Houston Texans regaining form on special teams
By Jair Lopez
The Houston Texans’ special teams have improved in the latter portion of the regular season after a rough start.
The Houston Texans have impressed going 4-1 in their last five games, and some of their success can be attributed to their improved play from their special teams unit. From better punting to making their kicks from field goal range at a better clip, the Texans have vastly improved from where they started at the beginning of the regular season.
The Texans decided to switch courses at their punting position after letting Trevor Daniel go for Bryan Anger after two games. Daniel placed 2 of his 11 punts in the opposing teams 20 yards while averaging a net 40.9 yards per punt. Anger is an improvement over his predecessor by pinning 21 of his 40 punts in the opposing team’s 20-yard line while averaging a net of 44.1 yards per punt attempted.
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Anger has the second-highest mark in his career in terms of placing punts inside the 20-yard line with a 52.5 percent effective rate and holds the second-best net average punt yards in the league only behind Jacksonville Jaguars punter, Logan Cooke.
The former punter from Cal has also worked well alongside the punting coverage by holding opposing returners to an average of 2.9 yards per punt and lead the league by only allowing a total of 44 yards through 13 games played.
On the other hand, Kai’mi Fairbairn has bounced back from his early slump by making 20 of his 25 field goals attempted for an 80 percent completion rate and making 38 of his 43 extra points attempted for an 88.4 completion percentage.
The special teams’ specialists have done their fair share of heavy lifting to put the offense and defense in positions to succeed and clinch a playoff berth after winning the AFC South for the fourth time in five seasons.