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Old 01-20-2010   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Texans defense and third downs.

Just put up a blog post at the Chron about the Texans defense and their third down performance.

Learned a little when I put it together, and hope readers learn stuff too.

(If only you see Bernard Pollard's mad dancing skillz.)
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Old 01-20-2010   #2
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Do they have a stat in there for 3 and outs? For a good portion of the season the commentators were saying the Texans had more than anyone else. Interesting to then end up 28th overall. Sounds kind of like stop them fast or lose concentration.
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Old 01-20-2010   #3
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Do they have a stat in there for 3 and outs? For a good portion of the season the commentators were saying the Texans had more than anyone else. Interesting to then end up 28th overall. Sounds kind of like stop them fast or lose concentration.
I believe they were 13th in overall defense.
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Old 01-20-2010   #4
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Two games highlight their 3rd down performance for me:

3rd down against the pass
: Mark Sanchez and the Jets burning us in the
air every time.

3rd down against the run
: MJD shoving it up on us when we NEEDED to stop
them on something like 11 consecutive handoffs.

It's the "gotta haves" and "gotta stops" categories that must improve this
offseason.
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Old 01-20-2010   #5
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DexmanC View Post

It's the "gotta haves" and "gotta stops" categories that must improve this
offseason.
This, I will agree with.
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Old 01-20-2010   #6
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DexmanC View Post
Two games highlight their 3rd down performance for me:

3rd down against the pass
: Mark Sanchez and the Jets burning us in the
air every time.

3rd down against the run
: MJD shoving it up on us when we NEEDED to stop
them on something like 11 consecutive handoffs.

It's the "gotta haves" and "gotta stops" categories that must improve this
offseason.

After week 3, I thought the defense played very good situational defense. The end of the second Jags game was certainly frustrating. I agree. But, MJD is a great back and he's going to do that sometimes. That was the exception more than the rule once the defense got going in October.
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Old 01-20-2010   #7
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
After week 3, I thought the defense played very good situational defense. The end of the second Jags game was certainly frustrating. I agree. But, MJD is a great back and he's going to do that sometimes. That was the exception more than the rule once the defense got going in October.
I think this year if the defense waits till october to show up somebody's ass might be on fire.
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Old 01-20-2010   #8
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
After week 3, I thought the defense played very good situational defense. The end of the second Jags game was certainly frustrating. I agree. But, MJD is a great back and he's going to do that sometimes. That was the exception more than the rule once the defense got going in October.
In the "big games," it was definitely NOT the case. VY torched us with
his legs dang near every 3rd down. When the Colts needed a touchdown
to win both games in the 4th qtr, they GOT them. Situational defense
against marginal teams, we had a field day. Against EVERY CONTENDER
WE FACED, it was definitely a struggle. It seems to me, the Bengals
game was more an "exception" to the rule.

We managed to play 30 minutes a game, and somehow won 9 games. I'd
be encouraged, if I were to believe they'll play 60 minutes consistently in
2010. I'd surely like to see that.
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Old 01-20-2010   #9
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Do they have a stat in there for 3 and outs? For a good portion of the season the commentators were saying the Texans had more than anyone else. Interesting to then end up 28th overall. Sounds kind of like stop them fast or lose concentration.
Looked but didn't see it. I'll ask my buds over there some questions about that.

But while noodling around to find that info, one other glaring bad bad bad stat is the Texans red zone defense. Ew. Near the bottom of the league.

I think Bush did a nice job being creative and trying to make what personnel they have work for them, and you can clearly see the benefit of Pollard + Cushing, but the defense needs some work.

The Texans were very very fortunate to find Pollard last season and that Cushing and Williams didn't have to miss any games due to their injuries. The depth on that side of the ball still gives me the willies.
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Old 01-20-2010   #10
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0ng View Post
I think this year if the defense waits till october to show up somebody's ass might be on fire.
I don't think it was a case of them waiting until October to show-up, I think it took them a little while to adjust to a new DC/system. I actually thought it would take longer than it did, I was impressed with how quickly they were able to get it together.
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Old 01-20-2010   #11
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DexmanC View Post
In the "big games," it was definitely NOT the case. VY torched us with
his legs dang near every 3rd down. When the Colts needed a touchdown
to win both games in the 4th qtr, they GOT them. Situational defense
against marginal teams, we had a field day. Against EVERY CONTENDER
WE FACED, it was definitely a struggle. It seems to me, the Bengals
game was more an "exception" to the rule.

We managed to play 30 minutes a game, and somehow won 9 games. I'd
be encouraged, if I were to believe they'll play 60 minutes consistently in
2010. I'd surely like to see that.
Hence why I LOVED the PLAY30 moniker for the Texans this year (as a turn on the PLAY60 NFL exercise thing for kids).
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Old 01-20-2010   #12
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Good read as always TC, thanks!
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Old 01-20-2010   #13
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DexmanC View Post
In the "big games," it was definitely NOT the case. VY torched us with
his legs dang near every 3rd down. When the Colts needed a touchdown
to win both games in the 4th qtr, they GOT them
. Situational defense
against marginal teams, we had a field day. Against EVERY CONTENDER
WE FACED, it was definitely a struggle.
It seems to me, the Bengals
game was more an "exception" to the rule.

We managed to play 30 minutes a game, and somehow won 9 games. I'd
be encouraged, if I were to believe they'll play 60 minutes consistently in
2010. I'd surely like to see that.
vs. Tennessee-- Defense did struggle at times but only gave up 20 points. And, got the ball back in time for the Texans to tie game. By the way, also stopped the Titans on the 36 and forced a very risky 53 yd field goal to go ahead.

at INDY-- Defense gave up one score in the second half. It was a TD with 7 minutes left. In the 3rd quarter, the Colts were shutdown, including a turnover on a Pollard INT. Then, the biggest series for the Texan defense, when Indy got the ball with 2:13 left in the game, the Texans stopped them on a 3 and out, including a Sack-Fumble. The Colts had to punt with 1:51 left in the game, giving the Texans time to setup for the game-tying 42 yd field goal

Vs. Cincinnati, Cushing made the game clinching INT.

Vs. NE, the Texans scored 21 points unanswered, including picking off and beating the heck out of Brady in the 4th quarter.

at Arizona, the Texans held the Cardinals offense scoreless the entire second half. Also, in the first half, they had a huge red zone turnover to keep the game manageable.


Dexman, clearly the heartbreaking losses this year knocked you silly. I understand. Really, I do. I get why you have soured on Kubiak and why you are so frustrated. But, I'm not sure what you're wanting out of this defense because it performed very well in many of the big moments of the big games. It's still a flawed defense but the defense stepped up big time this year and did it in big spots against good offenses and good teams.
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Old 01-20-2010   #14
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMarCushPall View Post
I don't think it was a case of them waiting until October to show-up, I think it took them a little while to adjust to a new DC/system. I actually thought it would take longer than it did, I was impressed with how quickly they were able to get it together.
week one starting secondary:

Brice McCain
Fred Bennett
Dominique Barber
John Busing


that, folks, is the reason why the team struggled early:
Pollard wasn't on the team yet
Reeves was coming back from his injury
Dunta held out the entire preseason
EWilson was cheap-shotted by Favre and missed week one.
Quin was playing primarily in nickel at that point.

So, Our top 5 DBs were all on the bench to start that game!
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Old 01-20-2010   #15
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
week one starting secondary:

Brice McCain
Fred Bennett
Dominique Barber
John Busing


that, folks, is the reason why the team struggled early:
Pollard wasn't on the team yet
Reeves was coming back from his injury
Dunta held out the entire preseason
EWilson was cheap-shotted by Favre and missed week one.
Quin was playing primarily in nickel at that point.

So, Our top 5 DBs were all on the bench to start that game!
Not only that, but our rookie bad-ass missed all of training camp as well. He made plays early no doubt, but he got burned on some of those big runs in the first three games as well.
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Old 01-20-2010   #16
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Defenses I'd rather have (maybe)going into the 2010 season:

NYJets-- young and damn good! with the best CB I've seen in a long time
Pittsburgh-- great group of LBs, Polamalu, and some nice DTs.
San Diego-- underachieved this season but a good NT, two very good CBs and some other nice pieces.
Dallas-- 3 excellent LBs: Ware, Spencer, James. Excellent front 3, especially Ratliff! and good, young CBs
NYGiants-- I like their CBs even though they struggled. And that's a heck of an 8 man DL rotation.
Minnesota-- Great DL and nice pieces in the secondary
GB-- Woodson, playmakers at safety, excellent young DL, and young, athletic OLBs.


That's it. Baltimore's secondary is in BIG trouble and Ray Lewis has gotten to old to play every down. Washington and Cincy have nice defenses but I think their poor offenses have a lot to do with their statistical strengths. NE is a mess! Tennessee has issues at CB, aging LBs, and a lot of free agents on the DL.
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Old 01-20-2010   #17
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
week one starting secondary:

Brice McCain
Fred Bennett
Dominique Barber
John Busing


that, folks, is the reason why the team struggled early:
Pollard wasn't on the team yet
Reeves was coming back from his injury
Dunta held out the entire preseason
EWilson was cheap-shotted by Favre and missed week one.
Quin was playing primarily in nickel at that point.

So, Our top 5 DBs were all on the bench to start that game!
Cant rep you but this is exactly why the team struggled.

I cant believe they waited until week 3 to sign Pollard.

The lack of making this move before week 1 is the main reason the Texans aren't in the playoffs this year. IMO

You snooze (Smithiak) You lose (Texans fans)
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Old 01-20-2010   #18
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
Cant rep you but this is exactly why the team struggled.

I cant believe they waited until week 3 to sign Pollard.

The lack of making this move before week 1 is the main reason the Texans aren't in the playoffs this year. IMO

You snooze (Smithiak) You lose (Texans fans)
Tough losses, HB pass on 1st and goal, annointing Chris Brown the starter after the bye week are all things that have made my confidence in Kubiak waiver from time to time. However, nothing created as much doubt as his (and Rick Smith's) negligence of the safety position last off-season. Someone still needs to explain to me why on earth they were so confident in the combination of Nick Ferguson, Dominique Barber, Brandon Harrison, and Eugene Wilson!
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Old 01-20-2010   #19
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
Cant rep you but this is exactly why the team struggled.

I cant believe they waited until week 3 to sign Pollard.

The lack of making this move before week 1 is the main reason the Texans aren't in the playoffs this year. IMO

You snooze (Smithiak) You lose (Texans fans)
I thought that was the first chance we had. We could have gotten him earlier???
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Old 01-20-2010   #20
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Default Re: Texans defense and third downs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
week one starting secondary:

Brice McCain
Fred Bennett
Dominique Barber
John Busing
McCain didn't start. Robinson started the Jets game, and every other game in the '09 season.

And the secondary didn't lose the Jets game. It was the offense's inability to compete on any level that doomed the Texans. It was the biggest egg ever laid in the Kubiak era. From the stands, it looked as if the team just quit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
I cant believe they waited until week 3 to sign Pollard.

The lack of making this move before week 1 is the main reason the Texans aren't in the playoffs this year. IMO

You snooze (Smithiak) You lose (Texans fans)
Pollard was still nursing an ankle injury from the Chiefs training camp. He couldn't pass a physical prior to the Texans signing him after week 2. I'm pretty sure Pollard was bound for Houston as soon as he was cut, but couldn't sign until he was cleared medically.

Back to the thread topic, I find much of the Football Outsiders statistical analysis to be dubious. I trust what I saw more than what their numbers tell me. I saw a defense that was completely unprepared at the start of the seasons. Excuses aside, it was a horrible performance. However, the defense improved over the rest of the season. Other than maybe the MNF Titans loss, and the home loss to the Colts, the defense played well enough to win. Granted, they didn't face a lot of great offenses (I'm sure that's why FO knocks the D so much). But, you can only play the teams on your schedule. And I'd say the defense played well enough to win 11 games.

Despite the Texans gaudy offensive stats, I'd say the offense played well enough to win in about half the games. The Jets game was a total failure. They slept through the games versus the Raiders and the Rams. The combination of no rushing attack and turnovers doomed the team in the 4 game divisional losing streak. And while they moved the ball during the 2nd half in Arizona, the inability to score on the goal line, along with giving up the game winning score, was to much to overcome.

So while I don't believe the Texans defense is a finished product, they out performed the "elite" Texans offense over the course of the season. That's how I saw it. Frank Bush was the best coach on this team. And it would best serve the franchise if the resources available in $$$ and draft picks were slanted toward the offense, this offseason. Specifically, the interior offensive line and running back positions. And maybe come up with a few more running plays besides inside and outside zone runs. Just for the hell of it.
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