Texans had 2nd-toughest SOS in 2013

Texans had 2nd-toughest SOS in 2013
February 5, 2014, 12:45 pm
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(USA Today Images)

The Texans certainly earned their No. 1 draft pick.

After starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations and two early wins, the Texans lost the last 14 games of the season.

They finished with the worst record in football at 2-14. But they had some help.

The Texans had the second-toughest strength of schedule in 2013. Their opponents had a .559 winning percentage (143-113). OK, the Texans helped that winning percentage number by losing to those teams but it's still worth noting. The Bucs were the only team with a tougher strength of schedule (.574).

In fact, the Texans were the only team to play all four finalists -- Denver, New England, Seattle and San Francisco -- during the regular season. They lost all four of those games. The Colts eventually played all four but they needed the playoffs to do so.

The difficult schedule for the Texans wasn't expected. In fact, when we looked ahead to the 2013 schedule, their opponent winning percentage from 2012 was .473. It was supposed to be the fifth easiest schedule in the NFL. Oh well.

Instead, they ended up playing nine of their 16 games against teams that ended the season with a winning record -- and only one came from the division.

None of that is meant to excuse the Texans' play in 2013. They were awful and the way they played in most games, they would have lost to anyone.

But it's feasible if they had an easier schedule, they might have pulled out a game or two more. Really, it's a good thing for Texans fans that it didn't happen. If they won two more games, they would have been one of six teams to go 4-12.

Instead, they played their tougher schedule and lost 14 games. And for it, they earned the top pick.