Houston Texans DeMeco Ryans Mid-Season Evaluations:
Defense: C -
Protecting the endzone is a crucial part of professional football. Stout defensive schemes helped Ryans become Houston's newest head coach. He believes in a physical brand of football. One that includes eliminating rushing lanes and pressuring the quarterback. Matt Burke's group is still working on adjusting to fulfill new standards.
Will Anderson Jr. (79.7) and Henry To'oTo'o (44.9) were great additions to the 2023 NFL Draft. They've worked hard to earn a role within a developing defensive unit. Wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New Orleans Saints showed glimpses of how special Burke's group can become. The Texans have enough talent to sustain the long haul of the season. They must find ways to improve to secure an extended season.
Determination from younger players is helpful but does not equate to immediate results. DeMeco Ryans' unit is 4-3 heading into the middle of the season. Losses to the Panthers, Colts, and Ravens exposed weaknesses in Burke's starting group. Defeating the run was a common issue in these exhibitions. This season, Houston ranks 28th in run defense (54.7) and 26th in pass rush (66.8). They've earned the nineteenth-highest defensive grade (69.4). They excel in pass coverage (6th) but have other areas to improve before the season intensifies.