bullish on change

5 things the Houston Texans must change now to win a playoff game next season

5 things the Houston Texans must change now to win next season

Deshaun Watson in win over Tennessee Titans
Deshaun Watson needs help next year to keep his momentum going.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The offseason is here early for the Texans.

The season ended with a thud on January 5, as they simply were outplayed in almost every way in a 21-7 playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Texans fell in a 21-0 hole early and never recovered. The Colts did not punt until there was less than 11 minutes left in the third quarter. The Texans defense was better in the second half, but when the game was on the line, they had no answers.

In the first half, when it was decided, we saw a lot of familiar problems that haunted Houston all season. The Texans once again had nothing to stop T.Y. Hilton and Andrew Luck. They could not cover the tight end. They got no pressure on the quarterback. The defense could not get off the field on third down. They had untimely bad penalties on both sides of the ball.

On offense, Deshaun Watson and Deandre Hopkins needed to be brilliant, and they were not. Hopkins looked hobbled and had just 37 yards on five catches. Watson completed 29 of 45 passes for 235 yards, one TD and an interception. He rushed for 76 yards on eight carries but was sacked three times and pressured throughout the game.

The result is a roller coaster season that comes to an early end. The Texans looked dreadful in an 0-3 start, then reeled off nine wins in a row before the defense struggled mightily down the stretch.

The Colts move on and will face Kansas City next week. For the Texans, the attention now turns to what the do in the off-season. Here are five things the team needs to address:

1. Get a legitimate NFL offensive tackle. Two, if possible. That was an issue all season, and it needs to be addressed with high draft picks, free agency or even a trade. One big addition can make the entire line better. This is a must before next season or they will get Watson killed. Last year's third-round pick, Martinas Rankin, will likely be an above average guard at some point. With him, Nick Martin, Senio Kelemete, Zach Fulton, and Greg Mancz, there is enough to put together a decent interior. The two outside positions, however, have to be upgraded.

---

Continue reading this story at SportsMap. Fred Faour is the editor of SportsMap and hosts The Blitz weekdays on ESPN 97.5 FM.