Houston Texans: Aaron Colvin must be better in 2019

Stephen Forsha
FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tyrann Mathieu #32 and Aaron Colvin #22 of the Houston Texans tackle James White #28 of the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tyrann Mathieu #32 and Aaron Colvin #22 of the Houston Texans tackle James White #28 of the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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With changes in the secondary for 2019, one player who must step up is cornerback Aaron Colvin.

This is not a nice way to put this when it comes to Houston Texans cornerback Aaron Colvin, but the 2019 season must be better overall or this will most likely be his last season with the franchise.

The Texans signed Colvin as a free agent last offseason, and well … the 2018 season for the cornerback was a disaster for the Texans and Colvin. He played in just 10 games, made two starts and to be quite honest, some weeks his play didn’t even reach the radar.

That was last year and the past is now in the past, but with training camp now started and the secondary going through some changes with familiar faces gone and new ones to see, Colvin — who is entering his sixth season in the NFL — must play better than he did a season ago.

The tackle total by Colvin of 29 isn’t worrisome because there are more important aspects of his game that need to be improved, one being passes defensed at just one for the 10 games his played in.

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That pass defensed (or pass breakup) didn’t come until Week 15 last season against the New York Jets. Pro Football Focus stated in their stats that Colvin was targeted by the opponent 33 times last season, with the receivers catching 26 of this said targets — or 78.8 percent — for 241 yards.

Colvin allowed 9.3 yards per reception and 117 yards after catch. The opposing quarterback had a passer rating of 117.3 against Colvin a season ago.

For his overall grade by PFF, Colvin came in at below average of 52.2, including a coverage grade of 53.3 for the ’18 season.

Earlier in July, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle wrote the following about Colvin as a player to watch:

"“When opposing offenses open with three wide receivers, which is most of the time, Colvin will be considered as a starter. He’s got to play like one against the pass and run. If not, he’ll be gone after two seasons.”"

That is such a true statement by McClain, and one the Texans need to take into consideration. Colvin can’t falter two consecutive seasons with the Texans. As written in a previous article on the Toro Times website, Colvin would cost the Texans a lot of cap space if he were to be cut during training camp, but he’s going to have to play at a higher level or he’ll become a liability to the secondary.

Any player on the Houston secondary can’t be a liability this season because they are younger than a season ago, plus they are facing some strong offenses early on with the first handful of games this season being against the New Orleans Saints (Drew Brees) in Week 1, followed by Nick Foles and the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2.

From there, there are with games against the Los Angeles Chargers (Philip Rivers), Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton) and the Kansas City Chiefs with reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes.

Oh, and if those offenses aren’t tough enough, waiting after all of those matchups will be the team that beat the Texans in the playoffs last season, the Indianapolis Colts with quarterback Andrew Luck.

Facing offenses that strong won’t be easy at all, so the Texans need Colvin more than they even realize in the first part of the season. There are no “gimme wins” early on in the Texans schedule, and teams will be gunning for them because they were a playoff team last season, meaning Colvin is not only going have to be a better overall player, but have a career year too.

How can Colvin help the secondary of the Texans? For starters, he needs to be better in pass coverage. With the aforementioned numbers of just one pass defensed on 33 targets in 10 games, that can’t happen, and it will all but cost the franchise wins in ’19 if that performance repeats itself.

There is also the yards after catch stat of 117 yards going to the opponent. That might not seem like a ton, but those extra yards turn into first downs, which can turn into points for the opponent.

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Colvin isn’t a terrible player by any means, and ’18 could have been a fluke occurrence as he battled injuries. None of that matters in ’19 because this will be a make-or-break year for the cornerback, and the positives must outweigh the negatives for his season to be considered a success.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe
to PFF’s EDGE or ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.

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