So in school I’m taking journalism and I recently wrote a story on the Houston Texans (my local NFL team) which made the school newspaper. It’s interesting because it’s a very different style of writing to what I normally post on this blog. This is a feature story while I typically write columns. While there are many differences, the biggest ones are that feature stories are written in 3rd person and contain interviews.
Without further ado, here’s my story.
Coming off a highly disappointing 2-14 season, the Houston Texans began this year with low expectations. However, after starting a strong 3-1, the team proved to its fans and the league that they can be a winning team. Now, with three recent close losses and a 4-4 record, the team looks to continue its successes while fixing its problems in order to push for a playoff spot in the second half of the season.
The Texans’ 4-4 record may look unimpressive to the casual observer. However, their four losses occurred by an average of seven points, meaning they had a chance to win each game. Many fans find this comforting, knowing that the Texans are not getting blown out.
“This season has gone better than last season,” Junior Luis Berardi said. “Overall, the team has played consistently.”
While several players performed well, one stands out by a long margin.
“J.J. Watt is having a tremendous season,” Berardi said.
Watt, a fourth-year defensive end, is the leader of the Texans defense, and so far this season has recorded seven sacks, seven passes defensed, three fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown), and one interception which he returned 80 yards for a touchdown. Watt even used his experience playing tight end in his early college days to catch a touchdown pass. Watt’s dominance puts him into MVP consideration.
“I think he should be considered for the MVP because he has changed the way teams have planned to play the Texans,” Junior Kaustubh Gopal said. “He’s basically a game changer.”
The Texans’ defense as a whole currently sits second in the league with 17 takeaways, a stat that represents the amount of interceptions and recovered fumbles a team has. They also have good red zone defense, as shown by their eighth place rank in points allowed per game despite ranking only 23rd in yards allowed per game.
In addition, the second leading rusher in the NFL is the Texans’ Arian Foster. Even more impressively, Foster accomplished this without playing in the loss against the Giants and playing limited snaps against the Bills.
The Texans do have their fair share of problems, though. Most notably, the passing game and Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who continues to be problematic for the Texans.
“The quarterback position has always been a problem for the Texans,” Gopal said. “I think until they get a decent quarterback, they aren’t going to be going anywhere.”
“When you have bounced around to five different teams, that seems to be a pretty telling story right there,” Texans fan Peter Backenson said.
The recently signed 10-year veteran Fitzpatrick has received a lot of criticism recently for his mediocre performance, which includes 1,757 yards, nine touchdowns, and seven interceptions through eight games.
Another point of emphasis for Coach Bill O’Brien’s team should be the secondary and preventing long yardage plays, since the Texans have allowed 10 passes for 40 yards or more, tied for worst in the league.
However, now that #1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has come back from injury, the Texans’ defense will have the ability to improve.
As for the team’s playoff chances, they do not look great, but anything can happen.
“They still have a shot,” Backenson said. “Seattle was in the playoffs a few years ago with a losing record, so anything is possible. I think they can turn it around.”
The schedule certainly will give the Texans the opportunity to do so, as the Texans’ division contains the Titans and Jaguars, two of the weakest teams in the NFL.
Overall, it looks like a year of improvement for the Texans, and one that will hopefully be key in building a team that can seriously compete in the next few seasons.
“It’s a transitional season for the Texans with the change of head coach, staff and key players,” Berardi said.
Hopefully the transition ends up a successful one, and the Texans can fix their problems and strongly compete for the remainder of the season.