Payne: Texans Haven't Been Tested; Fans Skeptical

The Houston Texans have won 10 of 11, but "they don't have a strong win," Seth Payne says

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
December 19, 2018 - 9:23 am

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Remember the Houston Texans’ 0-3 start? Well, they have since won 10 of 11, they lead the AFC South, and they are currently the 2-seed in the AFC.

Texans fans have to be stoked about this team’s playoff chances, right? Right?!

Eh…

“Honestly, it’s a little bit more subdued than you would have expected for a team that’s 10-4 right now with a quarterback like Deshaun Watson,” former NFL defensive lineman and current Houston 610 host Seth Payne said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “In some respects, (he) looks like Michael Jordan – like Dabo Swinney said when he was in college. But in other respects, he looks like a young quarterback.”

Watson has completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 3,592 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He’s also rushed for 436 yards and two scores. But he’s been sacked a league-leading 52 times.

“There’s a healthy amount of skepticism because the Texans have been aided by a pretty easy schedule,” Payne said. “We’re not debating College Football Playoffs here or anything, but when you look at some of the strengths of the Texans team, they haven't necessarily been tested like you like to see. They don’t have a strong win the way you see when you want to get a team into the College Football Playoffs.”

Of the Texans’ 10 wins, only the Cowboys (8-6), Colts (8-6) and Titans (8-6) have a winning record – and none had a winning record when the Texans beat them.

“They have a very solid defense – except for when they’re faced with speedy wide receivers, which playoff teams tend to have,” Payne said. “They’re going to play a lot of zone. The defensive line has a good pass rush. You’ve got Jadeveon Clowney, you’ve got J.J. Watt, you’ve got Whitey Mercilus. But when those guys don’t get to the quarterback, they struggle with allowing big plays in the secondary. Beyond that, they play solid defense where they’ll keep things in front of them, they’ll make tackles – they just play old-school, sound, fundamental football.”

Facing someone like T.Y. Hilton, however, poses problems.

“If they have a guy on their team that runs a sub-4.4 40,” Payne said, “the Texans are a little bit nervous about that.”

The Texans will face the Eagles (7-7) in Philadelphia this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.