This article is part of our Team Previews series.
State of the Franchise
When does a 13-win season feel empty? When a team holding Super Bowl aspirations rips off 11 wins in its first 12 games, only to stagger to the finish, losing three of its final four games. Follow that by falling from the top seed to playing on wild-card weekend, and then being eliminated in the same playoff round as the previous season. The Texans achieved quite a bit in 2012, posting a franchise-best 12 regular-season wins, including six on the road. But it's hard to embrace the positives when reality came knocking in December and January. The Texans are an upper echelon team, but they need to be better.
In an era where passing offenses dominate, coach Gary Kubiak remains tied to success on the ground. He'll need to open things up a bit. Arian Foster has been a consistent weapon in the backfield, but he appeared to wear down under a career and league-high 351 carries in 2012. Developing more receiving weapons is the first order of business. Hence, Houston selected Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins with its first-round pick. This is the first time the franchise went wideout in the first round since Andre Johnson in 2003. Hopkins is a candidate, along with DeVier Posey – a 2012 third-rounder who will spend the first part of the season on the physically unable to perform list – to join Johnson as an aerial threat for the Texans.
Moving from 20-yard line to 20-yard-line shouldn't be that much