The Houston Texans played their first full decade of football in the 2010s (since they were formed only in 2002), and that decade was all over the place. They’ve had six playoff appearances (all of them being division titles too), which included going as high as 12-4. But they’ve also done as poorly as 2-14. And they haven’t made it any further than the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Still, they’ve had a fair amount of success, and as such, they’ve had a lot of good players. Let’s break down the best players of this decade, and take a look at the Houston Texans All-Decade Team. This article will focus on the offense.
2010s Houston Texans All-Decade Team: Offense
Quarterback: Deshaun Watson
The Texans started the decade with Matt Schaub (who was also quite good before his 2013 implosion), followed by a quarterback carousel in the mid-2010s before finishing the decade (and going beyond) with Deshaun Watson. Drafted in 2017, he got off to an insane start with 19 touchdown passes in only seven games before tearing his ACL. If not for that injury, he might have crushed a lot of rookie quarterback records. The following two years he stayed healthy, and had at least 30 total touchdowns both years. He’s a true dual-threat quarterback, as he can beat you a lot with his legs, but he’s also a great passer and should be able to hang around even if he loses some of his mobility later on. Quite arguably a top ten quarterback already after only three years, Watson is the easy choice here for quarterback on the Texans All-Decade Team.
Running Back: Arian Foster
Arian Foster was definitely the sort of runner that came out of nowhere. Undrafted in 2009, he put up an impressive game in the season finale with the Texans. Becoming the starter in 2010, he got 231 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener. He went on to lead the league in rushing yards and touchdowns, along with over 2,200 yards from scrimmage. He had three more 1,000-yard seasons with the Texans, as well as one more year of leading the league in rushing touchdowns. In their short history, Foster is easily the best running back the Texans have ever had.
Wide Receiver: Andre Johnson
The Texans have had a knack for having one elite receiver at a time for most of their short history. Andre Johnson was the first. Though the majority of his career was in the 2000s, he still had a couple of his best seasons in the 2010s. 2012 saw him get a career-high 1,598 receiving yards. He also had two 100+ reception seasons. One of the best receivers in the league for much of his career, Johnson will also likely be considered one of their best receivers ever for many decades to come.
Wide Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins
Once Andre Johnson was out of his prime, the Texans were lucky to end up having another superstar wide receiver on their hands. 2015 was especially notable given that they went through four starting quarterbacks – arguably a worse quarterback room than Johnson ever had – and yet Hopkins finished third in the league in receiving that year with 1,521 yards. Getting Deshaun Watson at quarterback only helped him to continue to flourish. He got a career-high 1,572 yards in 2018 as well as two 100+ reception seasons in both 2018 and 2019. Texans fans – and probably Watson as well – will quite likely miss Hopkins going forward after his big trade.
Wide Receiver: Will Fuller
The bar goes down dramatically for Texans wide receivers after Johnson and Hopkins. The best choices remaining are Will Fuller and Kevin Walter. The issue with Fuller is, while the talent is obviously there, he has trouble staying healthy. 2019 was his best season, and he only put up 670 yards and three touchdowns. But then again, he might’ve gotten more if he hadn’t missed five games. And he did have that nice stat line against the Atlanta Falcons of 14 receptions, 217 yards, and three touchdowns. Still, he does make this list as the third wide receiver by virtue of there not really being much better options.
Tight End: Owen Daniels
Owen Daniels is easily the best tight end the Texans have ever had. And while much of his best seasons came during the 2000s, he still was a big contributor during the 2010s, especially during 2011 when Johnson missed most of the season. 2012 also saw him have 716 yards and six touchdowns, which got him a Pro Bowl berth.
Left Tackle: Duane Brown
The Texans had quite a good offensive line during the early 2010s that allowed them to get a lot of rushing yards, primarily with Arian Foster. Brown was probably the most important piece of this, as he got Pro Bowl and/or All-Pro honors from 2011 to 2014. His 2011 season in particular was impressive, as he allowed zero sacks and had zero holding penalties.
Left Guard: Wade Smith
While Wade Smith wasn’t quite as stellar as Brown, he was still good enough to get a Pro Bowl berth of his own in 2012 and was still a critical piece of that offensive line that helped Foster run all over the place. Smith is also notable for scoring the first touchdown by an offensive lineman in franchise history after recovering a fumble to score a touchdown.
Center: Chris Myers
Here we continue to stick with the early 2010s Texans offensive line. Myers was also a critical piece of that line, and got Pro Bowl appearances in both 2011 and 2012. He remained the starting center through 2014 before getting cut.
Right Guard: Brandon Brooks
The right side of the line didn’t fare quite as well for the Texans. At right guard in particular one could pretty much flip a coin between a few guys. Here, we’ll go with Brandon Brooks, who became a starter in 2013 and remained one through 2015. He fared better with the Philadelphia Eagles afterwards, where he’s had three straight Pro Bowl berths since 2017.
Right Tackle: Eric Winston
Eric Winston was only around during the 2010s for the very early part of it – 2010 and 2011 – as most of his years with Houston came during the 2000s. Still, those were some excellent years for the offensive line, and while he wasn’t ever a Pro Bowler, he was no liability either.
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