to defend against. He is easily one of the top three receivers in the entire league, and he’s got a great connection with Schaub that makes it so hard for any defensive back to guard against.
The thing with Johnson is that he’s better for big-time plays rather than in short-yardage situations. Believe it or not, Johnson had 112 receptions for close to 1,600 yards in 20120, but had a mere four touchdown catches.
Schaub has other targets though and tight end Owen Daniels is a huge part of the Texans offense. Daniels is going to make it extremely hard for the Chargers defense to keep an eye on everyone on the field, and that’s exactly how Houston coach Gary Kubiak likes it.
As if the Chargers didn’t have enough to deal with in the passing game of the Texans, they certainly can’t forget about their running game.
Arian Foster is back and looking to make better on his 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns from 2012. Justin Forsett is gone and now in Jacksonville, but Ben Tate looks ready to step into the second running back slot. His performances in the preseason show that the Texans may actually have a two-headed rushing attack in 2013 and San Diego will be the first team to feel the wrath.
Defensively? San Diego will also have far too much to deal with.
As if J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing weren’t enough to deal with up front, the Texans went out and bulked up their defensive secondary in a huge way.
Houston signed Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed away from the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, but he may not even be on the field against San Diego. Since signing with the team, Reed hasn’t practiced or played with them as he’s dealt with some lingering injuries.
Come game time, it will be Reed’s decision whether he plays or not.
Should Reed not play, the Texans still have Shiloh Keo, Daniel Manning, Kareem Jackson, Jonathan Joseph, and a host of other talent in the secondary that can hold their own. With limited talent and injuries already hurting the Chargers, the Texans have plenty of coverage to hold the field.
The season opener is not going to be easy for the San Diego Chargers by any stretch of the imagination, and the Texans are looking to start the season off with a bang. San Diego has their work cut out for them and will have to run 100 percent on all cylinders to begin 2013 with a victory.
For more news and updates, visit San Diego Chargers Central
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.