What is the national media saying about the Houston Texans' secondary?

Houston Texans
Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Recent results often take the forefront of the conversation when addressing the Houston Texans. Still in the midst of a rebuild, many outside of the lone star state still lack optimism regarding the strength of this Houston Texans roster in 2023. 

A recent article from the Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar showed that the Houston Texans hold a significant card over their NFL counterparts; slot defense. In Farrar’s rankings, the Houston Texans contain two of the league's top three slot defenders: safety Jimmie Ward and cornerback Tavierre Thomas. 

Firstly for Ward, Farrar mentioned his prominence in the 49ers' defensive scheme under the guise of Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans and his effectiveness in three safety sets. 

"“Last season, the 49ers ranked second in the NFL behind only the Patriots with 652 snaps in which they had three safeties on the field. When you have Tashaun Gipson Sr., Talanoa Hufanga, and Jimmie Ward in your defense, that makes a ton of sense. In 2022, Gipson and Hufanga were underrated assets in deep coverage in DeMeco Ryans’ defense, while Ward was the point man in the slot. Last season in slot coverage, Ward allowed 65 catches on 80 targets from the slot for 516 yards, 319 yards after the catch, two touchdowns, two interceptions, seven pass breakups, and an opponent passer rating of 91.5.""

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire

Then there’s slot corner Tavierre Thomas. Though the 27-year-old was limited to ten games last season per Pro Football Reference, he still provided game-changing impact when he was on the field. Through those ten games, he forced two fumbles, defended a pass, and most importantly, opposing passers only posted a rating of 59.0 against him in the slot. That mark led the league by a wide margin. 

With a similar defensive scheme and elevated play of the cornerback room, noted as a strength of this Houston Texans roster, all signs point toward similar production out of these two going into 2023. If the team is able to elevate its play in the secondary, the Houston Texans may as well feature one of the rising defensive units in the NFL.