How Can Texans Avoid 'Worst NFL Team' Label?

The Texans are no strangers to criticism in recent years, but many media outlets have opted to jump the gun by claiming they are the 'worst team in the NFL.' Should Houston be offended?
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Media outlets are seemingly obliged to use generic and broad terms and themes to summarize the potential of each NFL team as they enter a new season. Those terms and those theme can range from "rebuilding'' to "Super Bowl contenders'' to "loaded'' to "playoff hopefuls'' and the like.

Oh, and there is also the ever-popular "dumpster fire.''

Unfortunately for Houston Texans fans, the popular theme leans toward that last one, an offseason label for the 2021 Texans being "The NFL's Worst Team.''

Yes, in all caps. Which makes it seem all the more official.

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For example, here's what Jason La Canfora has to say about the Texans in a recent divisional ranking: "The Texans seem hell-bent on being the worst team in professional football -- perhaps by quite a margin -- for myriad reasons on field and off."

Then there's a tweet from Tuesday when NBC Sports' Warren Sharp, who said: "The Houston Texans officially have both the NFL's oldest roster and the NFL's worst roster."

The Athletic's Aaron Reiss described the Texans as "likely one of the NFL’s worst teams" when discussing their 2021 schedule.

Is any of this fair? Or accurate?

We'd like to argue that is is indeed unfair because we are all only guessing. Obviously, the Texans are indeed in a transitional phase. Their roster has been overhauled from top to bottom, primarily with short-term free agents, with a few mid-round rookies to finish off. 

They have a first-year head coach, the oldest roster in the league, a first-time general manager and few clear starters on the depth chart. 

So, as Pro Football Focus put is "Do the Texans have a good chance to be the worst team in the league in 2021? They do." 

Framed that way, the assertion does not seem unreasonable. To us, there is a science to how to look at this - and screaming "dumpster fire'' just doesn't seem very scientific.

Without being Pollyannas, we choose to believe, at 0-0, that there are opportunities. These are big "buts,'' but ... We don't know what Culley might do. We don't know what new coordinator Lovie Smith might do. We don't even know exactly how the QB situation will play out, Deshaun Watson's circumstance notwithstanding.

Labeling any team as "the worst'' is a damning statement to make, especially when it is backed by absolutely zero proof. ... but we understand. It's the offseason. It needs to be written about. And somebody needs to be picked last.

Can the Texans use the idea that they might finish 0-17 as inspiration to achieve more? Or do they just laugh it off and play as well as they can, letting the results speak for themselves?

Maybe the critics are right. Maybe the 2021 Houston Texans will be "the worst.'' But we'll be there to chronicle it ... while hoping, for the sake of Houston fans, that there is some success along the way.

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