Are the Texans Ready to Open Their Super Bowl Window?
The Houston Texans are looking to be Super Bowl contenders sooner rather than later.
As the finish to the 2023 football season approaches this weekend with Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers I began to think about the window for the Houston Texans and their shot at the Super Bowl.
I’ve realized that the window is open and as wide open as it will ever be right now.
The Texans have three things you need to open a Super Bowl window and more importantly, keep it open. Houston has the quarterback, the coach, and the chance to accelerate things around them.
The quarterback is the most important thing about a Super Bowl window. He determines when you’re ready to compete and how likely it is you stay in the hunt. C.J. Stroud’s impressive rookie year leaves little doubt he can be among the AFC elites soon. Stroud’s improvement from the start of the season to the end was remarkable and certainly, there will be an expectation that the growth is exponential between years one and two.
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The AFC is loaded with good quarterbacks and if Stroud starts to rise to the top the Texans will go with him.
DeMeco Ryans is a huge key in this too. He is in charge of so much that Stroud can’t touch and affect. Ryans has to continue to mold this team and improve it. Players have to grow under him. They must almost all reach their potential with him as their coach to have the Texans in the hunt, as many did this season.
There’s potential here, but it isn’t as clear as Stroud’s. Ryans has to continue to call the defense and get it to a higher level. He also will in the coming years need to manage coaching staff changes. Year one didn’t feel like beginner's luck for the man with the headset it felt like the beginning of something impressive for Ryans.
Finally, the Texans are in a position to accelerate what they are as a team. The Texans have a ton of cap space to spend on bringing back key players, adding in other free agents, and still have eight draft picks to use to improve the team as well. The core of the team is clear so accelerating around it similar to when the Bengals spent more money than they usually did when Joe Burrow was early in his career is the next step.
Sure, there’s plenty to shop for this offseason. The team has starters at a multitude of positions set to be free agents but they have the ability to bring those players back or replace them and even in some cases upgrade from the previous year’s starter. The investments into the team need to come now before key players like C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson, and perhaps Tank Dell are set to get new contracts. It is one of the greatest financial benefits in all of sports to have a talented quarterback on a rookie deal.
These three things not only open the Super Bowl competition window, but they keep it open. The Texans are ahead of where almost anyone thought they would be, so there is no reason to take a step back now. The expectations should stay lofty, and the goals grow larger.
Let’s see what the view from this Super Bowl window looks like this offseason.
A video from YouTube about Mike Evans and if he is too expensive for the Texans.