2014 Season Team Profiles: Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs Team Profile NFL

Team Name: Kansas City Chiefs

Division: AFC West

Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, MO)

2013 Record: 11-5

2014 Record: 9-7

Head Coach: Andy Reid (2013 – present), was the head coach of the Eagles for many seasons, until they were like “we’re just not that into you anymore” and Kansas City scooped him up

Quarterback: Alex Smith (2013 – present), landed in KC after playing with San Fran the first eight seasons of his career, where he was benched in favor of Colin Kaepernick in a bold move by coach Jim Harbaugh in 2012

 

3 Offensive Players You Should Know:

Jamaal Charles, Running Back (25) – Known for his speed and toughness, Charles is the third player in NFL history to have at least five seasons with 1,000 yards and an average of 5 yards per carry.

Dwayne Bowe, Wide Receiver (82) – Chiefs’ first-round draft pick in 2007, he’s had his ups and downs over the years, with his best year coming in 2010. He likes to hold out for his contracts and had some suspensions – one due to violation of the substance abuse policy and another for personal conduct policy (he was arrested for possession of a controlled substance).

Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle (72) – This 2013 first-round draft pick had a super disappointing rookie season that ended with shoulder surgery. He was moved to left tackle (protects the quarterback’s blind side) for the 2014 season and showed some improvement.

 

3 Defensive Players You Should Know:

Dontari Poe, Nose Tackle (92) – The Chiefs’ first-round draft pick of 2012, he is known for his size (6’3″, 346 lbs) and athleticism. You don’t expect a man that big to move that fast. He established himself as a starter his rookie year, and then was voted to the ProBowl in both 2013 and 2014. He didn’t play football before high school – his high school coach saw him marching with the drum line the summer before freshman year and told him to show up for football practice the next day. The rest is history.

Tamba Hali, Outside Linebacker (91) – Liberian-born Hali has spent his entire career with the Chiefs after being drafted by the team in 2006. He’s made the ProBowl four times, but it’s unknown if he will finish his career with Kansas City because of his hefty salary. He holds a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Eric Berry, Safety (29) – You may recognize Berry’s name because he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma after team doctors found a mass in his chest in November 2014. No updates on his treatment as of January 2015. Berry is an outstanding safety – a three-time ProBowler. Also, you HAVE to watch this NFL Films clip (the entire thing!) about his fear of horses, which stems from an incident where he was bitten by a horse as a child. “Dang, horse…I trusted you.”

 

What Happened This Offseason:

– The team agreed to a four-year contract extension with QB Alex Smith in August 2014.

– The Chiefs didn’t re-sign most of their o-line from the 2013 season and the impact showed, as the unit struggled during the 2014 season. QB Alex Smith was sacked a whopping 45 times this season – tied for 4th most in the league.

 

Why You Should Cheer for Them: Eric Berry is an excellent reason to cheer for this team. We hope to see him cancer-free and back on the field soon!

 

2014 Theme Song: Let’s Get Loud (Jennifer Lopez) – Arrowhead Stadium broke the crowd noise record at a September game against the Patriots this year. I was there and did not participate.

If you watch the video below, you will agree with me that Jennifer Lopez does not age. What is she? A vampire? Ugh, life is not fair.

 

The Last Word: There were high expectations for their 2014 season, but things aren’t easy when you’re in the same division as Peyton Manning.

– Michelle and Val

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2014 Season Team Profiles: Denver Broncos

 2014 PRESEASON TEAM PROFILES Denver Broncos

Team Name: Denver Broncos

Division: AFC West

Stadium: Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)

2013 Record: 13-3

2014 Record: 12-4

Head Coach: John Fox (2011 – present), used to be the head coach of the Panthers, only the 2nd head coach in NFL history to win four straight division titles since joining a new team

Quarterback: Peyton Manning (2012 – present), Papa Johns owner, TV commercial legend, rapper, and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game

 

3 Offensive Players You Should Know:

Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver (88) – One of the best wide receivers in the league. He became the 3rd receiver in NFL history to have three straight seasons with 1,450 yards and 10 touchdowns. (Other two were Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison.) Our mom likes picking him for NFL.com’s Perfect Challenge because “he has such a nice smile” in his profile picture. He’s going to be a free agent in 2015 and could command a lot of money on the open market, but he said he would be willing to take a hometown discount to stay with Peyton.

Emmanuel Sanders, Wide Receiver (10) – This wide receiver came from Pittsburgh in the off-season and 2014 with the Broncos was his best year in the league so far with 9 TDs. He’s also a member of the Nice Smile Club.

Julius Thomas, Tight End (80) – Drafted by the Broncos in 2011, Thomas has become one of Manning’s favorite targets. Fun fact – he was primarily a basketball player in college and really had to learn football when he came to the Broncos.

 

3 Defensive Players You Should Know:

Von Miller, Linebacker (58) – Defensive rookie of the year in 2011, Miller was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2011, 2012, and 2014. In short, he’s a beast. He tore his ACL last year. He’s also a super snazzy dresser and known for his fancy glasses.

Aqib Talib, Cornerback (21) – Talib left the Patriots for a big old 6-year, $57 million contract from the Broncos in 2014. He’s had his share of legal and conduct issues, but he’s a pretty darn good cornerback when he’s on the field.

Terrance Knighton, Defensive Tackle (98) – His nickname is Pot Roast and that’s all you really need to know.

 

What Happened This Offseason:

– The Broncos did a lot to prepare for the 2014 season, including beefing up their defense with some big names. They signed Aqib Talib (cornerback from New England), T.J. Ward (safety from Cleveland), and DeMarcus Ware (defensive end from Dallas).

– They released safety Champ Bailey, who went on to sign a deal with the Saints. When he didn’t make their final roster, he announced his retirement in October and then signed a one-day contract with Denver to retire as a Bronco.

– After tearing his ACL at the end of the 2013 season, linebacker Von Miller was back for the 2014 season and recorded 14 sacks on the year.

– They lost wide receiver Eric Decker to the Jets, but they picked up wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from Pittsburgh.

– They let running back Knowshon Moreno go and he went to Miami. Their whole running back situation was up in the air this year until 2013 free agent signing C.J. Anderson emerged as a beast.

 

Why You Should Cheer for Them: It’s a pretty classy organization and they’re built to win right now, despite their decline toward the end of the 2014 season. It’s hard not to like Peyton Manning.

 

2014 Theme Song: Shake It Off (Taylor Swift) – The 2014 Broncos season has been all about shaking off their embarrassing Super Bowl 43-8 loss to the Seahawks in February. Also, I see a lot of similarities between Peyton Manning and Tay Tay. Peyton is one of the best quarterbacks of all times and has some of the funniest commercials on TV. Taylor Swift has some serious talent as a songwriter and performer. Sometimes it kills us to admit these things, but they’re true. Haters gonna hate.

 

The Last Word: Well, at the time we’re writing this, the Broncos just lost the 2014 AFC divisional game against the Colts. We anticipate significant changes to their roster for the 2015 season. Too soon to say if Peyton Manning will be back and the rumors are swirling around John Fox staying as head coach.

– Michelle and Val

2014 Season Team Profiles: Oakland Raiders

2014 PRESEASON TEAM PROFILES Oakland Raiders

Team Name: Oakland Raiders

Division: AFC West

Stadium: O.co Coliseum (Oakland, CA)

2013 Record: 4-12

2014 Record: 3-13

Head Coach: Dennis Allen (2012 – Week 4 of 2014), Tony Sparano (Interim coach week 5 of 2014 – present)

Quarterback: Derek Carr (2014), second-round draft pick of 2014 and younger brother of QB David Carr, who played in the NFL from 2002 – 2012

 

3 Offensive Players You Should Know:

Darren McFadden, Running Back (20) – When he’s not injured, he’s a pretty good running back. The 2014 season was the first time McFadden played in all 16 regular-season games since he was drafted by the Raiders in 2008.

Latavius Murray, Running Back (28) – Drafted in 2013, he spent his rookie year on IR (injured reserve). He was hidden on the depth chart this year until he had one breakout game against the Chiefs.

Mychal Rivera, Tight End (81) – He’s mostly known for being the brother of Naya Rivera, who plays Santana Lopez on Glee. Drafted in 2013, he’s a work in progress as part of the challenged Raiders offense.

 

3 Defensive Players You Should Know:

Justin Tuck, Defensive End (91) – After spending nine seasons as a New York Giant, Tuck signed a two-year deal with the Raiders after he was unable to come to an agreement with the Giants.

Charles Woodson, Free Safety (24) – Woodson was drafted by the Raiders in 1998, then spent 2006-2012 with Green Bay. When the Packers didn’t resign Woodson, fans pushed to bring him back to Oakland for the 2013 season. He was injured last year, but has had a pretty decent season this year considering his age (38!).

Khalil Mack , Outside Linebacker (52) – Mack was the 5th overall pick in the 2014 draft and the team is lucky that he fell to that spot because he’s a beast. He holds the NCAA record for forced fumbles and is tied for career tackles for a loss. His name has been rightfully included in conversations for 2014 defensive rookie of the year, but he might get overlooked because he’s on the Raiders and the Raiders kinda sucked this year.

 

What Happened This Offseason:

– The Raiders traded for QB Matt Schaub, who had just spent the last 7 years as the starting quarterback for the Texans. He lost the starting job to rookie Derek Carr.

– The team signed a lot of “old guys” (players in their 30s, which is not old at all in the real world). Running back Maurice Jones Drew from the Jaguars and defensive end Justin Tuck from the New York Giants made their way to O-Town this year.

– The Raiders first-round pick of 2013, cornerback D.J. Hayden, was more or less a bust. He struggled in 2013 and wasn’t able to make a major impact in 2014, partially due to injury. Check out this article or the clip below about his near-death experience on the football field in college.

 

Why You Should Cheer for Them: Ah, the Raiders. The poor, poor Raiders. You should feel sorry for them because they’ve been losing for a long time. QB Derek Carr has a lot of potential.

 

2014 Theme Song: On To The Next One (Jay-Z w/ Swizz Beatz) – The Raiders are ready to put another sub-par year behind them. On to the next year, on to the next coach, and possibly (in a year or two) on to the next stadium. Additionally, this sick Jay-Z video is all black and white and looks like the Raiders.

 

The Last Word: The team announced a one-year extension of their lease with O.co Coliseum this year, so they will be staying put for the 2015 season. Look for a new coach announcement in the next few weeks.

– Michelle and Val

2014 Season Team Profiles: San Diego Chargers

 NFL 2014 SEASON TEAM PROFILES San Diego Chargers

Team Name: San Diego Chargers

Division: AFC West

Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego, CA)

2013 Record: 9-7

Head Coach: Mike McCoy (2013 – present), currently the youngest active head coach in the league, previously coached for the Panthers and the Broncos

Quarterback: Philip Rivers (2004 – present), or as our mom calls him “Phillip ‘Cry Me a’ River”

 

3 Offensive Players You Should Know:

Antonio Gates, Tight End (85) – Growing up as a basketball player, Gates never played football in college. After being told that he wouldn’t find success in the NBA, he held a private workout with the Chargers and the rest is history. This year (his 12th year with the team), he became the Chargers’ all-time leader in receiving yards. After a disappointing 2013 season, most people counted him out this year, but this 34-year-old had some monster games, proving naysayers wrong.

Ryan Matthews, Running Back (24) – Selected at the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Matthews has missed games because of injuries every year with the exception of 2013. He grew up as a Chargers fan – sometimes dreams do come true.

Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver (13) – Drafted in 2013, Allen had a super impressive rookie year and was viewed as first-round talent, even though he was actually selected in the third round. He’s a fun toy for Phillip Rivers to have.

 

3 Defensive Players You Should Know:

Eric Weddle, Safety (32) – I read an article that referred to him as one of the “most versatile and smartest” safeties in the league. He’s got a mohawk-type-hair-thing going on right now and a sick beard, and it’s all kinds of awesome. (Seriously, his Twitter handle is @weddlesbeard.) He’s known for his charitable efforts, including a jewelry line where portion of the proceeds go toward battered women charities.

Corey Liuget, Defensive End (94) – He may not be the biggest name in the NFL, but he’s a huge part of the Chargers’ defense and usually leads the team in at least one defensive statistic category.

Dwight Freeney, Outside Linebacker (93) – It’s still weird for me to see Freeney in a Chargers uniform after he spent 11 years in Indianapolis. A Hartford, Connecticut native, Freeney likes to sack quarterbacks. He’s a seven-time Pro-Bowler.

 

What Happened This Offseason:

– After Ken Whisenhunt (“Whiz”) was hired away to be the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, quarterbacks coach Frank Reich was promoted to the offensive coordinator position.

– Everyone was pretty high on the rookies from last year – Keenan Allen (WR) and Ladarius Green (TE).

– Dwight Freeney (OLB) was put on IR in 2013 after tearing his quad. He’s back this year.

– Qualcomm Stadium is one of the oldest stadiums in the league. The team has the right to leave San Diego starting February 1 of 2015 and have until May 30 to make that decision. This is interesting because the Raiders are also in a similar situation. Everyone is saying that Los Angeles wants to bring 2 NFL teams to town and the Chargers name is being thrown around with the Raiders and Rams. The team is staying mum on what their plans are. Should be an interesting situation to monitor in the upcoming offseason.

– Overall, it was kind of a boring offseason for them.

 

Why You Should Cheer for Them: Philip Rivers has 7 kids. (Seven!) If this interesting fact isn’t enough to get you to hop on the Chargers bandwagon, you should know that he’s also a pretty good quarterback. If that doesn’t do it for you, Weddle’s beard is a good reason to cheer for the Bolts.

 

2014 Theme Song: Middle of the Road (The Pretenders) – The Chargers’ records the last few years are as follows: 9-7 (2013), 7-9 (2012), 8-8 (2011), 9-7 (2010). They always seem to have potential to be great, but end up falling in the middle of the pack.

 

The Last Word: I used to work with a kid who was a huge Chargers fan. He left the job suddenly, resulting in a lot of extra work on my desk. Right now, I’m not a huge fan of the Chargers. Tried not to take this out on them in this post.

 

– Michelle and Val

2014 Season Team Profiles: Jacksonville Jaguars

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Team Name: Jacksonville Jaguars

Division: AFC South

Stadium: EverBank Field (Jacksonville, FL)

2013 Record: 4-12

Head Coach: Gus Bradley (2013 – present), was recruited for the Jacksonville head coach position after working wonders with the Seattle defense as their coordinator

Quarterback: Blake Bortles (2014), named the starter in September and has been regressing ever since

 

3 Offensive Players You Should Know:

– Denard Robinson, Running Back/Wide Receiver (16) – Robinson may be one of the most athletically interesting players in the league. He was a quarterback, running back, and wide receiver in college. Last year the team listed his position as “Offensive Weapon” and this year he’s listed as a “RB/WR” on their website roster. He earned the nickname Shoelace because he didn’t tie his shoes as a kid, a practice which he continued through college and for the most part, in the pros. That doesn’t really bother people because he’s super fast and if he can run that fast without his shoelaces tied, more power to him.

Toby Gerhart, Running Back (21) – He was supposed to be the team’s answer at running back once Maurice Jones-Drew left, but he’s no longer the starter at this point in the season. He had a prolific college career at Stanford.

– Cecil Shorts, Wide Receiver (84) – He ended both his 2012 and 2013 seasons by being placed on injured reserve. This season he’s shown flashes of potential with some 100+ yard games, but he seems to be suffering as a result of this sub-par offense.

 

3 Defensive Players You Should Know:

Paul Posluszny, Middle Linebacker (51) – Unfortunately, Paul is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, which is unfortunate because he’s a Pro Bowler and signed a relatively hefty deal with the team in 2011. He also definitely has some Polish heritage with that last name.

Ziggy Hood, Defensive Tackle (92) – Ziggy spent the first four years of his career as a Steeler and then signed a four-year deal with the Jags in March. His real name is Evander, but his grandmother couldn’t pronounce it when he was little, so they started calling him after his favorite cartoon character (yes, the small pant-less chubby bald dude).

Red Bryant, Defensive End (79) – Red was a Seahawks veteran who followed Gus Bradley to the sunshine state. He was a captain in Seattle, but had a hefty contract and one of the reasons for his release was to create cap space. He’s a big dude, coming in at 6’4″ and 320 lbs. His real name is Joseph, he was the first in his family to graduate from college, and he overcame dyslexia.

 

What Happened This Offseason:

– The Jaguars drafted quarterback Blake Bortles. He was supposed to be the quarterback of the future, but then Chad Henne was kinda sucking, so he became the quarterback of now.

– Justin Blackmon had a ton of potential, leading all rookie wide receivers in first downs last year. In April he received a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Then he violated it again and was suspended indefinitely. Prior to entering the NFL, he had a few DUIs under his belt too. You won’t see him on the field this year, but here’s to hoping he can clean up his act because the team could use him.

– The team lost running back Maurice Jones-Drew to Oakland. MJD’s productivity had declined recently and there were contract disputes, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. The team brought in Toby Gerhart from Minnesota to replace him, but he lost the starting job.

– Most importantly, Jaguars management added pools and cabanas in the stadium. (Can you imagine me as a Jaguars lifeguard? People would drown. “My bad, it was a 3rd and goal, so I was definitely not paying attention.”)

 

Why You Should Cheer for Them: You’re a local. You want to go to a football game and party in a pool. You live in London and need a “home” team. (The team has a four-year deal to play one “home” game there each year through 2016.)

 

2014 Theme Song: Up! (Shania Twain) – With only one win so far this season, it’s tough to be a Jaguars fan or player right now. Things to have to get better for them….eventually….right?

 

The Last Word: Ummm…did I mention they have pools in the stadium?

– Michelle

2014 Season Team Profiles: Tennessee Titans

7

Team Name: Tennessee Titans

Division: AFC South

Stadium: LP Field (Nashville, TN)

2013 Record: 7-9

Head Coach: Ken Whisenhunt (2014),  or “Whiz” as we like to call him, was the Cardinal’s head coach for 5 years and then the offensive coordinator for the Chargers last year

Quarterback: Depends on which week you ask, as the answer could be Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst, or Zach Mettenberger. Eek.

 

3 Offensive Players You Should Know:

– Shonn Greene, Running Back (23) – Spent the first four years of his career with the Jets. He missed the first part of the season with a knee injury, so he hasn’t been able to explode quite as much as they were hoping.

– Kendall Wright, Wide Receiver (13) – This second-year player is a bright-spot on the offense. If the quarterback situation were more favorable/consistent, his stats would be higher. Speaking from experience, he’s not a bad guy to have on your fantasy team as a WR2 or WR3.

– Michael Oher, Right Tackle (72) – Used to be a left tackle, but he’s transitioned to a right tackle. He’s the real-life inspiration for The Blind Side book and movie. If you’ve never seen that movie, drop what you’re doing right now and go get your dose of Oscar-winning Sandra Bullock.

 

3 Defensive Players You Should Know:

Jurrell Casey, Defensive End (99) – Drafted by the Titans in 2011, Jurrell signed a pretty sweet 4-year $36 million contract extension prior to the regular season.

Jason McCourty, Cornerback (30) – He’s got a twin brother named Devin who plays for the Patriots. Their mom has a Facebook page of her own with 10,000+ likes. He’s a friend of our girl Chrissy Carew and one of her Insightful Players. He does a lot of charity fundraising with his brother for sickle-cell disease. He posts pictures of his daughter on social media and she is adorable. At the risk of sounding creepy, I would totally offer to babysit her.

Michael Griffin, Safety (33) – First-round draft pick that currently leads the team in total tackles. He also has three sacks and two interceptions on the season.

 

What Happened This Offseason:

– The Titans fired Mike Munchak, who held the head coaching position for 3 years after growing up in the organization. They hired Whiz.

– The team lost Chris Johnson, also known as CJ2K for the year he ran over 2,000 yards in a season. He went to the no man’s land also known as the Jets.

– The team also lost Alterraun Verner, a Pro Bowl cornerback, to the Buccaneers, who gave him a pretty hefty contract.

– They signed Dexter McCluster to a three-year deal. I think the original plan was to utilize him more as a running back, but he’s made more of a difference as a punt returner so far.

– Despite their revolving-door quarterback situation, they have some big names on the offensive line, like Andy Levitre and Michael Roos. They drafted Chance Warmack last year and Taylor Lewan this year to round out the group.

– They brought in Ray Horton from Cleveland as the new Defensive Coordinator. He’s switched up their scheme. Not sure it’s working out too well.

 

Why You Should Cheer for Them: If you’re looking for a long-term team to invest in, the Titans could be for you as long as you can overlook the short-term because they’re kind of a hot mess right now. They’ve only won two games at this point in the season, one against the hapless Jaguars, so that’s kind of sad. They’ve got a great offensive-minded coach who doesn’t quite seem to have the weapons he needs.

 

2014 Theme Song: Jesus, Take the Wheel (Carrie Underwood) – It doesn’t have to be Jesus, but someone has to take the wheel here because this team should be better this year.

Also, as Val pointed out to me, quarterback Charlie Whitehurst’s nickname is Clipboard Jesus, which makes this song choice even more appropriate. He got the nickname because of his long Jesus-y locks of hair and his perennial backup status.

You didn’t expect me to do a non-country song for a NASHVILLE-based team, did you?

(Side note: Is Carrie Underwood not one of the best looking pregnant ladies you’ve ever seen?)

 

The Last Word: We’ve always wanted to go to Nashville. If we did, our first stop probably wouldn’t be to see the Titans play (at least until they get their stuff together), but if there’s anyone that wants to put us up, let us know!

– Michelle

2014 Season Team Profiles: Houston Texans

2014 PRESEASON TEAM PROFILES (4)

Team Name: Houston Texans

Division: AFC South

Stadium: NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)

2013 Record: 2-14 (This stellar record earned them the first pick in the 2014 draft!)

Head Coach: Bill O’Brien (2014), spent five years in New England and then two years as Penn State’s head coach after the Sandusky scandal, also has an interesting personal story

Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick (2014), Harvard grad also known as the Amish Rifle for his sick beard, proposed to his wife in front of a McDonald’s

 

3 Offensive Players You Should Know:

Andre Johnson, Wide Receiver (80) – If there’s a receiving record for the Texans, Johnson probably owns it. This is Johnson’s 11th year with the Texans, despite rumblings of trade talks earlier this year. He’s a pretty darn good receiver who is probably pretty frustrated by their QB situation.

Arian Foster, Running Back (23) – Foster was an undrafted free agent signed by the Texans in 2009. He owns a bunch of Texans rushing records, and when he’s not injured, he makes a lot of fantasy owners very happy. On a more personal note, he likes to write poetry and he’s a vegan.

DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver (10) – Drafted in 2013, he had a prolific college career. He certainly has a bigger role this year than he did last year, but hasn’t had the opportunity to shine yet. His role should increase over time, especially if Andre Johnson leaves the team.

 

3 Defensive Players You Should Know:

J.J. Watt, Defensive End (99) – What. A. Beast. Every week we like to include What J.J. Watt Did in our weekly game recap. Watt is one of the most disruptive defensive players in the league right now and judging by the 6-year, $100 million contract he signed in September, the Texans recognize that. He’s making a case to earn the MVP title this year, something usually given to offensive players. He’s also a nice guy:

Jadeveon Clowney, Linebacker (90) – The first overall pick in the draft, people had ridiculously high expectations of Clowney coming into the season. USA Today called him “by far the most freakish physical specimen” in the draft. He tore his meniscus in the first regular game of the season and has missed seven games so far.

Brian Cushing, Inside Linebacker (56) – Drafted in 2009, he had a stellar rookie season and it’s been a roller coaster ride ever since. He missed four games in 2010 after testing positive for a banned substance, had an outstanding 2011 season, tore his ACL and missed most of the 2012 season, and then missed most of the 2013 season due to injury.

 

What Happened This Offseason:

– The Texans fired Gary Kubiak as head coach before the end of the 2013 season and hired Bill O’Brien as his replacement.

– There was lots of quarterback movement in Houston. They traded Matt Schaub to Oakland, traded with New England for Ryan Mallett, and then signed the Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has been their starter this season. Halfway through the season, there are rumors that Mallett could replace Fitzpatrick, who has had a mediocre performance so far in 2014.

– Running back extraordinaire Arian Foster was injured in 2013 and missed the second half of the season. He’s back this year.

 

Why You Should Cheer for Them: J.J. Watt. He’s one of the most dominant defensive players in the modern era and every week he seems to break some record or do something completely unexpected.

 

2014 Theme Song: So Fresh, So Clean (OutKast) – New coach. New quarterback. Fresh start. I would go as far as to say that the Texans are feeling so fresh and so clean.

 

The Last Word: It’s hard to expect miracles the first year you have a new coach and a new quarterback. It’s not a super strong division, which works in the team’s favor. You get the sense that they have the pieces for a really good team, it just might take some more time to put them together. The defense doesn’t seem to get the credit it deserves – it’s currently ranked in the bottom third of all defenses in the league. They lead the lead in some important stats, however, like takeaways (interceptions and forcing fumbles). If the offense would hold onto the ball better, their turnover differential would be near the top of the league.

 

– Michelle and Val