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The Houston Texans will have their challenges throughout the 2021 season. However, it may be their destiny to be a struggling team throughout the season with no hopes of playoff qualification.
According to Sarah Barshop of ESPN, the Texans’ floor is a 3-14 record. Their ceiling is 7-10.
Biggest variable: Does new coach David Culley have the ability to turn this team — which is expected more to have a top-five pick in the draft than make the playoffs — into a group that rallies together and is able to rebound from a four-win season? It will be a tough task for the Texans to get to seven wins, especially without QB Deshaun Watson, and much will depend on whether this new roster built with a mindset of rebuilding the culture can actually work right away.
One way the Texans can get to seven wins is if they dramatically improve on defense. The San Francisco 49ers gave up 5.0 yards per play last season, tied for the fourth-fewest in the league. The 49ers similarly faced their share of injuries, but were able to finish with a 6-10 record. Maybe they could have gone 7-10 as well had the NFL elected to play a 17-game season in 2020.
The chance at a first win is on the table Sunday, Sept. 12 as the Texans host the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium to kickoff the 2021 campaign.