The Houston Texans special teams are having one of their best seasons in franchise history and under head coach Bill O’Brien’s tenure with the team.
Houston Texans have had a complete 180-degree change under special teams coordinator Brad Seely. A successful coach with plenty of accolades to highlight his success in the league, Seely has 30 seasons of experience coaching in the NFL, and three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots.
After having former special teams coordinators Bob Ligashesky and Larry Izzo under Bill O’Brien, the third time was the charm and Seely has played a successful role in turning the Texans special teams unit around this season.
Under Seely, the team showed no player was safe on the special teams after releasing both of their most recognized special teams’ contributors, defensive back Kurtis Drummond and seven-time Pro Bowler punter Shane Lechler in their cut down to their 53-man roster for the regular season. The special teams have been rather disciplined on kickoffs, not allowing a single kick to be returned for a big play or a touchdown. Opponents are only averaging 15.4 yards a kick on returns, which is ranked third best in the league.
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The Texans have also not allowed a single punt to be returned for a touchdown. Punt returners have also seen the Texans special team players in their grill before they are able to turn downfield, they’re averaging only 5.7 yards per return versus the Texans special teams.
The only clear and obvious mistake the Texans special teams unit committed was back in Week 2 when they didn’t cover the gunners which resulted in the fake punt touchdown pass from the Tennessee Titans.
The special teams unit also has two fumble recoveries through the first six games, and the fumble recovered by outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett vs. the Buffalo Bills helped place the Texans offense in a favorable position to score their only touchdown of the game via an impressive DeAndre Hopkins touchdown reception. Scarlett also recovered a punt blocked by running back Alfred Blue and allowed the Texans to be in favorable field range for a field goal early in the second quarter.
These plays alongside solid fundamental football in the special teams has allowed the Texans to win three consecutive games and be right in the mix for the lead within AFC South division.
The Texans, Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars are all currently 3-3 after Week 6 of the regular season, the special teams will continue to play a role in how the game develops and impact the Texans chances to win the games down the road.