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Old 10-17-2007   #1
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Default The Best Texans Team

There was a thread a couple of weeks ago asking if the members of this board would be happy with an 8-8 season. I thought wow – the Texans were 7-9 without Kubiak, Schaub, and several other upgrades. The Texans are supposed to have more depth now too.

I attempted to compare the starters and a few key players from the two teams (If I made any errors let me know and I’ll fix the list. I’m not sure about the 2004 safeties for one thing).

It is hard to compare two different years, and I know some people will point to the injuries this year. However, I think Davis went down some in 2004 and Wells played, and the 2004 team didn’t have the advantage of having a Mathis or Jones on special teams at all. The coaching alone should be worth a couple of games.

If the Texans don’t get on a little roll and finish with 9 or 10 wins, there are some questions in my mind. Was the 2004 team better than they have received credit for? Is this current team underachieving? Is the talent and/or coaching really not much better now?

Quote:
2004----------------------------------2007
7-9-------------------------------------?-?

Offense

Carr----------------------------------Schaub

Davis---------------------------------Green
Wells---------------------------------Dayne

Norris---------------------------------Leach

Wand---------------------------------Salaam
Pitts----------------------------------Pitts
McKinney----------------------------------------------------McKinney/Flanagan
Wiegert-------------------------------Weary
Wade---------------------------------Winston

Miller----------------------------------Daniels
Breuner--------------------------------Putzier

Johnson-------------------------------Johnson
Bradford-------------------------------Walter
Gaffney--------------------------------Jones

Defense

Walker--------------------------------Weaver
Payne---------------------------------Johnson
---------------------------------------Okoye
Smith ---------------------------------Williams

Babin----------------------------------Clark
Sharper--------------------------------Ryans
Wong
Peek----------------------------------Greenwood

Robinson------------------------------Robinson
Glenn----------------------------------Faggins
Coleman-------------------------------Brown
Brown---------------------------------Hutchins

Special Teams

Stanley--------------------------------Turk
Brown----------------------------------Brown
Moses----------------------------------Jones
----------------------------------------Mathis
Pittman---------------------------------Pittman

Coaches

Capers----------------------------------Kubiak
Palmer/Pendry---------------------------Sherman
Fangio----------------------------------Smith/Bush
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Old 10-17-2007   #2
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

The team from Weeks 1-3 were the best Texans team ever.
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Old 10-17-2007   #3
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

I agree we're more talented and we have better coaching, the simplest translation would be more wins right? But I think we need to look deeper before jumping to any conclusions after a quick look at the W - L columns. In 2004 the Titans went 5-11, the Jags went 9-7, and the Colts went 12-4. Our division this year appears from the outset to be much stronger than it was then, due in large part to a surging Titans team. Win totals are inflated or deflated based on strength of division just like they are inflated or deflated by a weaker (NFC) or stronger (AFC) conference.

If things continue as they do and we only finish 7-9, I'll still see this team as much better than the one in 2004 because of the circumstances in which they were playing.
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Old 10-17-2007   #4
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

When AJ is playing this team is by far the best it has ever been.
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Old 10-17-2007   #5
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

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Originally Posted by Fox View Post
I agree we're more talented and we have better coaching, the simplest translation would be more wins right? But I think we need to look deeper before jumping to any conclusions after a quick look at the W - L columns. In 2004 the Titans went 5-11, the Jags went 9-7, and the Colts went 12-4. Our division this year appears from the outset to be much stronger than it was then, due in large part to a surging Titans team. Win totals are inflated or deflated based on strength of division just like they are inflated or deflated by a weaker (NFC) or stronger (AFC) conference.

If things continue as they do and we only finish 7-9, I'll still see this team as much better than the one in 2004 because of the circumstances in which they were playing.
Interesting point, but with teams like Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, and Oakland on the schedule they aren't play a strong out of division schedule this year either.

It is also a bit of a cop out, I think. To be a winning team and compete for the play-offs, a team has to play and beat good teams.
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Old 10-18-2007   #6
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

We play our divisional opponents twice a piece, a few easier games on the schedule doesn't compensate well. You play a few bad teams out of division every year. Of course from the Texans stand point it would be a cop out to use the division as an excuse for not making the playoffs, but from the stand point of evaluating a 2004 7-9 Texans team and a 2007 7-9 Texans team under the current circumstances, you would be remiss not to take the circumstances of their division into consideration.
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Old 10-18-2007   #7
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

If you look at that 2004 season, Carr started off LIGHTS OUT. He was playing better statistically than Schaub is now. For the first 8 games of the season (iirc), he was averaging 270 yards per game. We started off 4-4 during that period.

Then the wheels fell off. Carr fell to pieces and he dropped to 170 ypg and we went 3-5. Carr was playing great the first 7 games of the season.

Strangely, Domanick wasn't playing that well during the first part of the season. During the last part of the season is when he really started performing.
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Old 10-18-2007   #8
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

So to summarize so far we have a couple "it's the injuries this year", a single "the 2004 teams was actually decent", and one "it's too hard this year".

My opinion is that the 2004 team was pretty good, but it fell apart from a combination of bad coaching, Carr failing to live up to even his previous mediocre-at-best-and-on-a-good-day play, and maybe some aging/weaknesses in positions where the Texans had not brought in young talent to take over, especially on defense.

If I had a time machine, I'd have liked to see them substitute Schaub for Carr and eliminate Pendry from the equation and see how that 2004 team would have done.
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Old 10-18-2007   #9
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
...and maybe some aging/weaknesses in positions where the Texans had not brought in young talent to take over, especially on defense.
Very important point! The whole experience vs youth is interesting. An aging veteran míght play as poorly as a inexperienced youngster, but for obvious reasons. What is important (say, if their production on the field is the same) is that the investment in youth might (I'm not saying it will) pay off at a later time.

It's strategy really, what line do you as a coach want to take?

hm... that post turned out to be pretty incoherent... sorry about that
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Old 10-18-2007   #10
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

I never thought any of the teams under Capers were competitive. Kubiak's first year was the first time a Texans team competed for a whole year and actually resemebled a NFL team. It is night and day to even compare unless and there is an unseen agenda that will surprise us later in this October day.

Moreover, I am very unclear how the strength of schedule is being brought up as the 2003 team and 2006 team finished in very similar positions in the win column and AFC South standings.
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Old 10-18-2007   #11
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner View Post
I attempted to compare the starters and a few key players from the two teams (If I made any errors let me know and I’ll fix the list. I’m not sure about the 2004 safeties for one thing).
For '04, Sharper was a starter at linebacker. Robinson was a starter at RCB. Eric Brown and Marcus Coleman began the season as the safeties. Simmons, Earl, and Marlon McCree worked in as the season went along.

On defense, the major difference between the two would be experience. The Texans had a lot of vets on their last legs (Payne, Sharper, Glenn)...but they still had legs. The defense closed strong at the end of the year, as the Texans had a chance at 8-8 with the final game at home against the hapless Browns. We all know how that turned out.

On offense, the Texans had a healthy Andre Johnson all season. That was a plus. As Pencil Neck pointed out, Davis began the season playing poorly. But, he finished with a very good second half. Carr had some very good games early (including the overtime loss to the Vikings). However he went into the tank when teams stopped blitzing and went into cover 2 defenses. The Texans got very little from the passing game in the second half of the season.

This year's team has had some tough luck with injuries. But, there's no reason why they can't bounce back to their form from the beginning of the season. Schaub has been very good and should get even better. Ahman Green should give the team at threat at RB. The injury to Johnson has given guys like Walter and Andre Davis a chance to gain Schaub's confidence. With Andre coming back, that should make the passing game stronger.

As far as the defense is concerned, I see them getting better as the season goes along. Williams, Ryans, Okoye, and Bennett will only get better with experience. Robinson is now playing at a Pro Bowl level. Sure, there are still some holes, but I expect this Texans team to be the best in franchise history. And have the best record.
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Old 10-18-2007   #12
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

Interesting because of the complete and different overhauls on defense and offense. The offense has a better stable of receivers and backs (including QB), but a much younger menage on defense.
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Old 10-18-2007   #13
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

It was turnovers.........back in 2004 wasn't our D close to the top in forcing turnovers? I think we were close in leading the league in interceptions, since that year we have always been near the bottom in picks and forcing TOs.

That team wasn't better, they were just making bigger plays........if that makes any sense. That was the year that everybody thought John Hoke was a genius DB coach............since then................not so much.
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Old 10-18-2007   #14
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

we also had a good young running back... remember those games against the jaguars when DD/DW ran all over there D... oh the good ole days... lol
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Old 10-18-2007   #15
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

Can't compare records from year to year...

The difference between 7-9 and 11-5 can litterally have come down to 5 or 6 plays that did or didn't go your way...

You have to look at competition...You have to look at injuries....You have to look at how they lost games....

Even if we go 8-8 this year, there is really no one that can convince me that the 2004 Texans and the 2007 Texans were on the same level...Atleast not talent wise...
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Old 10-18-2007   #16
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

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Originally Posted by Carr Bombed View Post
It was turnovers.........back in 2004 wasn't our D close to the top in forcing turnovers? I think we were close in leading the league in interceptions, since that year we have always been near the bottom in picks and forcing TOs.

That team wasn't better, they were just making bigger plays........if that makes any sense. That was the year that everybody thought John Hoke was a genius DB coach............since then................not so much.
There was a good thread about big plays and how they affect the outcome of the game. Sorry but I can't remember when it was. The idea, though, was that not just turn-overs but big plays - blocked kicks, etc. was a great litmus test for who would win. The team that continues to make the big plays will win, not necessarily the one with the most yards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by real View Post
Can't compare records from year to year...

The difference between 7-9 and 11-5 can litterally have come down to 5 or 6 plays that did or didn't go your way...

You have to look at competition...You have to look at injuries....You have to look at how they lost games....

Even if we go 8-8 this year, there is really no one that can convince me that the 2004 Texans and the 2007 Texans were on the same level...Atleast not talent wise...
A little non sequitur, but along these lines, I have too often stayed up at night wondering what would (not) have happened to the team if in 2005 a few plays bounced our way and Chris Brown made a couple more decisive field goals...
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Old 10-18-2007   #17
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

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Originally Posted by Kaiser Toro View Post
Moreover, I am very unclear how the strength of schedule is being brought up as the 2003 team and 2006 team finished in very similar positions in the win column and AFC South standings.
You play tougher opponents, you win less games. Makes sense to me.

I just don't think you can evaluate how good a team is from 2004 with one now based on the W-L record, you have to watch the games and form your opinion.

Last edited by Fox; 10-18-2007 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 10-18-2007   #18
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A little non sequitur, but along these lines, I have too often stayed up at night wondering what would (not) have happened to the team if in 2005 a few plays bounced our way and Chris Brown made a couple more decisive field goals...
Football is litterally a game of inches...

A team can have gotten their tail whipped all day long and only lose by a field goal...

And like us against the Jags, a team could have played better than the score indicated...



That's why coaches stress perfection...Because even if you are the worse team in the leauge talent wise, you can still win some games just from playing better football than your opponents....

There are so many factors that go into wins and losses that it's hard to look at records alone and compare teams...sometimes the better team loses...
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Old 10-18-2007   #19
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

The 2004 Texans are the best team we've had until proven otherwise, IMO.

When we were 2-0, I was sipping koolaide with the rest of us and hoping that this year was, by far, our best team.

But after the last three games....'eh, not so much. Our defense has gone vanilla and are left out there too long, so they don't have much in the tank by the 4th qtr. Our offense cannot generate TDs in the red zone and our running game is virtually non-existent.

I think we've upgraded individual positions. Obviously QB, WR, and TE are quality right now. On defense, I'm not so sure. We have three first round picks on the line but they don't seem to generate much consistent pressure and they have suddenly become porous against the run. Our coverage is worse with D.Rob being our only true talent right now. At LB, Sharper was getting old, but it's probably close to even with a 2nd year DeMeco (who will obviously get better with experience).

I'll wait until the season is over to attempt to really compare the 2007 Texans with past teams. But based on scoreboard alone, 2004 is our 'high point'.
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Old 10-18-2007   #20
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Default Re: The Best Texans Team

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The 2004 Texans are the best team we've had until proven otherwise, IMO.

When we were 2-0, I was sipping koolaide with the rest of us and hoping that this year was, by far, our best team.

But after the last three games....'eh, not so much. Our defense has gone vanilla and are left out there too long, so they don't have much in the tank by the 4th qtr. Our offense cannot generate TDs in the red zone and our running game is virtually non-existent.

I think we've upgraded individual positions. Obviously QB, WR, and TE are quality right now. On defense, I'm not so sure. We have three first round picks on the line but they don't seem to generate much consistent pressure and they have suddenly become porous against the run. Our coverage is worse with D.Rob being our only true talent right now. At LB, Sharper was getting old, but it's probably close to even with a 2nd year DeMeco (who will obviously get better with experience).

I'll wait until the season is over to attempt to really compare the 2007 Texans with past teams. But based on scoreboard alone, 2004 is our 'high point'.


I agree with all of that. Especially the part about sipping Kool-Aid at 2-0. I was so high on the team, but now I am almost numb to the team. Not that I don't care, but I just don't want to get my hopes up too much anymore because of the fear of a Jaguars redux. But I will be there every Sunday cheering them on.
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