Playing in one of two divisions that didn’t have a 12-game winner (and the only division with a one-game winner), the Houston Texans went 4-12. They ranked 25th in DVOA, 31st in Defensive DVOA, 22nd in Special Teams DVOA, and 25th or worse in red-zone scoring, sack rate, opponents’ yards per play, third-down defense, takeaways per game, and turnover margin.
The Texans had four losses of at least 14 points, allowed 36 points to the Chicago Bears, and failed to score more than 23 points in nine of their 16 games, all of which were played by J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson. With Watt in Arizona and Watson facing 22 lawsuits for sexual assault and sexual misconduct, the Texans must increase their win total in 2021 in order to hit the over for their NFL Win Total.
The Texans added some contributors in free agency, including Phillip Lindsay, Lane Taylor, Chris Conley, and Desmond King, haven’t officially lost Watson, play in one of the NFL’s worst divisions, and have several winnable games on their 2021 schedule, including home games against the Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, and New York Jets.
Is that enough to go 5-11?
This week on High Motor by BetMGM, we discussed the early NFL win totals, breaking down the highest and lowest totals, if we realize how bad the Texans are, if the Tennessee Titans or Indianapolis Colts are more likely to hit their respective overs, why the San Francisco 49ers could hit the over, and what history says about divisions coming off horrendous years.
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Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of High Motor by BetMGM, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else. He has written for Sports Illustrated, HERO Sports, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DoughtyBetMGM