Not to mention that if recent history holds the team will be back in the playoffs this season.
So--if history holds the Texans should be back in the playoffs this year, right?
The notion is actually not that far-fetched. As bad as the offense was last season the defense was still the No. 7 unit in the league (No. 3 against the pass; No. 23 against the run). With Clowney and Louis Nix III added to the lineup running against the Texans certainly will not be as easy.
There is the whole question at quarterback of course, but with a running game reinvigorated by the return of Arian Foster they might actually score a few points.
With the schedule they are going to face the team can afford to learn on the job and still win. At least seven games are definitely winnable (two against Jacksonville and Tennessee as well as one against Oakland, Buffalo, and Cleveland).
Should Clowney and J.J. Watt live in Andrew Luck's face during both Indy games those are entirely winnable as well. The depend completely on Luck so if they can disrupt him they have a shot.
They have four against the NFC East all of which they can win. Should the defense be as good as expected and the offense okay they can at least compete with all four teams (not so sure about Philly).
That leaves the Bengals, Steelers, and Ravens; good teams, but flawed teams. Andy Dalton is an okay quarterback, but doesn't do so well under pressure. Pittsburgh is hurting for a running game and the Ravens will be too.
A lot of things will have to go right for the Texans and wrong for their opponents, but it is not outside the realm of possibilities for them to sneak in to the playoffs as a wild card next season.
Call me crazy, but it could happen.