From four different starting quarterbacks to an AFC South title, take a look back at what went right and what didn't for the 2015 Houston Texans.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
Turning point of the season
The Texans’ 44-26 loss to the Miami Dolphins was the catalyst for the team’s playoff run. Houston trailed 41-0 at the half and saw their defense shredded for 503 yards. The Texans said afterwards they were embarrassed by the blowout defeat and used it as a rallying point for the rest of season. It certainly worked. Houston bounced back from the loss to finish the regular season 7-2.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
Best story of the season
After starting the season 2-5, Bill O’Brien’s team was able to turn things around to capture their first AFC South title since 2012. Houston employed four different starting quarterbacks along the way and got wins from all four, including journeymen T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden.
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Best play of the season
DeAndre Hopkins made a series of spectacular catches during the regular season, but his best may have been his Oct. 18 reception against the Jaguars in which he juggled the ball before pinning it against his helmet while falling out of bounds.
Logan Bowles-USA TODAY SportsLogan Bowles
Worst loss of the season
The Texans saved their worst for last, getting blown out 30-0 in their wild-card matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans gave up a 106-yard kick return for a touchdown on the game’s first play and things got worse from there. Quarterback Brian Hoyer had the worst game of his career with four interceptions and a lost fumble. Not the way the Texans wanted to end a season in which they overcame so adversity to make the playoff.
Getty ImagesScott Halleran
The Texans were banking on DeAndre Hopkins being able to assume Andre Johnson’s role as the team’s No. 1 receiver this season. They were more than right. Hopkins finished third in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,521, third in receptions with 111 and tied for seventh in touchdowns with 11. Houston’s revolving door at quarterback didn’t seem to faze Hopkins and the 23-year-old was rewarded with his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Best offseason acquisition
First-round pick Kevin Johnson made an immediate contribution as a rookie, playing in all 16 games including 10 starts. The cornerback finished the season with 54 tackles, nine passes defensed and an interception. Johnson, Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph combined to give the Texans a trio of solid corners. The group should continue to a be strength on defense next season and beyond.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsKirby Lee
The Texans found a pair of backup quarterbacks off the street in Yates and Weeden who were each able to lead the team to two wins. Weeden began the season with the Dallas Cowboys before leading the Texans to their most important win of the season in Week 15 against the Indianapolis. That victory gave Houston sole possession of first place in the AFC South and paved the way for the team’s return to the playoffs.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAChristopher Hanewinckel
Linebacker Jadeveon Clowney continues to be hampered by injuries. The top pick in the 2014 draft played in 13 games with nine starts, but missed three games during the regular season with ankle, back and foot injuries. He also missed the team’s playoff loss as well. Clowney had 4.5 sacks this season and still possess enormous potential, but his durability remains an issue.