The Houston Texans kickoff their 2022 campaign against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Sept. 11 at NRG Stadium. The AFC South showdown represents an opportunity for the Texans to reset the narrative surrounding the franchise and also amplify the optimism that has swept the Bayou City since the promotion of Lovie Smith to coach.
What has helped the Texans keep their optimism is their perfect preseason record at 3-0. Even though the games don’t count, a sense of perfection adds to the momentum that has been building throughout the offseason program and training camp.
The Texans Wire staff presented their four bold predictions for Houston this season. Take a look:
Derek Stingley dominates
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Stingley will only give up one touchdown all season and help lead Houston to a top-15 ranked passing defense. The young phenom will quickly become the caliber of cornerback who offenses do not target, and will instead throw to the other side of the field. — Jordan Pun
Laremy Tunsil has perfect attendance
(AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Tunsil will start all 17 games for the Texans, the first time in the two-time Pro Bowler’s career he completes a full complement of games. The former Ole Miss product also earns his initial first-team All-Pro of his career as he helps keep Davis Mills upright and clear running lanes for Dameon Pierce — Mark Lane
Nico Collins breaks out
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Collins will finish the year with over 1,000 receiving yards. Collins has flashed excellent chemistry with Davis Mills in the preseason and the ingredients are in place for a breakout season. Brandin Cooks has never played a full season and the rest of the receiving talent in Houston is abysmal. For a team that may be forced to throw often, Collins is set to be a major beneficiary. — John Crumpler
Steven Nelson is the INT king
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson will have at least eight interceptions this season, playing opposite Derek Stingley. The AFC South teams do not have very good quarterbacks outside of veteran Matt Ryan, and he tends to get rattled under pressure and makes bad throws. Since teams will tend to shy away from Stingley’s side, Nelson will be the benefactor when matched up against the opponents second motion. — Brian Barefield