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View Full Version : Football Outsiders Texans predictions: A Q&A with Rivers McCown


CloakNNNdagger
07-18-2012, 10:03 PM
Thanks to Texans Chick who posted this on her blog. (http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2012/07/football-outsiders-texans-predictions-a-qa-with-rivers-mccown/) Some of the answers you will agree with......others you won't. Either way, makes you think.
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Q: Last year, Football Outsiders predicted for the first time the Texans to win the AFC South, even with a healthy Peyton Manning. This year, it predicts the same thing with no Peyton Manning in the AFC South but not in a dominating way that some fans expect. Please explain the way the FO info sees the AFC South shaking out.

A: “We see the AFC South shaking out as a division that is imminently winnable, but with the Texans having the best chance to grab it. To put it simply: they are the least-flawed team in a lot of flawed teams. We see Tennessee as having a chance to make some noise, but our numbers are skeptical about their defense. The numbers are, of course, skeptical about the Texans’ defense as well, but that is simply because a regression-based system is going to look at an effectiveness jump that big and be inherently doubtful it lasts. I don’t think that, subjectively, there is as much concern about Houston’s defense. We are projecting Houston with 8.8 wins, Tennessee with 7.5, and the other two teams under seven.”

TejasTom
07-19-2012, 07:56 AM
Thanks CND


The Texans finished as the 11th healthiest team despite the misfortune that befell Schaub, Mario Williams, and Andre Johnson. Of course, you could argue that those specific injuries were more devastating than normal ones.


You could argue? Are you sure the author's name isn't Rivers Mc"Clown"?

When they played New Orleans, Kareem Jackson and Troy Nolan were reduced to smoldering rubble.


Not defending KJ but Brees put up the most yards ever, he obviously reduced a lot of legitimate starting DBs to rubble.


This will still be an above-average offense even if Arian Foster has to drag them there kicking and screaming,


I think statistically last year showed Schaub is more important to total points scored.

if they make the playoffs and have their key offensive weapons healthy, I think this team is going to be a very tough out, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull off a run to the Super Bowl as a low seed.


I'll take a Super Bowl anyway I can get it.


So, I don’t know anyone who projected the defense would improve as much as it did last year under Wade Phillips.


Dan Pastorini predicted Top 5 D on air before season started.

Playoffs
07-19-2012, 08:05 AM
-The Texans offense faced 4-3 defenses 61 percent of the time last season, due to the schedule and their division rivals. No other NFL team faced the 4-3 more than 44 percent of the time.

-...they ran three-wideout formations just 24 percent of the time — dead last in the NFL. They ran four-wideout formations … zero percent of the time. This is a team that really needs those young receivers to grow up fast.”Interesting stuff.

GP
07-19-2012, 08:32 AM
I still don't buy this concept/superstition that our D regresses in year 2.

A lot of myths are going to be busted in 2012.

gtexan02
07-19-2012, 09:55 AM
I still don't buy this concept/superstition that our D regresses in year 2.

A lot of myths are going to be busted in 2012.

Its the "safe" bet. Its really a silly prediction because we were statistically the #2 total ranked defense last season. So to say "they will regress" is an easy prediction --- unless we move up to #1, they'll be correct.

Its like the Madden curse-- you give a guy notoriety after a breakout season, he is more than likely going to regress a little the next year while everyone keys on him

We have a tougher schedule, so I dont doubt we'll move down a little

buddyboy
07-19-2012, 10:01 AM
Thanks to Texans Chick who posted this on her blog. (http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2012/07/football-outsiders-texans-predictions-a-qa-with-rivers-mccown/) Some of the answers you will agree with......others you won't. Either way, makes you think.
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I think this is fair. I also thought it was interesting, and true, that we as fans expect a very linear improvement. The NFL (and sports in general) don't work that way. Our team could be every bit as good as last year and will probably have a worse record, even if injuries don't hit as hard. We as fans should be careful about expectations: we were 10-6 last year, so we expect that, or better, this year, or we've regressed. Not necessarily.

disaacks3
07-19-2012, 01:08 PM
I stopped reading after The Texans finished as the 11th healthiest team There's just no...freaking...way.

Norg
07-19-2012, 01:25 PM
I stopped reading after There's just no...freaking...way.


i know we even loss key starters Sharpton -who bassically took 50% or more of demco snaps

Manning and our Up and coming punter Hartmen ... and Linehart played like 4 snaps and boom he was done LOL

and like usual i think Mike Brisel had a broken leg and was still playing

Scooter
07-19-2012, 05:58 PM
I stopped reading after There's just no...freaking...way.

as far as total number of injuries, we were actually fairly healthy last season. it just so happened that those we did have were to our star players, as opposed to having 20 backups landing on IR.

GP
07-19-2012, 06:05 PM
as far as total number of injuries, we were actually fairly healthy last season. it just so happened that those we did have were to our star players, as opposed to having 20 backups landing on IR.

Agreed, which is why I call horse**** on the author for his attempt to poo-poo the injuries we DID have. It was rationalize and justify with that author.

Who else loses their starting QB, went without their star RB (and the backup, too, for awhile) for four games, AND their #1 WR for basically the whole season, with the RG on a bum leg and the star Safety with a bum leg and out for several games...Mario Williams gone for the year VERY early in the season...and STILL wins the AFCS and gets to the second round of the playoffs riding the arm of a rookie QB who played scout team for half the season in a lockout shortened year?

That'd be my response to the author. I'd say, "Dude you are so full of **** it's coming out of your ears and I need a rain poncho to keep it off of me. Just stop already."

It's as if event though we kicked major ass last year...we can't possibly do it again. These authors are in shock, they're trying to find ways to explain away the success we had in 2011 and that there's probably around 8 or 9 wins for us in 2012???? LOL. They are on crack. Bad crack.

bayoudreamn
07-19-2012, 06:06 PM
I'm going to spend the same amount of time worrying about the accuracy of this article as I am worrying about that meteor that's about to hit earth and blow everything up.

Thorn
07-19-2012, 08:19 PM
I'm going to spend the same amount of time worrying about the accuracy of this article as I am worrying about that meteor that's about to hit earth and blow everything up.

The fact is, at some point in time that meteor will hit the earth. That's the way solar systems work. Still, I'd give that a better chance of happening in my lifetime than the believability of most sport articles. :lol:

badboy
07-20-2012, 01:07 PM
uh...it was uh...something to read during a slow Texans news time...uh

b0ng
07-21-2012, 01:10 AM
I think there are some good points and bad points with the interview. The defense not being as good can almost be assumed however, there's nary a defense on our schedule that could hold a candle to the Steelers or the Ravens (maybe the Jets but they weren't as good last year). The NFCN was kind of a joke in terms of defensive play in 2011. I think the offense is going to have a much easier go of it in 2012.

As far as the injuries are tough to really guage because we had so many, but we weren't the only ones. Hopefully we can weather whatever garbage lady luck hurl our way.

ObsiWan
07-21-2012, 04:06 AM
I'm going to spend the same amount of time worrying about the accuracy of this article as I am worrying about that meteor that's about to hit earth and blow everything up.

The fact is, at some point in time that meteor will hit the earth. That's the way solar systems work. Still, I'd give that a better chance of happening in my lifetime than the believability of most sport articles. :lol:

Not to worry you but....


By January 2009, NASA had listed 1006 potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) and 85 near-Earth comets (NECs).[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentially_Hazardous_Asteroid#cite_note-stats-4) The total Solar System (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_System) inventory continues to grow, with 1310 PHA known as of May 2012.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentially_Hazardous_Asteroid#cite_note-NASA_PHA-2)[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentially_Hazardous_Asteroid#cite_note-unusual-5) Projects such as Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Near-Earth_Asteroid_Research) and Catalina Sky Survey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalina_Sky_Survey) continue to search for more PHOs. Each one found is studied by various means, including optical, radar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radar_astronomy), and infrared (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared) to determine its characteristics, such as size, composition, rotation state, and to more accurately determine its orbit. Both professional and amateur astronomers participate in such monitoring.
During an asteroid's close approaches to planets or moons it will be subject to gravitational perturbation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perturbation_(astronomy)), modifying its orbit, and potentially changing a previously non-threatening asteroid into a PHA or vice versa. This is a reflection of the dynamic character of the Solar System


Thorn's right. At least the meteorite predictions are based on science.
:D

NastyNate
07-22-2012, 07:23 PM
You guys gotta lighten up. Everything they're projecting is computer modeled based on 2011 data. I thought it was good insight and liked the statistical standpoint. Defense I see settling in around #6 or 7 this year with an improvement in the offense. Should be a 9-10 win regular season and hope to be clicking come January.

Texans_Chick
07-23-2012, 08:38 AM
You guys gotta lighten up. Everything they're projecting is computer modeled based on 2011 data. I thought it was good insight and liked the statistical standpoint. Defense I see settling in around #6 or 7 this year with an improvement in the offense. Should be a 9-10 win regular season and hope to be clicking come January.

Seemed to me that it was rather fair.

If you actually read the FOA books, their projections are on a continuum. With different percentage chances going to different number of wins.

They still predict the Texans to win the AFC South.

Their numbers are concerned about the health of Schaub/Andre Johnson.

Their numbers project a tougher out of division schedule than last year.

I don't think the FOA author (A Texan fan who has charted Texans games for years), was being dismissive of last year's injuries.

And he acknowledged basic regression model stuff from his subjective view of things.

Hervoyel
07-23-2012, 08:48 AM
I still don't buy this concept/superstition that our D regresses in year 2.

A lot of myths are going to be busted in 2012.

I don't either. I think we're better this year than we were last year. I expect players we didn't think would contribute as much as they did to improve even more in their second seasons and I really don't think Mario & DeMeco being gone will even be noticed.

I think we either stay at the level we are at or we get better. If the offense stays healthy and scores that's going to put even more pressure on opposing offenses and Wade's defense is going to use that to good effect.

thunderkyss
07-23-2012, 11:31 AM
I still don't buy this concept/superstition that our D regresses in year 2.

A lot of myths are going to be busted in 2012.

Stats are a funny thing. Go back & look at how many top 5 teams have repeated as top 5 over the last 5 years. There aren't many.

SOS.... a lot of people don't want to talk about it, but it's there. We went into the season with a lot of bad offensive teams on our schedule. They turned out to be worse than projected, thanks to our D, but they were bad across the board regardless.

We didn't slow down the Saints & I think Baltimore put 30 on us.

In 2012, we're going to be playing more potent offenses. It only stands to reason our stats are not going to look as good as they did in 2011. I doubt we'll be top 5. Hopefully, we'll be top 10 in scoring.

paycheck71
07-23-2012, 11:52 AM
Stats are a funny thing. Go back & look at how many top 5 teams have repeated as top 5 over the last 5 years. There aren't many.

SOS.... a lot of people don't want to talk about it, but it's there. We went into the season with a lot of bad offensive teams on our schedule. They turned out to be worse than projected, thanks to our D, but they were bad across the board regardless.

We didn't slow down the Saints & I think Baltimore put 30 on us.

In 2012, we're going to be playing more potent offenses. It only stands to reason our stats are not going to look as good as they did in 2011. I doubt we'll be top 5. Hopefully, we'll be top 10 in scoring.

I agree with this post completely. It's even possible that the defense will be better, but will still rank lower because of the SOS and the fact that other defenses may make bigger strides or face weaker offences.

One thing though, you can't be on both sides of the SOS argument. In the 12-4 prediction thread you were arguing that we have a more favorable SOS this year (which I disagree with). :)

thunderkyss
07-23-2012, 11:56 AM
One thing though, you can't be on both sides of the SOS argument.
You don't know me very well
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TovRO-SBerU/T2COpQwzR7I/AAAAAAAAFbI/z-nFyb4q_c8/s1600/tweety_bird.JPG

Lucky
07-23-2012, 12:02 PM
Stats are a funny thing. Go back & look at how many top 5 teams have repeated as top 5 over the last 5 years. There aren't many.
Pittsburgh has been in the top 5 for the past 5 seasons. Baltimore has been top 6 for 8 of the past 9 seasons. The Jets have been top 5 for 3 years (the Rex Ryan era). Good defenses tend to remain good.

DX-TEX
07-23-2012, 12:16 PM
Pittsburgh has been in the top 5 for the past 5 seasons. Baltimore has been top 6 for 8 of the past 9 seasons. The Jets have been top 5 for 3 years (the Rex Ryan era). Good defenses tend to remain good.

All AFC teams, just an observation. Dont ahve to play the Packers, Lions, Eagles, etc....year after year.

thunderkyss
07-23-2012, 12:29 PM
Pittsburgh has been in the top 5 for the past 5 seasons. Baltimore has been top 6 for 8 of the past 9 seasons. The Jets have been top 5 for 3 years (the Rex Ryan era). Good defenses tend to remain good.

True. I never said different.

If we truly have a top 5 defense, if we truly have a good defense (great really) we'll be top 5 at the end of 2012 & that will be the end of that. But... we went from 30th to 2nd, chances are we had some help.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think we really have a top 5 defense.

Perki-Perk
07-23-2012, 12:54 PM
The fact is, at some point in time that meteor will hit the earth. That's the way solar systems work. Still, I'd give that a better chance of happening in my lifetime than the believability of most sport articles. :lol:

Have we contacted Harry Stamper concerning the meteor???

You know, the drilling guru from Armageddon?

Rey
07-23-2012, 12:54 PM
True. I never said different.

If we truly have a top 5 defense, if we truly have a good defense (great really) we'll be top 5 at the end of 2012 & that will be the end of that. But... we went from 30th to 2nd, chances are we had some help.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think we really have a top 5 defense.

We went from 30th to 2nd with a new scheme, new players, and rookies all playing a significant role.

I too think some of our opponents sucked last year, but I expect us to grow as a defense. 1 more year in the system. Key rookies are now second year guys, guys have a year of experience in knowing what the guy next to them is about.

Plus we've added more new talent in the draft.

Forget the rankings, do you think this defense will be better? Worse? Or the same?

It's completely possible that we could be better and finish with a lower statistical rank.

eriadoc
07-23-2012, 02:45 PM
The team has to face Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler, and a potentially healthy Peyton Manning this year. I posted something similar last year after the NO game, but I don't care how good your defense is - when you have a top tier QB driving to win the game in the final minutes, especially with the way the rules now favor the offense, you have to expect that the QB is going to win that more often than not. You have to knock those teams out early and bury them. If you give those QBs a chance in the end, they'll make you pay.

That alone makes the schedule tougher this year. Last season, the team only faced one QB of that caliber (Brees). They also made Cam Newton look like he belongs in that conversation, but we'll see how that goes.

The Medic01
07-23-2012, 04:12 PM
This stuff about Brees torching us is ridiculous. Yes he absolutely did torch us but he torched everybody. In this league now very rarely will you not get torched by these elite QB's. The key is creating turnover and capitalizing. We did force turnover but we didn't capitalize and much of the failure to capitalize was due to not having Foster as our redzone threat. He torched the 9ers the 9ers got torched by a lot of QB's in terms of yards as will we next year. We have to force turnovers and we must capitalize on those turnovers each and every time. That is really the only way to beat those kind of teams consistently. The good thing is that all of the elite offenses we play have an awful D that will help us to keep their Qb's off the field by running the ball and will allow us to score through the air if we get behind a bit.

Lucky
07-23-2012, 07:28 PM
All AFC teams, just an observation. Dont ahve to play the Packers, Lions, Eagles, etc....year after year.
In 2011, 7 of the top 9 scoring offenses played in the NFC. But, that was the first time in 14 seasons the Lions had a top 10 offense. And the Colts and Pats offenses have been equal (or better) than the Packers or Eagles offenses over the previous 5 seasons. The better offenses in 2011 resided in the NFC. That is more of a recent occurrence than anything.


If we truly have a top 5 defense, if we truly have a good defense (great really) we'll be top 5 at the end of 2012 & that will be the end of that. But... we went from 30th to 2nd, chances are we had some help.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think we really have a top 5 defense.
The Texans will play what are likely better offenses in 2012. But maybe a better criteria for judging a defense is how the opposing offense does against it, versus their average. The Texans held opposing offenses below their yards/play average in 14 of 16 games. Only Baltimore and Tennessee (vs Texans scrubs) had a higher than normal yard/play than they would normally.

That tells me that despite the opposition, the Texans defense was effective. And while the totals may very well go up in 2012, that won't mean the Texans defense isn't doing their job. How they perform versus the opposition's norm is the key.

thunderkyss
07-23-2012, 07:36 PM
We went from 30th to 2nd with a new scheme, new players, and rookies all playing a significant role.

I too think some of our opponents sucked last year, but I expect us to grow as a defense. 1 more year in the system. Key rookies are now second year guys, guys have a year of experience in knowing what the guy next to them is about.

Plus we've added more new talent in the draft.

Forget the rankings, do you think this defense will be better? Worse? Or the same?

It's completely possible that we could be better and finish with a lower statistical rank.

I think we'll get better.

I think our stats will get worse.

I don't think we were a true top 5 defense in 2011, I think we benefitted from Gabbert (x2), McCoy, Curtis Painter(x2), CJ2ypc (x2), Miami, Tampa Bay, & Cincinnati. 10 out of 16 games vs offenses that ranked 16 or lower.

at the same time, we played four top 10 offenses: New Orleans, Carolina, Atlanta, Oakland. We went 2-2

and two other teams better than 16: Pittsburgh & Baltimore. We went 1-1.

I don't think our 2012 schedule is going to be much different than that. So I could very well be wrong.

& I'll be happy that I am.

thunderkyss
07-23-2012, 07:43 PM
In 2011, 7 of the top 9 scoring offenses played in the NFC. But, that was the first time in 14 seasons the Lions had a top 10 offense. And the Colts and Pats offenses have been equal (or better) than the Packers or Eagles offenses over the previous 5 seasons. The better offenses in 2011 resided in the NFC. That is more of a recent occurrence than anything.


The Texans will play what are likely better offenses in 2012. But maybe a better criteria for judging a defense is how the opposing offense does against it, versus their average. The Texans held opposing offenses below their yards/play average in 14 of 16 games. Only Baltimore and Tennessee (vs Texans scrubs) had a higher than normal yard/play than they would normally.

That tells me that despite the opposition, the Texans defense was effective. And while the totals may very well go up in 2012, that won't mean the Texans defense isn't doing their job. How they perform versus the opposition's norm is the key.

Good point.

But we're not going to change the way the NFL ranks defenses. Neither will Pittsburgh or Baltimore & they've managed to have a top defense for several years using the NFL's "system"

Like you, I really don't care as long as we win.

If we're top 5 both offensively & defensively.....

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a159/Thunderkyss/fcchampsoap.png

Doppelganger
07-24-2012, 10:25 PM
I still don't buy this concept/superstition that our D regresses in year 2.

A lot of myths are going to be busted in 2012.

Its hard for the team to D to not regress. It was the #2 D last year. Unless they get to #1 or stay at #2 they will regress. One thing a lot of people get hung up on is the ranking of the total D. For me, the only stat that counts is points given up. In that respect I think the team will do fine. Last year's Wade's D made teams settle for fgs rather than tds and punts rather than long fgs.

I think the Defense will regress to around #5 or so. That is still a damn good defense and I would be thrilled if the Texans put together back to back top 5 D's.

The Medic01
07-24-2012, 10:29 PM
And turnovers. Those are as if not more important than points allowed.