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Old 11-08-2011   #1
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Default Houston's D and the Next Four Games

It's as simple as this. Our defense is miles ahead of what we fielded out there every Sunday last year. No longer do we dread going three and out like we used to, because we know we have a squad back there who can force turnovers.

However, there is one thing I'd like to highlight - partly because we as a knowledgable fanbase should always be raising the bar for this team - and that is the offensive rankings of the first eight teams we've played.


Indianpolis colts : 31st yards 30th pts
Miami Dolphins: 19th yards 25th pts
New Orleans Saints: 2nd yards 2nd pts
Pittsburg Steelers: 9th yards 19th pts
Oakland Raiders: 10th yards 17th pts
Baltimore Ravens: 16th yards 6th pts

Tennessee Tiants: 27th yards 23rd pts
Jacksonville Jaguars: 32nd yards 32nd pts
Cleveland Browns: 30th yards 29th pts

While it makes me absolutely giddy to see such staggering improvements in our defensive rankings (sacks, yards allowed, pts given up and that #1 overall d), we should also put our current situation in a better perspective; if only so to prevent any overreacting if we are let down down this road.

The bolded teams are rosters we've played that are in the top half of the league in either yards gained or points scored. They say defensive wins championships, and that's because typically every team you meet in the playoffs has an adequate offense.

Out of those four bolded teams, the Houston Texans:

- finished with a 1-3 record
- allowed 26 pts/game (which would stand for 5th worst)
- gave up 357.5 yards/game (which would stand for 16th)
- had 3 of 4 games end in a difference of one score.

As you can see, there's a huge discrepancy between these four games, and the other four games played against those horrible offensive teams. But on the flip (and positive) side, we should also point out that we've played extremely well against those bad teams to even out as the #1 defense. When you also consider Andre Johnson's absence (which could have led to longer offensive drives), Tate and Foster hitting their stride (AF admitting last week was first time he's felt like himself all season) and the defensive unit finally settling into Wade's schemes, what would our defense look like if we got a rematch with those four teams?

Well the answer to that question can made clearer after the next four teams, whom all happen to be in the top half of the league in either yards or points.


Tampa Bay: 15th yards 24th pts
Atlanta: 14th yards 15th pts
Cincinnati: 22nd yards 13th pts
Carolina: 5th yards 16th pts

In a season that looks like this franchise will finally make the playoffs, I think the next four games will be a good indicator of what we can expect in the first round; especially considering the four bolded games ended in a difference of one score.
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Old 11-08-2011   #2
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

Tampa

bye

Jacksonville

Atlanta
Cincinnati
Carolina

Jacksonville is going to help us out some. Those other teams will have lower averages across the board.....

:dfence:
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Old 11-09-2011   #3
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

You can't compare our results against the top half against other NFL teams that have played teams outside that category. It's not an accurate comparison.
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Old 11-09-2011   #4
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

One of those two sided deals....on one side, yeah, they really beat up on some weaker competition but on the other side....they were supposed to. Tip o' the hat for doing what you're supposed to do. Against legit competition, you aren't going to dominate like they have against weak opponents. So, I get what you're saying but as always, it isn't as black and white as stats make it out to be.
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Old 11-09-2011   #5
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

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Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
You can't compare our results against the top half against other NFL teams that have played teams outside that category. It's not an accurate comparison.
  1. Houston Texans
  2. Baltimore Ravens
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. Cincinnati Bengals
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars

We've all pretty much played the same schedule. The comparison is about as fair as it gets. Our defense played better against the same teams they played. & where the schedules are different, they played similar opponents. New Orleans instead of New England for that matter.

But what is really interesting, is that it was Baltimore's game against Pittsburgh & Pittsburgh's game against Baltimore that put us on top. & We've played both teams.
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Old 11-09-2011   #6
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

While I don't think our defense is as good as our last 3 games have shown, I do think they will fare better against better offenses than they did against the Saints or Ravens. They are getting better as the season progresses.
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Old 11-09-2011   #7
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

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Originally Posted by b0ng View Post
While I don't think our defense is as good as our last 3 games have shown, I do think they will fare better against better offenses than they did against the Saints or Ravens. They are getting better as the season progresses.
What do you think about Baltimore's or Pittsburgh's defenses?

They've played two of the three teams we just played, it would be interesting to compare stats in common games.

I'll do it later today if I get time.
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Old 11-09-2011   #8
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

Those games are over, I'm taking it one day at a time because on any given Sunday anything can happen. I mean our guys have potential!
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Old 11-09-2011   #9
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

We've spent the last nine years looking at stats because it's all we had. At least I have. I know it's a hard habit to break, but I think we can stop.

We've got a winner.
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Old 11-09-2011   #10
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

I'll take a stab at those four games you highlighted.

Saints - that was the 3rd week of the season, and our defense played well enough for us to have a 9 point lead in the 4th quarter but our offense started to sputter and not be able to get first downs to stay on the field.

Steelers - We played them very well and even put that game away if not for the dumb penalties. Offense struggled after Andre went down.

Raiders - first game with no Andre so we weren't able to put up real points. Defense did well but Janikowski was booting the heck out of the ball, and we had to make an in game adjustment with no Mario.

Ravens - No Andre, and offense still struggled a bit. Defense played well but didn't have Mario for 2nd week so they were still making adjustments and they were on the field too much.
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Old 11-09-2011   #11
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

Exactly, Tejano.

Those numbers are not indicative at ALL of what happened in those games specifically. That's why you cant get caught up in numbers.
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Old 11-09-2011   #12
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

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Originally Posted by TheMatrix31 View Post
Exactly, Tejano.

Those numbers are not indicative at ALL of what happened in those games specifically. That's why you cant get caught up in numbers.
And we barely had Arian Foster in that game against the Saints. He was barely coming back fromm injury.

However, they won the game and we didn't. I do believe that those losses are what's keeping this team focused when they need to be - In November.
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Old 11-09-2011   #13
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

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Originally Posted by TheMatrix31 View Post
Exactly, Tejano.

Those numbers are not indicative at ALL of what happened in those games specifically. That's why you cant get caught up in numbers.
yep. The only numbers that really matter right now are 6 and 3.
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Old 11-09-2011   #14
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Tejano View Post
I'll take a stab at those four games you highlighted.

Saints - that was the 3rd week of the season, and our defense played well enough for us to have a 9 point lead in the 4th quarter but our offense started to sputter and not be able to get first downs to stay on the field.

Steelers - We played them very well and even put that game away if not for the dumb penalties. Offense struggled after Andre went down.

Raiders - first game with no Andre so we weren't able to put up real points. Defense did well but Janikowski was booting the heck out of the ball, and we had to make an in game adjustment with no Mario.

Ravens - No Andre, and offense still struggled a bit. Defense played well but didn't have Mario for 2nd week so they were still making adjustments and they were on the field too much.
if i remember right JoJo got hurt and left for like most of the third quarter which is when No went to a 5 wr set and ran off on that big run...
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Old 11-10-2011   #15
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

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Originally Posted by El Tejano View Post
Saints - ...but our offense started to sputter and not be able to get first downs to stay on the field.
Not only did they not get first downs but in two series:
3 Incomplete passes then punt
2 Incomplete passes, 1 run then punt

Burning I think less than a minute of clock on 2 possessions. They were short passes and I think the first possession lasted just 12 seconds. If they had 3 runs and punt on each possession they could have burned more than 4 minutes.
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Old 11-10-2011   #16
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
yep. The only numbers that really matter right now are 6 and 3.
Well, yeah and we're all hoping the number "7" becomes significant Sunday afternoon.
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Old 11-10-2011   #17
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

I've seen improvement from the D recently.

As far as I can tell there has been an adjustment period to losing Mario, but they are beginning to gain momentum again now. Thats to be expected.

Personally, with those stats there is also the point to be made that those O's are bottom half of the league in part because of how our D played against them.

Stats make a good read sometimes but there isn't all that much you can read into them.

Give me that run of games where we went 1-3 again now and I bet the record through that is the opposite. Those 4 weeks, while the team still looked respectable, they had nowhere near the level of form that they've built right now, I reckon they'd reverse that record if given the games back, but then again we won't find out until playoff time.
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Old 11-10-2011   #18
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

I was really impressed with Cushing's post game comments. One of which he pretty much dumped on himself & the defense for allowing the Browns to put together an 80 yard TD drive.

They held the Browns to less than 175 yards & he was still critical of that one drive.

That, to me, is a very good sign of where our team's head is at, what they expect from themselves, & what they are trying to accomplish on game-day.


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Old 11-10-2011   #19
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

I did - or at least tried - to point out the extra variables that should be taken into consideration (like the loss of AJ, new schemes, Tate and Foster getting comfortable allowing for longer drives which would then result into our defense getting better field position and more rest).

In regards to the numbers, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Even though we have a good sample size through nine games, I think the few upcoming games we have will provide a better indication of where our defense really lies.

I just can't shake off the stressful deja vu feeling I (and this message board) had during times this season where our defense looked like last year's D. Secondary issues, not being able to get pressure on the QB, not making the proper adjustments. We can't deny it's been there.

THE KEY THING however, is I'm excited to see how far we've come since those first four (bolded) games. Because our D is exciting to watch, and it is better, but I'm genuinely curious as to how we stack up now against offensively competent teams.
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Old 11-10-2011   #20
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Default Re: Houston's D and the Next Four Games

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In regards to the numbers, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Even though we have a good sample size through nine games, I think the few upcoming games we have will provide a better indication of where our defense really lies.
I've looked at a sampling of different stats & compared the opponents results against the Texans to their season averages.

The Texans did fairly well, negatively affecting our opponents stats across the board. We got more sacks against them than they averaged. We allowed less rushing yards than they averaged, we allowed a lot less passing yards than they averaged.

I believe we're a lot closer to #1 than our competition would have you believe. When it's all said & done, I think we'll still be top 5 which is a major accomplishment no matter how you look at it.
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