Wild weekend so i dont have much today. Here’s a generic Texans preview by Scott Zucker of USA Today. I’ll sum it up for you quickly: he likes our offense, doesn’t believe in our defense, yada yada. Go us.
This article by Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com goes a little bit more in depth in regards to the keys to our success this year.
"Houston was one of just four teams since 2000 that were top five in offense but not top 10 in scoring."
We are definitely going to have to improve our red zone efficiency if we are thinking about the playoffs this year. It does us no good to rack up the yards in between the 20’s only to kick a field goal, or worse, turn the ball over when we get close. Improving our red zone play to 50-55% alone could be worth 2-3 wins for this team. Scoring touchdowns over field goals really puts the squeeze on opposing offenses and should lead to a better pass rush by the Texans defense as opponents are forced to go more pass-happy to keep up. We cannot squander points. Allowing any NFL team to keep the game within reach will always be a recipe for disaster. Good teams, playoff teams win the games they’re supposed to win.
Turnovers make me sick. It’s really a miracle that we finished 8-8 last season despite an abysmal -10 turnover ratio. Losing Sage alone should drop that number down a few notches (shameless bash) but it goes without saying that we need to limit the turnover. For real this time. An improved blocking scheme coupled with a strong running game will be instrumental in achieving this goal. To me, this statistic alone is the one that separates the playoff teams from the draft-position-seeking teams. Take the Miami Dolphins for instance. This team finished 1-15 in 2007 and aside from a pretty significant front office move did little to alter their personnel. Yet, in 2008 they made the playoffs. How did they do this? Well, a miraculous rebound season from Chad Pennington didn’t hurt, nor did a healthy Ronnie Brown. I’m going to go ahead and chalk it up to a league best +17 turnover ratio.
Not much separates the top teams from the bottom feeders in the NFL. The league strives for parody and it shows year in and year out as at least one surprise team rises up every year. It’s hard enough to win games as it is; you can’t beat yourself. Unfortunately, over the past seven years that is exactly what the Texans have done. You can’t win on talent alone. In 2009, the Texans MUST limit the turnovers as well as limit the wasted opportunities in the red zone. As long as we don’t squander opportunities, their are very few teams that can hang with us. Really.