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.