The Houston Texans enter the 2022 NFL season with an over/under win total of 4.5 wins.  Under 4.5 is -120 and over 4.5 is +100.  The Texans have now moved on from Deshaun Watson after trading him to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason.  Houston also chose not to keep head coach David Culley and elevated Lovie Smith from his previous role to be the new coach.  Houston is coming off of a very disappointing season, but they did have some young players show flashes last year.  Trading Watson gave them several future picks and some of those were used this draft to help fortify key positions.  They will need to make some significant changes but 5 wins is definitely attainable.

Davis Mills will go into this season as the starting quarterback after playing fairly well last season considering the circumstances.  In 13 games Mills completed 66.8% of his passes for 2,664 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  Brandin Cooks was a big reason why Davis Mills managed to have a solid rookie season.  It does not seem to matter who is throwing Cooks the ball.  He has now put up 1,000-yard receiving seasons six times with four different teams and I don’t see why he can’t make this year a seventh.  On the other hand, one problem for the offense last season was the fact that they were terrible running the ball.  They had the worst ground game in the league last year averaging 3.4 yards per carry and also finished tied for last with only 8 rushing TDs.  The biggest concern for the offense is improving the running game to take pressure off the passing game and give Davis Mills a better chance to succeed.

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Houston’s defense last season was also very bad at stopping the opponent’s running game.  In 17 games they gave up 2,418 rushing yards and 25 rushing TDs.  They allowed opponents to average 4.6 yards per carry, which was one of the worst in the league.  There will be emphasis this season on improving those numbers and becoming a better unit against the run.  The defensive line is pretty young.  Another season of experience should help these guys be a stronger group this season.  Houston lost a key player in the secondary when Justin Reid signed with the Chiefs in the offseason but the Texans ended up making additions in the draft by taking cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. 3rd overall and then safety Jalen Pitre with the 37th pick in the draft.  They will certainly have growing pains, but the Texans have a chance to be better against the pass this year because of the investments they made in the secondary this offseason.

Houston is fortunate to at least play in probably the least difficult division in the AFC.  The Titans and Colts are good but the Jaguars are not very good and so the Texans need to make sure they take advantage of any matchup they have where they are the better team.  They have difficult road matchups at Denver, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Miami that will be tough to win.  Houston also hosts the Chargers, Eagles, Browns, and Chiefs.  Although the schedule is pretty demanding, I think that the Texans will get a surprising win or two throughout the season and eclipse their win total.  I am taking the Texans over 4.5 wins this season.

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