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Old 07-18-2010   #1
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Default Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

The Overview
What I am going to type here may be dry reading for some of you. I understand that. I am prepared for not everyone to get it or to want to. However, what I wrote (was for myself) and the rest of you Stats Sports junkies. For me, sports stats is absolutely fascinating. I am a big fan of Football Outsiders and the moneyball approach.

That said, the next few posts I make on this thread will detail some basic stats I did on the Texans Defense. A question which was floating around was how good was the Texans D last year? I took the approach to analyze the points the defense gave up in various ways in order to attempt to answer it.

I also compared specific areas to a top team D. In this case I chose defense with the third fewest points scored: The Baltimore Ravens. You may ask why I picked the this team and not the jets or cowboys (the best and second stingiest defenses in terms of points scored). My answer is simple. The Jets played the Colts and the Bengals in weeks 16/17. The Colts did not play the whole game and the Bengals did not even show up. So, the points scored is not really based on 16 games. The cowboys played the Eagles in week 17 who also did not show up. So the best team to play opponents fighting hard each week was Baltimore.

important note: I am NOT a statistician. While I have taken numerous stats courses (3 in undergrad and 3 in grad school) I do not profess to be a statistical genius. Im just a somewhat regular guy who like sports stats.

So, without further ado, I present my analysis on the Texans Defense to you. Please contain your excitement!

I broke this up into several parts because its too big for a single post.
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Old 07-18-2010   #2
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Step 1
I wanted to break down the points per quarter of each game to get a sense of what is happening.

09/13/2009 New York Jets L, 24-7
Q1: 3, Q2:7, Q3:7, Q4:7. Total points was only 24 but it was an absolute beat down.

09/20/2009 @ Tennessee Titans W, 34-31
Q1: 14, Q2:10, Q3:7, Q4:0. The uncovered CJ play is all we need to think about. SLOPPY play throughout

09/27/2009 Jacksonville Jaguars L, 31-24
Q1: 3, Q2:14, Q3:7, Q4:7. After the first half the D came apart giving up 28 points in 2,3,4th quarters. No good.

10/04/2009 Oakland Raiders W, 29-6
Q1: 3, Q2:3, Q3:0, Q4:0. Dominant D. 6 points in first half, clean sheet in second half. Played hard for a full game.

10/11/2009 @ Arizona Cardinals L, 28-21
Q1: 7, Q2:14, Q3:0, Q4:7(int). A tale of 2 halves. First half D gave up 21 points. Cannot give up 21 points in a half and get a W. 2nd half, D gives up 0. Looks like D was flat in first half (along with the offense).

10/18/2009 @ Cincinnati Bengals W, 28-17
Q1: 0, Q2:17, Q3:0, Q4:0. Gave up 17 points in the second quarter. A win, but 17 points at the half is not good.

10/25/2009 San Francisco 49ers W, 24-21
Q1: 0, Q2:0, Q3:7, Q4:14. Yikes. Clean sheet in first half and then 21 second half points. D came out strong and fizzled out.

11/01/2009 @ Buffalo Bills W, 31-10
Q1: 7, Q2:3, Q3:0, Q4:0. Dominant D. 10 points in first half, clean sheet in second half. Played hard outside of first drive. Played hard whole game

11/08/2009 @ Indianapolis Colts L, 20-17
Q1: 10, Q2:3, Q3:0, Q4:7. Very strong effort to keep Manning to only 20 points. Came out a bit flat in the first, but played 3 quarters hard.

11/23/2009 (Mon.)Tennessee Titans L, 20-17
Q1: 0, Q2:14, Q3:3, Q4:3. Giving up 14 points in a quarter is inexcusable. If they kept it at 10 or less, Texans win. Played 3 quarters hard.

11/29/2009 Indianapolis Colts L, 35-27
Q1: 0, Q2:7, Q3:7, Q4:21(1int). D gave up 14 in the 4th, but that is still too much. Played 3 quarters.

12/06/2009 @ Jacksonville Jaguars L, 23-18
Q1: 3, Q2:17, Q3:3, Q4:0. Sensing a pattern here? The team is playing 3 quarters so many times.

12/13/2009 Seattle Seahawks W, 34-7
Q1: 0, Q2:7, Q3:0, Q4:0. Dominant D. 7 points in first half, clean sheet in second half. Played 4 quarters


12/20/2009 @ St. Louis Rams W, 16-13
Q1: 0, Q2:10, Q3:3, Q4:0. Dominant D. 10 points in first half, 3 in th second half. played hard.

12/27/2009 @ Miami Dolphins W, 27-20
Q1: 0, Q2:3, Q3:7, Q4:10. gave up 17 points in the second half. Not good.

01/03/2010 New England Patriots W, 34-27
Q1: 7, Q2:6, Q3:7(int), Q4:7. Gave up points each quarter. a tough offense, but we need to do better than 27 points given up.

Step 2

I decided to break down points given up by quarter to see if a pattern emerges.

Q1: 57
Q2: 135
Q3: 54
Q4: 69

Step 3
Looks like we are giving up tremendous amounts of points in the 2nd quarter. For whatever reason we seem to not play very hard during that quarter. If you want to say its skewed becuase of the first three games, look at the breakdown without the first three

Q1:37
Q2:104
Q3:33
Q4:55

The discrepancy is still there. From this data I conclude that the Texans essentially played 3 quarters of defense. While it was not always consistent, statistically the Texans played far poorer in the 2nd quarter as compared to the other ones. The other quarters are likely not statistically significantly different. So, the for the Texans to think playoffs they must play hard in all 4 quarters.

Now here is the kicker. The Texans were in the 54-69 point range per quarter for 1,3,and 4. If we give them a 69 for quarter 2 and add 14 points(points for pick 6's), the total comes out to 263 total points. That would work out to 16.44 points per game. That number would qualify for 4th in the league(using last year's data). As is the Texans 2nd quarter had them at 333 or 20.8 ppg, good for 17th. Thus if they played at the same level through all 4 quarters they would have had the 4th best D in terms up giving up points, which is the most important D statistic afterall. A stingy 16.44 ppg would be more than enough for our offense and we would certainly have been in the playoffs. Look at the numbers. We played a full f game defense 3 times. And we won all three of them.

Therefore: the Texans D was fantastic outside of the 2nd quarter. If they can fix that issue, they will have a strong Defense.

However, on the next page, I compare the Texans stats to the Baltimore Ravens. Stay tuned!
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Old 07-18-2010   #3
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Step 4:under .500, .500, and over .500 teams
For this analysis, the Texans opponents were broken down into 3 groups: under .500 teams, .500 teams, and over .500 teams. The breakdown was as follows:
Under .500=Jags, Raiders, Bills, Seahawks, Rams, Dolphins
At .500=Titans, 49ers,
Over .500=Jets, Colts, Cardinals, Bengals, Patriots

Under .500 breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 16 , Q2: 57, Q3:20 Q4: 17: Total opponents= 7 games
Avg Q1: 2.28
Avg Q2: 8.14
Avg Q3: 2.86
Avg Q4: 2.43

At .500 breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 14 , Q2: 24 Q3:17 Q4: 17, total =3
Avg Q1: 4.67
Avg Q2: 8.00
Avg Q3: 5.67
Avg Q4: 5.67

Over .500 breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 27 , Q2: 54 Q3:14 Q4: 35, total =6
Avg Q1: 4.5
Avg Q2: 9.0
Avg Q3: 2.33
Avg Q4: 5.83

Comparison to the #3 Defense: Baltimore Ravens
Under .500 breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 0 , Q2: 27, Q3:10 Q4: 13: Total opponents= 6 games
Avg Q1: 0.00
Avg Q2: 4.50
Avg Q3: 1.67
Avg Q4: 2.17

At .500 breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 0 , Q2: 0 Q3:7 Q4: 0, total =1
Avg Q1: 0.00
Avg Q2: 0.00
Avg Q3: 7.00
Avg Q4: 0.00

Over .500 breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 57 , Q2: 54 Q3:30 Q4: 35, total =9
Avg Q1: 6.33
Avg Q2: 7.55
Avg Q3: 3.33
Avg Q4: 3.89

Step 5: 1st 3rd, 2nd 3rd, 3rd third team offenses
For this analysis, the Texans opponents were broken down into 3 groups based on their offense’s point scoring : 1st third, 2nd third, and 3rd third. The breakdown was as follows:
3rd third: Jags, Raiders, Bills, Seahawks, Rams,
2nd third:=Titans, 49ers, Bengals Dolphins, Jets,
1st third:= Colts, Cardinals, Patriots

3rd third breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 16 , Q2: 54, Q3:13 Q4: 7: Total opponents= 6 games
Avg Q1: 2.67
Avg Q2: 9.0
Avg Q3: 2.17
Avg Q4: 1.17

2nd third breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 17 , Q2: 51, Q3:31 Q4: 7: Total opponents= 6 games
Avg Q1: 2.83
Avg Q2: 8.5
Avg Q3: 5.16
Avg Q4: 1.17

1st third breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 24 , Q2: 30, Q3:7 Q4: 28: Total opponents= 4 games
Avg Q1: 6.0
Avg Q2: 7.5
Avg Q3: 1.75
Avg Q4: 7.0

Comparison to the #3 Defense: Baltimore Ravens
3rd third breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 0 , Q2: 20 Q3:13 Q4: 13: Total opponents= 5 games
Avg Q1: 0.00
Avg Q2: 4.00
Avg Q3: 1.40
Avg Q4: 2.60

2nd third breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 20 , Q2: 34, Q3:17 Q4: 24: Total opponents= 6 games
Avg Q1: 3.33
Avg Q2: 5.67
Avg Q3: 2.83
Avg Q4: 4.00

1st third breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 37 , Q2: 41, Q3:20 Q4: 32: Total opponents= 5 games
Avg Q1: 7.4
Avg Q2: 8.2
Avg Q3: 4.0,
Avg Q4: 6.

Step 6: playoff vs non playoff teams
For this analysis, the Texans opponents were broken down into 2 groups based on whether the team made the playoffs:

Not Playoffs: Jags, Raiders, Bills, Seahawks, Rams, Titans, Dolphins, 49ers

Playoffs:= Jets, Bengals, Patriots, Colts, Cardinals

Non Playoff teams breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 16 , Q2: 71 Q3:30 Q4: 34: Total opponents= 10 games
Avg Q1: 1.60
Avg Q2: 7.10
Avg Q3: 3.00
Avg Q4: 3.40

Playoff teams breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 27 , Q2: 54, Q3:14 Q4: 35: Total opponents= 6 games
Avg Q1: 4.5
Avg Q2: 9.0
Avg Q3: 2.33
Avg Q4: 5.83

Comparison to the #3 Defense:Baltimore Ravens
Non Playoff teams breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 0 , Q2: 27, Q3:17 Q4: 13: Total opponents= 7 games
Avg Q1: 0.00
Avg Q2: 3.00
Avg Q3: 2.43
Avg Q4: 1.86

Playoff teams breakdown by quarter:
Q1: 57 , Q2: 54 Q3:30 Q4: 35, total =9
Avg Q1: 6.33
Avg Q2: 7.55
Avg Q3: 3.33,
Avg Q4: 3.89
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Old 07-18-2010   #4
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Clearly what can be seen here is in each case, the Texans D gave up the most points in the 2nd quarter no matter the way I broke down the data. Whether it based on team record, prowess of offense, or whether opponent made the playoffs, the Texans 2nd quarter Defense was generally statistically worse than any other quarter in the game. This inability to play at the same level in the 2nd quarter likely resulted in losing at least 1 game they could have won. Had the Texans won just 1 additional game, they would have made the playoffs. Therefore I submit the statistically poorer 2nd quarter defense led to the Texans missing the playoffs in 2009.

Another thing worth pointing out is the magic number of 14. In the case of the Texans and the Ravens each time they allowed 14 or more points in a quarter they lost. Even if they only gave up a fg the rest of the game they inevitably lost. So, clearly, giving up 14 points in a quarter, no matter how good your D may be, is a pretty good sign you are going to lose.

Finally something which was interesting to me was when I broke down the comparisons between the Texans and the Ravens. Generally when both teams played the better teams (higher record or better offenses) the Texans D numbers by quarter was fairly comparable to the Ravens. What killed us was when we played the teams that were not as good. This may suggest a couple of things: 1) Our defense played to the level of the offense it faced. When it played top offenses it played as tough as a top flight D and when it played weaker ones, it played down to their level. 2) The Texans defense began to look past offenses. This was especially true in the second quarter. The Defense held strong in the first quarter and may have let their guard down. The opposing offense takes advantage and scores points.

If this is true that the Texans play to their opponents, that bodes well for this season. As has already been discussed, the Texans appear to have a tough schedule full of good offenses and teams. If they continue last year's trend they should play well against these tougher teams. If they can shore up their play against weaker teams (which is what excellent defenses like the Ravens do) and assuming we have a similar offense to last year, the Texans will go to the playoffs this year.
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Old 07-18-2010   #5
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Interesting note that in all but one instance, the Ravens also gave up the most points in the second quarter. Is this common to most of the defenses in the league? Coincidence or the fact that the opposing offenses adjust and it takes a while for the defense to adjust to their adjustments?
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Old 07-18-2010   #6
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by JB View Post
Interesting note that in all but one instance, the Ravens also gave up the most points in the second quarter. Is this common to most of the defenses in the league? Coincidence or the fact that the opposing offenses adjust and it takes a while for the defense to adjust to their adjustments?
Yeah another interesting piece. Not sure, but maybe good offenses can adjust to exploit a defense.

Another thing that is not taken into account is when teams get the ball. For example if you win the coin toss and then elect to receive and use most of the first quarter on offense, clearly your D is on the sidelines resting. In contrast if you score late and the opposing offense spends most of the 2nd quarter driving ending in a td, or points, you may look like you are giving up a ton of points. So, possibly the 2nd quarter jump is an artifact of when you take the ball too?
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Old 07-18-2010   #7
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Another great effort. Looking over the numbers you have presented, I believe there is a pattern almost across-the-board of performing relatively more poorly against lower echelon teams we should have clearly dominated, and, likewise, a pattern of not playing up to par against middle-of-the road teams (seeing that we wanted to distinguish ourselves from these level teams).


EDIT: Awtysst, I was typing while you had placed another post. Looks like we both noticed this pattern.
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Old 07-18-2010   #8
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

I'm not sure exactly what to take from these numbers. The Ravens also allow more points in the 2nd than any other quarter. Is this endemic to the entire league? I'd like to see the numbers of scoring by quarter throughout the league before basing anything on the Texans D, specifically.
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Old 07-18-2010   #9
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Another great effort. Looking over the numbers you have presented, I believe there is a pattern almost across-the-board of performing relatively more poorly against lower echelon teams we should have clearly dominated, and, likewise, a pattern of not playing up to par against middle-of-the road teams (seeing that we wanted to distinguish ourselves from these level teams).
That's the key I think. We did not dominate the lower teams like the Good D's do. T
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Old 07-18-2010   #10
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
I'm not sure exactly what to take from these numbers. The Ravens also allow more points in the 2nd than any other quarter. Is this endemic to the entire league? I'd like to see the numbers of scoring by quarter throughout the league before basing anything on the Texans D, specifically.
Agreed. However, I think the take home message becomes the Texans D played down to their opponents. When facing stronger offenses, they played tougher and were close to what the Ravens were able to do. In contrast against average to less than average teams, the Ravens crushed their opponents whereas the Texans did not. We played down to the weak and played up to the wheat. What separates us from the Ravens and other strong stout D's is that issue.
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Old 07-18-2010   #11
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by awtysst View Post
Agreed. However, I think the take home message becomes the Texans D played down to their opponents. When facing stronger offenses, they played tougher and were close to what the Ravens were able to do. In contrast against average to less than average teams, the Ravens crushed their opponents whereas the Texans did not. We played down to the weak and played up to the wheat. What separates us from the Ravens and other strong stout D's is that issue.
I think that stats back-up what many have discussed previously (want to say TexansChick especially), the Texans were not a mature football team. Both elements of your findings point to that:

1) Inability to stay focused for 4 quarters (assuming the 2nd quarter is not just a fluke of some sort).

2) Playing up or down to level of your conpetition. Again an issue of focus and completing the task at hand.

Overall, the real measure of defensive improvement need not be in the points allowed category. The more important elements are rushing the passer and turning the ball over, although doing those may have an influence on the points category. The Saints were outstanding at the turnover thing last year, but in most other stat categories were no better if not worse than the Texans.
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Old 07-18-2010   #12
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArlingtonTexan View Post
I think that stats back-up what many have discussed previously (want to say TexansChick especially), the Texans were not a mature football team. Both elements of your findings point to that:

1) Inability to stay focused for 4 quarters (assuming the 2nd quarter is not just a fluke of some sort).

2) Playing up or down to level of your conpetition. Again an issue of focus and completing the task at hand.

Overall, the real measure of defensive improvement need not be in the points allowed category. The more important elements are rushing the passer and turning the ball over, although doing those may have an influence on the points category. The Saints were outstanding at the turnover thing last year, but in most other stat categories were no better if not worse than the Texans.
1) Inability to play a complete game regardless of opponent
2) Getting too high or low per competition expectations
3) Texans need to finish both 2nd & 4th quarters

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Old 07-18-2010   #13
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerlover View Post
1) Inability to play a complete game regardless of opponent
2) Getting too high or low per competition expectations
3) Texans need to finish both 2nd & 4th quarters

BL

This should be a call for not only the PLAYERS to PLAY and properly EXECUTE a complete game..............BUT ALSO...............for the COACH to PLAN and properly CALL a complete game.
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Old 07-18-2010   #14
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

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Originally Posted by awtysst View Post
Clearly
Clearly...

again, another good read, but I think we need to factor in how our offense did in those second quarters. If we were prone to turnovers, or three & outs in the 2nd Qtr, that could be part of the answer right there.
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Old 07-18-2010   #15
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

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Originally Posted by awtysst View Post

Under .500 breakdown by quarter:
Total opponents= 7 games


At .500 breakdown by quarter:
total =3

Over .500 breakdown by quarter:
total =6

Comparison to the #3 Defense: Baltimore Ravens
Under .500 breakdown by quarter:
Total opponents= 6 games

At .500 breakdown by quarter:
total =1

Over .500 breakdown by quarter:
total =9


Step 6: playoff vs non playoff teams
For this analysis, the Texans opponents were broken down into 2 groups based on whether the team made the playoffs:

Non Playoff teams breakdown by quarter:
Total opponents= 10 games

Playoff teams breakdown by quarter:
Total opponents= 6 games

Comparison to the #3 Defense:Baltimore Ravens
Non Playoff teams breakdown by quarter:
Total opponents= 7 games

Playoff teams breakdown by quarter:
total =9
It really sucks how we had the easier schedule and still finished 9-7 same as them.
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Old 07-18-2010   #16
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
I'm not sure exactly what to take from these numbers. The Ravens also allow more points in the 2nd than any other quarter. Is this endemic to the entire league? I'd like to see the numbers of scoring by quarter throughout the league before basing anything on the Texans D, specifically.
Yes, the second quarter is the highest scoring quarter. In the 2nd, both teams are trying to score (often in the 4th, one team is bleeding time). The second quarter includes the two minute warning, teams use most of their 1st half timeouts and often run hurry-up offenses late in the quarter. Also, offenses are well into their 2nd or 3rd drives of the game when the second quarter begins. Starting the 1st and 3rd quarters, the offense always has just gained posession of the ball and usually has over 70 yards to go for a TD.

A common proposition bet is whether or not there will be a score in the last 2 minutes of the first half. What other 2 minute period of an NFL game would that be anywhere near a 50/50 proposition?
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Old 07-18-2010   #17
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
This should be a call for not only the PLAYERS to PLAY and properly EXECUTE a complete game..............BUT ALSO...............for the COACH to PLAN and properly CALL a complete game.
so by improving PPE (players play execute) combined with CPC (coach plan call) the Texans record will satisfy playoff requirements. seems pretty logical to me.
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Old 07-18-2010   #18
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
Yes, the second quarter is the highest scoring quarter. In the 2nd, both teams are trying to score (often in the 4th, one team is bleeding time). The second quarter includes the two minute warning, teams use most of their 1st half timeouts and often run hurry-up offenses late in the quarter.
Teams usually run hurry up late in the 2nd. Unless you're talking Texans, where Kubiak likes to call draw plays and head into the half to think things over.

Actually, what you're saying makes a lot of sense. Do you have a link to the league numbers on a per quarter basis?
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Old 07-18-2010   #19
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
Teams usually run hurry up late in the 2nd. Unless you're talking Texans, where Kubiak likes to call draw plays and head into the half to think things over.

Actually, what you're saying makes a lot of sense. Do you have a link to the league numbers on a per quarter basis?
What he said.
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Old 07-19-2010   #20
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Default Re: Multipart Texans Defense Statistics

Thought about leaving a comment here, but my thoughts got long and instead thought it would be better featured this as a blog post at the Chron because I think the subject is interesting:

Why does the Texans defense struggle in the first half?

I featured the original post, talked about what FO numbers say about Texans performance by quarters/halves, compared them to other teams and came up with some ideas of why this is the case.

The second quarter was actually the best quarter of the team last year.

Oh, and if some of my commenters are visiting this thread, I say hi and suggest that if you haven't already done so, you should sign up for TexansTalk because the people here are good people.

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