Digging Into The Stats: The Houston Texans Defense and Special Teams

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Dec 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end

J.J. Watt

(99) reacts during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


  • The Texans were a very tough team to score against. The defense finished 7th best in the league despite being an average defense in yards against.
  • The Texans led the NFL in percentage of drives resulting in opposing scores. Only 26.6% of opposing drives ended in either a field goal or touchdown. The Texans were also the third best at percentage of drives resulting in a turnover (16.6%) and was by far the closest team to have the same chance at forcing a turnover as giving up points.


  • The Texans dropped back in coverage a ton last year. They defended 619 pass attempts, second most in the NFL. This is odd because the other teams at the top of the list have prolific offenses. The Texans never were winning by a lot in the second half and never forced teams to “catch up” via the pass. Obviously, the Texans rush defense was great (more on this later) and opposing offenses decided to let the ball air out. The Texans face Tom Brady this year and I am sure he will let the ball air out (Sorry, no more Deflategate jokes).
  • Despite facing a lot of drop backs, the Texans secondary were a top five defense in opposing pass competition percentage (58%, which is equivalent to facing Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett for the entire season… Well done Texans secondary.)
  • The Texans were also very stingy on opposing pass yardage. They only allowed 6.7 yards per attempt, good for 7th in the NFL. To put this in perspective, Austin Davis, Geno Smith, Josh McCown, Drew Stanton, Shaun Hill, and Mark Sanchez all had higher yards per attempt.
  • The Texans finished 5th in opposing Quarterback Rating. The only thing I can possibly pick on with the pass defense is touchdowns. They were just average in passing touchdowns against. The upgrades to the secondary should help a bit with touchdowns, especially with Rahim Moore.

Next: Receiving and Rushing Defense