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Old 09-19-2007   #1
gtexan02
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Default How good is our defense?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Thats the condundrum I'm faced with when looking at our defensive team rankings.

Last year, the Colts were statistically dominant against the pass. They ranked 2nd only behind Oakland. But were they really good at defending the pass? From watching the Colts games, I'd say no. They were just so horrible against the run that teams knew they didn't need to pass to score.

Last year, the Vikings were statistically last in pass defense. Were they really that bad at defending the pass? Again, if you watched the games, you'd realize that their run defense was so stifling that opposing teams knew they had to pass to move the ball.

And what about defenses who ranked statistically high because they held the ball so long other offenses didn't get a chance to move it? Or defenses that ranked statistically high because other teams were always playing from behind and always became 1 dimensional?

The Texans defense currently ranks 9th in total yards per game. We rank 19th against the pass and a very impressive 3rd against the run.

So are we really that good of a defense, or are our stats skewed because we hold onto the ball and seem to be playing with the lead?

First off, I think its important to note that we rank a very impressive 4th in time of possession. We have held onto the ball for almost 70 minutes out of a total of 120 minutes played. Thats pretty awesome.

So what does this mean about of defense? Our yardage stats are slightly skewed because we don't let opposing teams have the ball.

So what about playing with the lead? If you've watched the Texans games, you'll know we have had the lead for the majority of both games. We were up at halftime against the Panthers, and had the lead the whole game against the Chiefs. As a result, the other team has had to pass a lot more.

What does this mean? Our run defense will look a little better, and our pass defense will look a little worse. Giving up a lot of garbage time pass completions (Ahem, Steve Smith's 3rd TD) makes your pass defense look a lot worse than it actually is.

So if time of possession, lead changes, and skewed stats because of strengths make the defensive rankings hard to decipher, what can we judge on our team on?

3rd down percentage: We currently rank 16th
Total 1st downs: We currently rank 5th
Opposing QB rating: We rank 15th
Yards per pass attempt: We rank 10th
Yards per rush attempt: We rank 14th
And giveaway/takeaways? We rank #1(!!!) in the NFl with +4
Scoring defense: 4th!

So basically, I guess the point of this "article" is 2 fold. First, don't believe most defensive/offensive rankings because they can be easily skewed. Ratings like yards per rush or yards per pass I think are a more accurate indication of your teams abilities. Granted, there are things wrong with those stats as well, but they do give a little clearer of a picture. I guess all that really matter is points, and we have given up the 4th fewest.

Even if you look at the other ratings (pass yards per attempt, 3rd down percentage, etc), the Texans are still easily in the top half of the league, and may be in the top 10. And thats after playing 2 very good offensive teams (Ok, so KC isn't superb, but they still scored 10 on the bears).

Realistically, the only way to judge a team, like the first two examples, is with your eyes. And you'd be hardpressed to find anyone in Houston, much less the NFL, who hasnt been absolutely impressed with the solidity of our defense. They have bent a few times, but they have kept points off the board and given us the ball with opportunities to score.

So to answer the question? How good is our defense? Damn good.
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Last edited by gtexan02; 09-19-2007 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 09-19-2007   #2
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

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Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
How good is our defense? Damn good.
I'll just quote you and leave it at that.
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Old 09-19-2007   #3
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

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I'll just quote you and leave it at that.
Agreed.

And very good post. Fun read.
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Old 09-19-2007   #4
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

I have definitely been impressed so far, but we have to stay realistic. CC Brown made a play on a deep route that was underthrown to Colbert last Sunday. It would have been an automatic TD for Manning and any of the Colts WR's. We have stuffed the run, but no team has been able to get us to loosen up by making plays in the passing game (yep, the reverse of traditional football, ie the patriots offense). We have also had an offense that is controlling the ball and keeping us rested. I think we are playing solid, but I don't think we are great (yet). We'll find out more on Sunday!
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Old 09-19-2007   #5
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

rep coming your way
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Old 09-19-2007   #6
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

I'd put them against ANY offense in the NFL.
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Old 09-19-2007   #7
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

How good is our defense.........good enough to keep us in any game we don't get stupid with turn overs in.
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Old 09-19-2007   #8
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

Everybody keeps talking about how good our defense is, but how bad our secondary is. How can we be so good if Faggins is terrible, as is CC?
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Old 09-19-2007   #9
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

Oh, and in the above that isn't my opinion, I've just been hearing everyone screaming about how horrible those two are.
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Old 09-19-2007   #10
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

faggins and cc are doing well now that the opposing qb doesn't have a minute to find the open wideout
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Old 09-19-2007   #11
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

dude much rep luv on the post, been awhile man.....GREAT POST!!!
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Old 09-19-2007   #12
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

Jury is out.

I wouldn't run much against the Texans because the Texans secondary is so bad. I'd dink and dunk it down the field like Mark Brunell last year--this assumes you have the QB to do it, and well that's what Manning does.

Lots of passing on first down. Sort of like the Patriots against SD. Or Peyton Manning did in their loss last year. Their offense looked smoking against the Texans, it was just that our offense was on the field so long and was patient, and didn't turn the ball over so Manning couldn't get on the field.

I have to say that the Texans have looked vastly improved at stuffing the run. (not meaning that as faint praise).

You can't judge anything on the KC game because their offense is not working worth dog turd.

The Panthers have one mega receiver and crap. They struggled in the preseason with their protection.

The best offense that the 2007 Texans have seen is the Cowboys, and Tony Romo is not Peyton Manning.

The best thing the Texans have going for them is that their improved run defense and that the offense/ST is not giving them short fields either through turnovers or whiffed punts. (Turk is near the top of the league in punt average and within the 20s).

The run defense gives them better chances of putting teams in 3rd and long situations if they run in early downs. When teams can't rely on their running game, they have to hope that their passing game is working on all cylinders. KCs and Carolinas were not.
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Old 09-19-2007   #13
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

Quote:
And giveaway/takeaways? We rank #1(!!!) in the NFl with +4
Scoring defense: 4th!
I'd rather have the Texans dominating other ways on defense.

In a two game sample, takeaways can be a little flukey. Over the course of a season, getting lots of takeways can show a dominant defense, but over the course of two games, it can be some lucky bounces.

That being said, bring me the head of Peyton Manning on a stick.
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Old 09-19-2007   #14
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

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I'd rather have the Texans dominating other ways on defense.

In a two game sample, takeaways can be a little flukey. Over the course of a season, getting lots of takeways can show a dominant defense, but over the course of two games, it can be some lucky bounces.

That being said, bring me the head of Peyton Manning on a stick.
Watch out now. Some of our "guests" this week will start calling you "delusional" and "premature" (whatever that means btw) for making these types of comments. After all their **** stinketh not!
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Old 09-19-2007   #15
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Jury is out.

I wouldn't run much against the Texans because the Texans secondary is so bad. I'd dink and dunk it down the field like Mark Brunell last year--this assumes you have the QB to do it, and well that's what Manning does.
Against the Panthers, we got really lucky. Delhomme hit several receivers that just flat out dropped the ball. Colbert really let them down. We're not going to get a lot of Colts dropping balls unless we knock it out.

But we were able to get some stops last year and that's what we need to do this year. Our offense has to score... a lot... and has to control the ball. And this offense looks to be a lot better at this than last year's offense. That's why I have hope.
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Old 09-19-2007   #16
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

As long as the line can continue to get pressure on the QB, they can be great or should I say continue to be great.

If they have to start blitzing the linebackers and leaving our secondary in man coverage it could get ugly.

With the line play to date I would have to say that they are in the top 10 in the league.
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Old 09-19-2007   #17
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

IMO, the best way to judge a defense is not how many yards they give up, but how many yards per attempt.

Like you said, Minnesota was last place in passing defense, but was 12th place in yards per attempt.

On the other end, Indianapolis was last place in rushing defense, but they were ...also last place in yards per attempt.

Right now our defense ranks 19th (217.0) in passing defense, but we are 10th (6.5) in yards per attempt.

And we are 3rd (69.0) in run defense, but 12th (3.9) in yards per attempt.

Although we have only played two games, I think you have to say that so far teams have been able to run against us (4 yards per carry isnt that bad), they just haven't tried. This is probably because we have had the lead & teams have been forced to throw.

I've been impressed with our pass rush so far. We are giving up 66% completions (26th place), but our pressure on the QB has forced those completions to go for short yardage.
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Old 09-19-2007   #18
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

I'd like to answer this question after the Indy game. They are a known good and consistent offense; I doubt the Texans D dominates them or gets completely rolled over. It should give us a clearer view of strengths and weaknesses. As has been stated, KC has been in disarray. Carolina is one datapoint without much of track record this year.
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Old 09-20-2007   #19
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

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I'd like to answer this question after the Indy game. They are a known good and consistent offense; I doubt the Texans D dominates them or gets completely rolled over. It should give us a clearer view of strengths and weaknesses. As has been stated, KC has been in disarray. Carolina is one datapoint without much of track record this year.
Agreed. 2-1 start matches my wildest expectations. However, I thought we would lose on the road and catch Indy napping. And have A.J. healthy.

We got every lucky bounce of the ball , all but one loose FF and very few calls going against us. So many things could of went the other way Sunday and they didn't. To expect fortune to smile on us out of hand is a bit too dicey to me. What I know for a fact is we have exactly two playmakers at reciever lining up for us sunday. Owen Daniels and Vonta Leech. If they take Daniels away from them, then they are down to check downs and Vonta. Everything beyond that is pure speculation. Somebody will have to grow up very quickly this sunday for us to have a chance. Omobi was over his rookie counter part, Kalil. He'll be over a pair of vets sunday. Getting to Manning in two and a half seconds is a duanting task for anyone under any circumstances.


Someone asked for the logic in relasing the Z man the other day. I'm too tired to look for it and it's not worth draging up to the top of the pile again.

Robinson is having not just a probowl year so far. He's having a HOF canidate year. The nice PR that JJ got, the one where the Carolina fans thought there was a clip on the play, was set up by a vicious block By Danta and a pro like set up move by J.J. to set the block up for him.

What I think happend to Mr. Z. is that they are tring to up grade the guys who run the gunners down on the other teams Punt team. They had a canidate for one of those slots ( if gunners are gunners, what do you call the guys who try to run them down , blasters ?) and they signed the guy. That made Z expendable. I don't think the new guy was signed as a reciever for '07. I think he was signed as a baster canidate. They got to get JJ off on the punt returns and our current guys on the other teams gunners are not getting the job done. Just reading the tea leaves there. I dunno and I ain't in the room.
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Last edited by threetoedpete; 09-20-2007 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 09-20-2007   #20
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Default Re: How good is our defense?

I don't begin to know the ins and outs of defense positions. I gan only go buy what I see as just a fan.

But what I see is that the defense this year is actually getting rest. There are very few 3 and out this year, especially in the second half. While we are not getting as many sacks as I would like to see, there is a lot of pressure getting to the opposing QB, esp in the second half (like Mario's hand on Jake's jersey as he was about to pass).

The whole team is playing NFL caliber football - finally. We are finally getting to the point of expecting the team to be able to win each game. It is fun, exciting, and sort of like being a Colts, Pats, Chargers (last year) fan. But we still have some severe anxiety problems based on our previous years experience.

While losing to Indy won't be a crushing blow, beating Indy will feel like winning the Super Bowl for us (at least for now).

When we beat Indy this week, you better add more servers as the bandwagon will start to overflow very rapidly.
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