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Some people are fans of the Houston Texans. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Houston Texans. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Before we begin, a letter:

Daniel:

I’m a lifelong Houston resident. Even failed to escape this city for college. I have been through the ringer the last few days, but luckily did not get flooded out. I have many friends and family that are not as lucky. The mental and emotional toll has been exhausting. Imagine huddling in a closet with your wife, 2 year old, and six week old baby repeatedly due to tornado warnings, hoping that if one did hit you wouldn’t be trapped under rubble while the floodwaters drowned you and everyone you loved.

The reason I’m writing about this is because on probably our 4th or 5th trip to the “safety closet”, I had a strange thought - DREW BETTER NOT PULL ANY PUNCHES ON THE WYTS FOR THE TEXANS!!!!!! Do not edit ONE SINGLE FUCKING WORD! I look forward to this every single year, and all I want to do right now is sit on the shitter for 10 minutes and read about how utterly inconsequential the Texans are and all the ways this city that I love so much sucks.

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You got it, Daniel. We spent a lot of time figuring out how to do this preview given current events (please donate if you can), and decided the best way to honor a city full of tough, resilient people is to remind them how shitty the Texans are. If you guys can survive David Carr, you can survive anything. So let’s proceed. This one’s for you, Houston.

Your team: Houston Texans.

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I know I belabor it every year, but God that nickname… every time I hear “Houston Texans,” the dumber it sounds. Why even HAVE a football team if you’re gonna name it that, huh? “Hey, we got a football team back! What do we name it? Eh, let’s just name it the Texans. Whatever. Who gives a fuck.” And they aren’t even the first NFL team to be named the Texans! I can’t get over it. This is worse than when David Duchovny named his kid Kyd.

Your 2016 record: 9-7. The Texans won the NFL’s jayvee division for the second straight year while having a -49 net point differential. Everything good that happened to them happened due to spiritual forfeit by the opposition. Stay the fuck out of my playoffs forever, Texans. I’d rather have the Bengals back in the postseason than watch you monkeyfart your way into the divisional round with a leper at quarterback.

By the way, the Texans were favored on the road against the Pats last season because the Pats were down to their third-string QB. The Texans lost that game 27-0. And yet...

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LOL, sure they do kiddo. Sure they do.

Your coach: Offensive guru and angry dad Bill O’Brien. Imagine Bill O’Brien smiling. Or dancing. Or laughing. Imagine him expressing any semblance of mirth. YOU CAN’T. Every last trace of happiness within that man disappeared into his chinbutt. This man has been gifted DeAndre Hopkins and other fine skill position players and still can’t manage to coach a QB worth a shit. And yet he’s by far the most capable man in Texans upper management. Remember when they were rumors about the team firing O’Brien or maybe even trading him? That was odd.

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Your quarterback: The immortal Tom Savage.

“I [am] ready to be the guy.”

Oh, I bet you are. Yes, the Texans are gonna go through the whole charade of playing a vanilla ice cream cone for a few games before finally relenting and letting stud rookie Deshaun Watson do his thing. Frankly, I’d buy into Watson as a future Pro Bowler if he played for pretty much any other team. But the Texans? They’re QB poison. The best QB in team history is Matt Schaub, for shit’s sake. If Watson really did get outplayed by Savage in camp, that’s not a great sign.

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Of course, the whole reason the Texans find themselves with yet another stiff manning the offense for them is because they had to give up a second rounder just to be rid of the LAST stiff, whom they wildly overpaid:

Keep in mind that the GM who brought in Brock Osweiler is still there, despite the fact that Osweiler played horribly, feuded with the coaching staff, got heckled with a laser pointer, saw his benching greeted with cheers, cost them a valuable pick, set records for futility, and may not even make it out of Browns training camp without getting his ass cut. The contract Rick Smith gave Osweiler will still take up $19 million of cap space after the fact. By the time Watson is ready to play, the rest of this roster will be decimated. Will this cost Smith his job? Was team owner and “villain on The O.C.” Bob McNair appropriately angry about Osweiler’s failure last year?

“Now we have three good quarterbacks and we are proud of all of them.”

What an idiot.

What’s new that sucks: Folks, after being overly aggressive in his rehab and missing virtually all of last season, I have astonishing news: JJ Watt may, in fact, be BETTER THAN EVER.

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There you have it! Straight from the Ministry of Wow and the Secretary of Heavens To Betsy! JJ is gonna sack MORE QBs and then get up and act even MORE like Peter Greene when he puts on The Mask for the first time. Well, I am skeptical. This team doesn’t even have Vince Wilfork around anymore (he retired via charcoal ad) to tie up blockers. TALK ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF JEEZ-ALOO!!! Maybe someday Jadeveon Clowney and JJ Watt will actually be healthy at the same time for more than two games. You will never get me to watch this team voluntarily.

Elsewhere, you can already see the Texans beginning to fall apart. Duane Brown is still holding out. Their other offensive tackle pulled a Wendell Davis and tore up both knees on a single play last year. Defensive backs Quintin Demps and A.J. Bouye are gone. Lamar Miller is still aggressively average. Will Fuller shattered his collarbone. They haven’t had a decent tight end since Owen Daniels. I swear to god if the other pud teams in this division can’t find a way to overtake these bozos, I will personally poke them all in the eyes.

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James Harden ate shit in the playoffs and got $200 million for it.

What has always sucked: Hurricanes. Go here to learn more about how and where you can help the people of Houston.

Normally, this is the part where we goof on the NFL team’s city as a whole. But yeah, I think we’ll go ahead and skip doing that for Houston this year. I will tell you that in the original draft of this post (written way before the storm), we had a joke about how Houston was nothing but mattress stores. Well lo and behold:

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Mattress Mack is nothing to fuck with, America. We love you, Houston.

Did you know? Watt also started his own flood relief fund. You can donate here. Also, the Texans stadium is open to flood victims and is looking for volunteers. Good people all around.

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What might not suck: I won’t lie. I have very much enjoyed the dragging of Joel Osteen. Look at his phony, Jimmy Swaggart ass on TV this morning, looking like vampire Ned Flanders:

Fuck him with a church spire.

HEAR IT FROM TEXANS FANS! 

Grant:

I think the Texans have made me happy less than five times in my life.

Taylor:

Texans 2016 record against AFC South teams: 5-1

Texans 2016 record against actual NFL teams: 4-6

MR:

The team name is still fucking stupid.

Grant:

Our best off-season move was getting rid of Brock Osweiler, the dickhead we guaranteed $37m ($21m paid by Texans) not even 12mos ago without ever having met him. We paid $21m to a QB that Cleveland wants to cut but cant (but still just might). Jesus.

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David:

D.J. Reader does not believe in fucking dinosaurs.

Derek:

We are the team that everyone forgets exists.

Jake:

They fucked up so badly on Brock Osweiler that they had to do that NBA trade thing where they deal their draft picks just to get out from under a heinous contract. In this metaphor, Brock is Timofey Mozgov.

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Raj:

The saddest part of being a Texans fan isn’t that our best QB ever is Matt Schaub. It’s that our second best is either the five years of David Carr or the one-year stretches of either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Brian Hoyer.

Stacy:

Our greatest win in Franchise history was our very first game, when we beat the Cowboys 19-10 thanks to Quincy Carter’s cocaine habit.

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Samuel:

Our tough guy woodsman defensive all star (and the marketing firm behind him) is destined for Dancing With The Stars after he finishes his career.

Taylor:

I’m waiting for the day Bob McNair proposes that overtime be played one-on-one so that Watt can realize his dream of literally being the entire team.

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Brad:

I still can’t say “I’m a Texans Fan” out loud without an eyeroll. This team will always play second, third or fourth fiddle in the state to the Cowboys, the Longhorns, the Aggies and the local high school team.

John:

Every time CBS or Fox broadcasts a game from Houston, they show some yokels wearing cowboy hats out buying boots. I’m a native of Houston. Do you know how many people I know who wear cowboy hats and boots? Fucking zero.

Do you know why the NFL ratings were down last year? It wasn’t because Colin Kaepernick took a knee. It was because the NFL kept putting the fucking Texans on in primetime. How many times a year can fans be expected to sit through a game where the Texans get blown out yet still expect them to keep watching?

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Joe:

JJ Watt does all the good roids and then leaves the expired ones for Cushing.

The revisionist fetishizing of G.H.W. & Barbara Bush in Houston has been extremely gross to watch in person. Yes, yes...remember the good ol’ days when Americans elected quality, classy Republicans like an East Coast patrician Skull & Bones Yalie from a Mayflower family who led all of America’s post-WW II secret wars and foreign coups as CIA director, nominated Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court and then topped off retirement by dry-humping Teri Hatcher on a tarmac in Southern California? Yes, great men indeed. Get well soon, Sir. Oh, look Barbara puts on the eyeblack for an ad cuz she loves football and the Texans so much! Oh, you said some nasty shit about Hurricane Katrina evacuees coming to Houston because your son appointed the nation’s 14th most expert horse guy to head FEMA? Well, okay. I guess you’re still one of us. (By the way, the Bushes all hate/hated Trump, but they are BY FAR the biggest winners in the Trump Presidency. Junior, the worst American President since at least Hoover, is suddenly not even the worst President of the last 16 years.)

Bob McNair is just as disgusting as Jerry Jones, Woody Johnson, Jerry Richardson, Dan Snyder, or whatever cartoon villain shitheel owns anyone else’s local team, he just has the good sense to keep all his nastiness behind closed doors (with the notable exception of the time a couple years ago it was revealed that he donated some money to an anti-equality group — a donation he withdrew when it became public). Oh, and Les Alexander, the best pro sports owner in the city’s history by miles, just announced he’s selling the Rockets.

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John:

Bob McNair has led the NFL in contributions to right-wing political campaigns — as of 2015, his contributions to political campaigns (all GOP) were two-thirds of the total of all NFL owners. Back in 2004, he donated $500,000 to the Swift Boat goon squad. Does he have at least some socialist leanings? Of course, when it comes to his stadium. $289 million of the home of the Texans $474m price tag came from the public, via hotel taxes and surcharges on cabs. He has dared to claim that people actually travel here to watch the Texans live, so those hotel taxes and cab rentals aren’t coming out of our pockets, but out of towners.

He also donated a million to Texas tort reform, which sees to it that if doctors leave a scalpel inside you, or if homebuilders sell you a house that collapses on you, you have no access to damages in court.

All that cash given over to projects that fuck over the vast majority of his fans, and still no goddamn quarterback.

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Daniel:

These fans think every year is “The Year” and JJ Watt is the second coming of Christ. They will be boat raced by the Patriots this year. You can set your watch by it. But, that’s never stopped these fans from believing otherwise. These fans are viciously stupid, and I’m no better. And I’m STILL deeply embarrassed to root for a team that wore those stupid fucking letterman jackets. I once saw a guy wearing a Shane Lechler jersey. Why would a team sell a punter’s jersey, you might ask, when this team is simply BRIMMING with talent? I mocked said guy at the time, but now I see the genius of it, like the clarity after a dying fever.

Andy:

The Houston Texas represent NFL focus grouping in all its bland and braindead glory. The Texans are what would happen if Goddell transformed THE SHIELD into its own team. The Texans are the football equivalent of a lifted Hummer H2 with a “These Colors Don’t Run” bumper sticker and a bunch of faded 9/11 magnets on the rear quarter panel. The Texans are literally the answer to the question, “If the Dallas Cowboys are AMERICA’S TEAM, what can we call the new Houston team to show that they’re TEXAS’S TEAM?”

Because if there’s anything the mouth breathin’, coal rollin’, fishing shirt wearin’, bro country listening’, chaw spittin’ REAL AMERICANS from the suburbs love more than America, it’s Texas. And specifically, being from Texas and letting other people know they’re from Texas. What better way to let strangers in the airport know that you’re a proud Texan who also dropped out of community college than with a Texans jersey? See, says it right there on the chest.

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Ben:

In a deal somehow more spectacularly ill-advised than the 4 year, $72 million dollar contract the Texans handed Brock Osweiler, a Texas grocery store called H-E-B signed Brock to a two-year deal doing commercials alongside J.J. Watt and wannabe Papa John Scott something-or-other. Let me just tell you, Brock’s talent and magnetism as a quarterback translates right into his acting career: Imagine watching an entire season of horrendous quarterback play by Osweiler intercut by dozens of weekly examples of his wooden acting.

Andrew:

I went to our first playoff game in franchise history, it was the Wild Card Saturday day game against the Dalton led Bengals (somehow we luck out to play them in the playoffs twice).

We got to our seats a little before game time and the guy in front of us was passed out in his seat. A little later two woman tried to pass by him in the row and in the process woke him up. He proceeded to yell something incoherent then puked all over himself and one of the women. Security was called over and the guy was escorted out. The Texans PR team came over and was trying to help the woman and offered to take her to the team store and get her all new clothes. She said no and that she had a change of clothes in her car. She re-appeared middle of the 1st quarter dressed in a Cheetah print spandex outfit.

Also it only usually takes about 1-2 games before the callers on AM radio still say we should go out and sign Vince Young.

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AJ:

Rick Smith got dunked on by the Browns in the Brock Osweiler trade and yet will probably never be fired.

Matthew:

Because we have arguably the most talented defense in the league, borderline Top 10 talents at WR and RB and we are destined to forever be 9-7 or worse. Also, because I actually saw people walking around town last summer wearing Brock Osweiler jerseys.

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Z:

I was going to write a long entry about the pain and anguish this team has caused me but I stopped myself. We’re just going to go 9-7 again this year.

Michael:

We paid Brock Osweiler $37 million to gunsling with less accuracy than ketchup bot. The Astros may win the World Series this season and the Rockets have two of the top-10 players in the NBA, but Houston parents will still take their kids out of school for a day to attend an Alfred Blue autograph signing at a suburban Twin Peaks in the middle of September. It will be covered breathlessly by local media.

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Danielle:

My March Madness bracket was busted in a day and it was still more accurate than Brockward. All I wanted was Pat Mahomes. Instead, I get one more season of living in a sea of mediocrity and bedazzled JJ Watt jerseys.

I still can’t hear ‘Pick 6' without having some kind of minor PTSD episode.

Chris:

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Brian:

Uggh. This fucking team. Fuck our stupid name, our aggressively mediocre head coach, and Romeo Crennel. Fuck our dumbass fans (go check the profile photos on the “well they shouldn’ta been there’s” in any Charlottesville Yahoo! news comments section and you’re guaranteed to see half a dozen Texans logos). We coulda had Kaep for a $500 Little Caesar’s gift card, but if we had it woulda given this pissed-off group of mouthbreathers bitching at the TV from the toilet something ELSE racial to yell about. Fuck Brock Asswiper with 37 million dildos on fire. Fuck Bud Adams for this whole mess to begin with. I live in Germany now and thankfully the only way to watch a game here is going to be alone at home, where anyone who roots for this club foot of a fucking team belongs.

Bryan:

This is a truly miserable franchise to root for. The front office seems to collaborate together about as well as a room full of house cats. They are wasting the career of a once in a lifetime defensive player but no one in the organization cares because sales are high.

Our logo has become an infamous gang tattoo and I can’t think of anything less intimidating. This franchise is a balance sheet with a 16-game schedule. Everything about them screams “forged in a focus group of soccer moms”. This franchise is a crooked charity, proclaiming to love the fans above all, while secretly only loving the bottom line.

They mortgaged the future to get a QB (a necessity because of the colossal front office QB fuck up from the previous year) and if he is a bust, the GM will survive cause he is fucking bulletproof for some reason. Somehow these idiots have had about 5,000 chances to draft or sign a QB including Peyton fucking Manning and instead they dicked around for 16 years until they had no choice but to start Tom Savage.

I pray to fucking God the Astros win the World Series this year so we can be done with this piece of shit football team forever. If we ever got a real winner in this city, we would shed this pathetic excuse for a franchise so fucking fast.

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David:

We’ve had more terrible starting QBs in a four year span than most teams in a 10 year span.

Will:

The Texans’ management, local radio and fans delude themselves every year into thinking a good team’s 3rd string quarterback is the QB savior that we’ve been looking for. He’s not.

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Jake:

The owner is a prick. Every white, female Texans fan refers to JJ Watt as her “boyfriend”. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. JJ Watt is fucking insufferable. HEB commercials with JJ Watt and Brock on the screen at the same time made me want to die, and this year Vince Wilfork won’t even be around to make those ads less awful. People talk about how great the Texans’ defense is, but it’s really just the front seven, and even more specifically, the pass rush. The secondary is a bunch of no-names. Last year’s first-round pick, Will Fuller, has worse hands than the average beer-league flag football player. He’s a poor man’s Darrius Heyward-Bey. If anyone else in the AFC South ever puts together a halfway-decent team, the Texans are F-U-C-K-E-D.

Adrian:

The Texans will flounder throughout the beginning of the season; the defense will be the one thing that keeps them in games. Bill O’Brien will start feeling the heat from fans to start Watson at QB and the team will make a run to finish 8-8 or (best case scenario) 9-7 again for the fourth year in a row.

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Sean:

Our division is a joke and should be automatically disqualified from the playoffs. The only thing we should get as a participation ribbon. We don’t rate a trophy. JJ Watt is too full of himself. I’m not even bothering to know the name of our quarterback anymore. What’s the point? They’ll be gone by mid-season anyway, and our fans will try to convince themselves whatever third-string cannon-fodder ends up behind Center is the golden boy they’ve all been waiting for. Then, as you put it a few years ago, they’ll go out and spend $60 on their jersey only to burn it 10 minutes later in the stadium lot.

Brian:

I can already tell you how it’s going to go.

The Too Good To Be True Start — They will have a surprisingly good start, something like 5-2. The whole city will be going nuts, fans will call Goodell’s personal line and ask him to go ahead and send the Super Bowl trophy.

The 500 Slide — At some point, everyone will notice the teams they have beaten have a combined record of 8-27. Before we know it, the team is 6-6. Locker room videos of J.J. Watt giving impassioned speeches are leaked. J.J. does an all out social media blitz, posting vague quotes about work ethic, which all culminates in a Players’ Tribune article where he professes his undying love for Houston.

Finally, whoever was playing QB gets benched.

The Bill O’Brien Finisher — The team is 9-6, playoffs bound, but the new QB gets hurt (nothing serious, just enough for him to be out for 3 weeks). So the old starter gets plugged back in, they lose the final regular season game and head into the playoffs against a wild card team that finished 12-4. The team gets absolutely destroyed and everyone promises to come back stronger next year, yet no major changes are made.

Feel free to re-run this in 2018 as well.

Will:

Rick Smith has been the GM since 2006. Over that time period, the Texans have started the following quarterbacks: Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels, TJ Yates, Matt Leinart, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, and Savage. Before Watson, the team has NEVER drafted a quarterback within the first three rounds. The only QBs they’ve taken were: Alex Brink (2008, 7th round), TJ Yates (2011, 5th), and Tom Savage (2014, 4th). Instead, they paid $72mm for The Brockening, arguably the worst starting QB in the league.

Somehow Rick Smith is still the GM, mostly because McNair likes him, while O’Brien has been mentioned as being “on the hot seat.” What a joke.

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Taylor:

Given the choice, Tony Romo decided he’d rather retire from the game he loves and work for CBS than play quarterback for the Houston Texans. As a Texans fan, I can’t blame him in the slightest.

The best thing anyone can say about the Texans’ offseason so far is that they undid some of the damage from last offseason’s signing of the Interception Giraffe. And even fixing that cost them a second-round pick to the Browns and an entire lost season. Then they go into the draft and send their first rounder to the Browns to move up for a quarterback. And who did they draft in the next two rounds to protect their young quarterback? An inside linebacker and a running back. But don’t worry, if they want to fix it in next year’s draft, they don’t have a pick in the first two rounds. So they can’t even start tanking to make it better. It really has to work out this year. Rick Smith must have a Bob McNair pee tape to keep his job after screwing this up so badly.

All I need to know about the Texans forever can be summed up in a quote from Bill O’Brien on Hard Knocks: “We have to reserve the right to punt.”

J.J. Watt, a Disney sports movie pep talk that got way into Crossfit, severed his spinal cord trying to prove that he was the hardest-working athlete on the planet. He rushed back from a serious injury, played horribly, and injured himself even worse, missing the entire season. Not only is this extremely selfish and shortsighted, but nobody even tried to stop him. Not his trainers, teammates, coaches, general manager, owner, or agent. Not one person said, “Listen, J.J. Don’t kill yourself trying to earn your bloated paycheck. No need to fold your body in half the wrong way just to prove a point.”

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