Houston Texans – AFC South Preview

Houston Texans - AFC South PreviewOut with the old in with the new is the cliche being used frequently around the 2007 Houston Texans training camp. The Texans have replaced old familiar players with new better ones. The Texans haven't had a winning season since 2002 but things are looking up after a strong finish at the end of last year. Alot the Texans success this season will hinge on how well the offense produces. Head Coach Gary Kubiak and his staff has instilled a new attitude in the Texans that has team confident in having success this year. Bodog.com has made the Houston Texans 100 to 1 betting odds to win the 2008 Super Bowl XLII.

On offense the Texans rely heavily on the short passing game. The Texans brought in bright and accurate QB Matt Schaub to lead the offense. Shaub has started only 2 NFL games so their might be a learning curve to his progression. RB Ahman Green was signed in the offseason to upgrade an inconsistent ground game. Green is still a good power runner who should gain over 1,000 yards this season. Wide Reciever Andre Johnson is a star who has 4.3 speed can bench press over 400 pounds and has soft hands. Johnson can take advantage of any cornerback in the NFL. After Johnson however, the rest of the recievers are suspect. For years the Houston offensive line has been a sore spot. The Texans need better play to return to the playoffs. Tackle Eric Winston is big, athletic and could be dominant in his second NFL season. The line should be an improved squad overall after a year of the zone blocking scheme under their belts. The Texans run an aggresive 4-3 defense that showed marked improvement over the course of last season. Super talented DE Mario Williams has been slowed by injuries but has the potential for a breakout year. Rookie DT Amobi Okoye will step right into the starting role and could make an impact with his ability to blow up plays in the backfield. The linebacking unit is led by defensive rookie of the year DeMeco Ryans. Ryans is a sharp player who wraps up ball carriers with consistency. Ryans also can rush the passer with effectiveness.

OLB Marlon Greenwood is a sideline-to-sideline backer who makes quick reads. The Secondary returns all four starters and has a future star in CB Dunta Robinson if he can improve his mental game. Robinson is physical corner who hits with force and should make his first trip to the Pro Bowl this year. Safties C.C Brown and Glenn Earl are intimidating players who need to improve their coverage skills. Specal Teams have some OK legs that were inconsistent last year. The coverage units overall were strong. The return game should improve with Jerome Mathis returning from injuries.

The Texans have upside but are still probably a year away from developing into a playoff calibre team. If QB Matt Schaub is as good as advertised however a 9-7 season could be in the works.

Brad Marchetti Opening Day Houston Texans Power Ratings: 20-80 Scale

20- Poor
30- Well Below Average
40- Below Average
50- Average
60- Above Average
70- Very Good
80- Great

Coaching: 55
Quarterback : 60

Backs : 60
Receivers : 60
Offensive Line : 40
Defensive Line : 55
Linebackers : 60
Secondary : 50
Special Teams : 55

Bodog.com has posted NFL betting odds to win the 2008 Super Bowl XLII:

Arizona Cardinals 40/1

Atlanta Falcons 60/1

Baltimore Ravens 18/1

Buffalo Bills 100/1

Carolina Panthers 25/1

Chicago Bears 15/1

Cincinnati Bengals 15/1

Cleveland Browns 125/1

Dallas Cowboys 20/1

Denver Broncos 20/1

Detroit Lions 70/1

Green Bay Packers 38/1

Houston Texans 100/1

Indianapolis Colts 15/2

Jacksonville Jaguars 30/1

Kansas City Chiefs 50/1

Miami Dolphins 55/1

Minnesota Vikings 50/1

New England Patriots 8/5

New Orleans Saints 14/1

New York Giants 30/1

New York Jets 38/1

Oakland Raiders 70/1

Philadelphia Eagles 18/1

Pittsburgh Steelers 25/1

San Diego Chargers 6/1

San Francisco 49ers 15/1

Seattle Seahawks 18/1

St.Louis Rams 40/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45/1

Tennessee Titans 50/1

Washington Redskins 40/1