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Texans 'Expert' Predicts 7-9; Let's Argue 'Science'

The Houston Texans Have Been 'Almost Dynastic' - So When An 'Expert' Predicts 7-9 For The 2020 NFL Season? We Need To Argue 'Science'
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"Opinions,'' goes the G-rated version of the saying, "are like noses: Everybody has one and they all smell.''

Therefore, who are we to say that USA TODAY Sports' prediction for the 2020 Houston Texans - back-to-back winners of the AFC South - are destined to be "losers''?

To Houston's credit, for all the criticism that sometimes comes this franchise's way, the Texans aren't just playoff-berths winners of the division in 2018 and 2019; they've won it four times in the last five seasons.

In "The .500 League'' that is the NFL (by parity-driven design)? That's almost dynastic.

And that's our first argument against the idea of Houston slipping into Losersville. Traditionally, we give the defending champ a little respect. Yes, Team A winning a division one year often leads to Team B winning it the next. But shouldn't Houston get credit for being Team Teflon in that regard? The usual rules - four out of five years the division champ! - don't seem to stick here.

An expanded 14-team field should help the chances that Houston (and, well, everybody else) makes the playoffs again. Hurting Houston's chances? Well, the opening schedule: Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers, Vikings.

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Our other issue with this prediction, and most predictions like it: USA TODAY seems to suggest it has applied some sort of "science'' to come up with its belief that the Tennessee Titans will win the division at 10-6, with the Indianapolis Colts also finishing 10-6 and going to the playoffs as a wild-card.

Maybe, but ... we shouldn't pretend there is a "science'' to this. And the USA TODAY author suggests otherwise when he writes, "(Note on methodology: Using the most current information, I simply predict winners and losers for all 256 regular-season games to arrive at my projections ...''

Um, "methodology''? Are we to assume that the author is using a system better than the rest of us use ... which is, um, "guessing''?

A true belief that Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and coach Bill O'Brien will win again, or a true belief that they will fade, is not based on "science'' or "methodology'' or on the magical skill to "simply predict 256 games.''

Doing so would make one an expert on every team ... in every matchup ... in every game, some to be played five months from now. The national experts do not possess that level of insight. Nobody does. The Houston Texans' track record might not earn them respect from national media ... but should earn them faith from Houston Texans fans.