538: AFC South Preview

Discussion in 'Houston Texans' started by Nimo, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Nimo

    Nimo Member

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    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features...ars-and-titans-will-try-to-rein-in-the-colts/

    Houston Texans

    2014 Record: 9-7 | 2015 Proj. W: 8.5 | Playoff Odds: 43.2%
    Off. Rank: 23rd | Def. Rank: 4th | S.T. Rank: 21st

    The Houston Texans are so defined by their best player that the latest edition of “Hard Knocks” should have been renamed “The J.J. Watt Show.” Last season Watt, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, became the first player since 19825 to post multiple 20-sack seasons in a career, and his impact goes beyond just pressuring the quarterback.

    Watt led the league in batted passes,6 fumbles recovered and tackles for loss. Add in five total touchdowns (the most by a defensive lineman in a season since 1944), and it’s not surprising that Watt led the entire league in Approximate Value (AV), Pro-Football-Reference.com’s cross-positional player value metric. He’s also produced more AV through his first four seasons combined than any other defender since the common draft era began in 1967.

    In other words, Watt might be the best player in football today. And with the Texans adding Vince Wilfork and a healthy Jadeveon Clowney to line up alongside him, Houston’s defense could be even more dominant than it was last season, when it ranked second in defensive EPA.

    But will any of that matter if Houston’s quarterbacks can’t pass the ball?

    While developing FPI for the NFL, ESPN’s Stats & Information Group needed a way to estimate each team’s quarterback quality for the upcoming season in order to account for QB injuries when making predictions. The solution: for each starting quarterback (and his backup), FPI generates a per-game EPA projection based on his past performance.7 In Houston’s case, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer ranks 27th out of 32 expected starters in projected EPA.8 Compared with an average starter, Hoyer is expected to cost the Texans about 2.9 points per game. To put that in perspective, if he were an average QB instead, the Texans would rise from 16th overall in preseason FPI to seventh (and fourth in the AFC).

    There is good news for Houston, though: FPI projects its schedule to be the AFC’s easiest, with interconference games against the historically awful NFC South. Last season, the AFC North drew that division and ended up placing three teams in the playoffs.9 With that schedule and Watt spearheading the fourth-best projected defense in football (according to FPI), Houston might get back to the playoffs in spite of its poor quarterbacking.

    I haven't seen this posted yet.
     
  2. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

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    JJ Watt is from the future?!

    I clicked on the link and see it was a copy and paste error from it being an annotation
     
  3. Nimo

    Nimo Member

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    And the past! :)


    5. The season the NFL began to officially tally sacks.
     
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