The Houston Texans have bounced between playoff contender and bottom of the league team for years now. The defining reason seems to be a lack of talent at the quarterback position, but in 2017 they seemed to solve that with Deshaun Watson, who they jumped up the draft to take. Watson’s 2017 season was short-lived thanks to an ACL tear, but with him back in the fold for Madden 19, along with a talented defensive front and some excellent offensive playmakers, the Texans have a chance to surprise the NFL and be one of the most deadly teams in Madden 19.
*All stats correct at time of writing
The Houston Texans start Madden 19 Franchise Mode as an 81 overall team. It doesn’t leap out as very good, there are 15 teams with a higher overall, but they do have an elite defensive rating of 87. Only four defenses rate higher. Their defensive roster is loaded with talent in the front seven, especially when it comes to pass rushers, and they have several useful defensive backs that can take the ball away too. Offensively, they aren’t loaded, but they have playmakers at the skill positions. If you like to play defense-first and are willing to run around with your quarterback, then Houston are the team for you.
JJ Watt, Defensive End (OVR 98)
Development Trait: Superstar
Contract: 4 years/$67.5 million
2018 Cap Hit: $14.9 million
Best Stats: Play Recognition (98), Strength (97), Finesse Moves (93), Tackle (93), Pursuit (92), Agility (85)
JJ Watt has been a force of nature for the Houston Texans since they drafted him 11th overall in 2011. He missed the bulk of 2016 & 2017 with injuries, but prior to that he was the dominant player in the entire sport. Watt is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and the only player in NFL history to reach 20 sacks in a season twice. He comes into Madden 19 as a game-wrecker of a defensive end with the ability to pressure the passer, bring down running backs, and generally be a nightmare to all that try and stand between him and the ball.
DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver (OVR 96)
Development Trait: Superstar
Contract: 5 years/$68.5 million
2018 Cap Hit: $12.7 million
Best Stats: Spectacular Catch (99), Catching (98), Catching In Traffic (98), Release (96), Short Route (95), Medium Route (95)
Selected 27th overall in 2013, DeAndre Hopkins soon became one of the most feared receivers in the NFL. Hopkins’ precise route running skills, amazing hands, and impressive athleticism made him a difficult proposition for every cornerback in the world. Even with poor quarterback play, Hopkins has been able to post three 1,000+ yard seasons coming into 2018 and even led the NFL in touchdown receptions (13) last season.
Jadeveon Clowney, Outside Linebacker (OVR 91)
Development Trait: Superstar
Contract: 1 year/$7.42 million
2018 Cap Hit: $7.42 million
Best Stats: Play Recognition (94), Awareness (94), Pursuit (93), Acceleration (90), Block Shedding (89), Power Moves (88)
Jadeveon Clowney made a name for himself with monstrous play in college with South Carolina. He was rewarded with being named the first overall pick in 2014. It took Clowney a few years to not only recover from some injuries but also adjust to the level of competition in the NFL. He always flashed destructive abilities though, and in 2016 he developed into a Pro Bowl edge defender, making plays in all facets of the game and forcing offenses to account for him on every snap.
Deshaun Watson, Quarterback (OVR 83)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 3 years/$10.54 million
2018 Cap Hit: $3.35 million
Best Stats: Break Sack (95), Throw Power (90), Throw Under Pressure (89), Short Accuracy (86), Speed (84)
Deshaun Watson led Clemson to back-to-back National Title games, winning the second before taking off for the NFL. Houston traded up to #12 in 2017 to take Watson and soon named him their starter. Watson’s athleticism and playmaking ability turned the Texans fortunes around, but it didn’t last long as a torn ACL in practice ended his season after just seven games.
Depth Chart & Full Roster
|QB||OVR||Speed||Throw Power||Short Accuracy||Medium Accuracy||Deep Accuracy||Throw Under Pressure||Play Action|
|Joe Webb III||68||88||89||74||68||68||66||60|
|WR||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Catch In Traffic||Spectacular Catch||Release||Jumping|
|Will Fuller V||83||95||92||87||81||83||85||82||84||77||86|
|TE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Run Block|
|OL||OVR||Speed||Strength||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|DE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Power Moves||Finesse Moves||Block Shedding|
|DT||OVR||Speed||Strength||Power Moves||Finesse Moves||Block Shedding||Impact Block|
|OLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|MLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|CB||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage||Press|
|Jermaine Kelly Jr||67||88||91||82||75||71||57|
|FS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|SS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Tackle||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|K||OVR||Kick Power||Kick Accuracy|
|P||OVR||Kick Power||Kick Accuracy|
The Texans roster has plenty of stars, but there are also a lot of holes, making them a nice test of your GM talents in Franchise Mode. The stars are all in the right spots to be impactful players. With Hopkins (99 spectacular catch, 98 catching) and Lamar Miller (92 speed, 89 carrying) providing the talent around Watson (90 throw power, 84 speed) to put points up. The defense can also pressure quarterbacks endlessly thanks to Watt (97 power moves, 93 finesse moves), Clowney (87 speed, 89 block shedding), and Whitney Mercilus (89 acceleration, 85 power moves). They also have playmakers in the secondary like Tyrann Mathieu (90 speed, 89 zone coverage) and Kareem Jackson (89 speed, 88 zone coverage) that can take the ball away.
The holes are clear and obvious though. Watson is not a polished passer, so if you are a classic drop-back passer in Madden 19 you may struggle to use him straight away. The offensive line is a horrific mess that will blow up at the worst time. There is little talent at tight end, often a key position in Madden, and if you lose Hopkins or Miller to injury, then things look bleak offensively.
Houston Texans Playbook – Offense
I Form Pro
I Form Slot
I Form Tight
I Form Twin TE
Strong I Pro
Strong I Slot
Weak I Close
Singleback Ace Pair
Singleback Ace Slot
Singleback Deuce Close
Singleback Dice Slot
Singleback Wing Pair
Singleback Wing Slot
Singleback Wing Tight
Singleback Y Off Trips
Pistol Full House Base
Pistol Strong Slot Open
Shotgun Doubles HB Wk
Shotgun Doubles Y Off
Shotgun Eagle H-Slot
Shotgun Empty Trey Stack
Shotgun Empty Y Slot
Shotgun Split Slot
Shotgun Spread Y-Slot
Shotgun Stack Y Off Wk
Shotgun Trey Open
Shotgun Trips HB Wk
Shotgun Trips TE Flex
Shotgun Wing Flex Offset
Shotgun Y Trips Wk
The Houston Texans offensive playbook is a relatively simple one on the surface, but there are several nice parts of it. If you like running the ball there are plenty of options with I form, singleback, and full house formations to mix up looks. If you want to take advantage of Watson’s speed there are option plays, and when it comes to passing the ball there is plenty to like. Shotgun Bunch has been a powerful formation for a long time, and Post Cross is a particularly good play from that formation, while Corner Strike prevents defensives from overly adjusting to inside routes.
Houston Texans Playbook – Defense
Nickel 3-3-5 Wide
Nickel 2-4-5 Double A Gap
Big Nickel Over G
Dime 2-3-6 Will
Quarter 3 Deep
Goal line defense 5-3-3
Goal line defense 5-4-2
The Texans 3-4 defense is another pretty standard playbook. They have the usual 3-4 looks and no special front like some other 3-4 defenses, but they do have a few good sub packages. Big Nickel Over G is the star, but Quarter 1-3-7 and Dime 2-3-6 Will are also useful formations for bringing pressure and mixing up coverages.
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