The Houston Texans won the AFC South last year and added several key pieces in the offseason, including quarterback Brock Osweiler, to bolster what was already a solid roster.
Now J.J. Watt just needs to get healthy.
Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, underwent surgery in July for a herniated disc and began training camp on the PUP list. His status for Houston’s opener against Chicago remains uncertain, but the Texans are optimistic Watt will be available.
“Well, we believe J.J. Watt will be back and playing in the first game against the Chicago Bears,” Houston Chronicle NFL writer John McClain said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Their big problem is left tackle Duane Brown, who had a quad injury and surgery and a setback and there’s talk that he will not be ready for their first game against the Bears. Maybe not the second. There’s even talk that he might have to go on (the PUP list) and lose six games. And right now, their offensive line is a makeshift line because of injuries and changes they made in the offseason. So when Watt comes back, they’ll have 10 of 11 defensive starters back but as many as six new offensive starters.”
While the Texans signed a young quarterback to contend in the AFC South, the Raiders drafted a young quarterback to contend in the AFC West. Derek Carr accounted for 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season while throwing for just under 4,000 yards and leading the Raiders to a 7-9 record – their best finish since 2011.
What should we expect from Carr and the Raiders in 2016?
“I think it’s not really a shock that everybody believes Oakland should compete for the division in the AFC West,” McClain said. “There’s a good chance Denver might not even make the playoffs. Kansas City, not sure. But the Raiders have been putting together good drafts, they’ve got the skill-position players, they’ve done a good job in free agency. I think they’re poised to have a winning record, maybe win the division, maybe win a Wild Card.”