The Texans are currently having their best season in franchise history, will that turn into Texans players taking home some hardware? They've had pro-bowlers, they've had guys win rookie of the year; can they take home a bigger award? The regular season is almost over, let's take a look at the chances Texans players have at the various awards.
It's unlikely any Texans player will be considered. Sure they have several players playing at a very high level, but how can we say who is the most valuable when they continue to win without nearly every key player? Guys like Arian Foster and Andre Johnson have the talent to win the award, but Andre has missed 6 games and Ben Tate had a few 100+ rushing yard games in Foster's absence.
Defensive Player Of The Year:
Brian Cushing and Johnathan Joseph are playing "Defensive Player of the Year" caliber football, but they don't have the sexy stat numbers necessary to win the award. Typically this goes to a guy who puts up a crazy number in sacks or interceptions, or a guy like Ray Lewis who is considered an icon at his position. Cushing has the best chance of any Texan and is playing like the best MLB in the league, but I think some voters will remember his suspension last year and hold it against him. Cushing should at least be considered and will probably receive a few votes, but the award will likely go to DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen, or Charles Woodson.
Offensive Rookie Of The Year:
If the NFL looked at this award like the NBA or MLB, then Ben Tate would be a top contender. He should be, his first NFL games were played this season, but by rule I don't think he's eligible. If he was eligible, he'd belong in the top 5 with Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and DeMarco Murray; Newton is the obvious winner.
Defensive Rookie Of The Year:
A couple of guys here will receive votes with JJ Watt and Brooks Reed. If Reed had started all season, he'd be a front-runner with the sack numbers he'd likely have, but not starting until week 5 set him back too far. At Reed's current sack per start rate, if he'd started all 16 games, he'd have 13-14 sacks. That'd likely be good enough to win the award, but as it is, Von Miller is probably the winner. I think JJ Watt is not only playing at a level good enough for this award, but also at a Pro-Bowl level, but 3-4 defensive ends don't get a chance to put up the numbers necessary.
Locks - Arian Foster, Brian Cushing, Johnathan Joseph
Questionable - JJ Watt, Wade Smith, Brooks Reed