Meet the Houston Texans: a team built for the Super Bowl

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Aug 22, 2012



Matt Schaub Houston TexansBy Kerry J. Byrne (@footballfacts)                      Cold, Hard Football Facts honorary Texan

The 2011 Houston Texans were the best team in football last year top to bottom: a team with no weaknesses.

We know they were, thanks to the statistical perfection of our Quality Stats. The 2011 Texans topped our Quality Stats Power Rankings.

In other words, they boasted the highest average ranking across the board in all our indicators, which measure teams in all aspects of those performances that win and lose games.

The 2011 Texans had game-breakers at all the skill positions on offense; young game-changing playmakers on defense; and solid units on both the offensive and defensive line.

You can see how they ranked in every single one of our Quality Stats below, available free to all CHFF visitors.

It was a team built for the Super Bowl, before losing productive QB Matt Schaub to injury after 10 games. Here's how they ended the year the toughest team top to bottom in each of our indicators.

If they can re-capture this statistical magic, the Texans are a very legit threat to win it all in 2012, maybe even a favorite. 

Quality Stats Power Rankings (No. 1) – The Texans, on average, ranked No. 6.5 in all our indicators. The across-the-board strength is evident in the individual indicators: Houston ranked in the Top 9 in 12 of 14 indicators. Keep in mind, these are year-end stats, they include the six games played after Schaub was injured.

Defensive Real Passing Yards Per Attempt (No. 2) – Houston’s opponents generated just 5.21 yards every time they dropped back to pass (REAL passing YPA includes the impact of sacks). Only Pittsburgh was better (4.87 DRPYPA). In a year in which offensive passing records fell like panties at a prom, it was stellar performance by the Texans.

Defensive Real Quarterback Rating (No. 2) – Real QB Rating is our measure of all aspects of QB play, including passing plus rushing, sacks, fumbles, etc.. Houston’s opponents produced a Real QB Rating of just 60.5. Only the Steelers were better (59.67).

Our Real QB Rating may be the single most important measure of team success in football. Teams who won the Real QB Rating last year went 223-33 (.871), according to our Correlation to Victory chart at CHFF Insider. No stat in football has a higher Correlation to Victory.

Defensive Passer Rating (No. 2) – Defensive Passer Rating takes the passer rating formula used to measure quarterbacks and applies it to pass defense.Houston Texans defense

It has a HUGE correlation to championship potential and success, as we’ve shown throughout the history of the NFL. Houston posted a 69.01 Defensive Passer Rating in 2011. Only Baltimore was better (68.83).

Winning the passer rating battle is critical to team success. Teams that pass the ball more efficiently went 201-55 (.785) last year, according to our Correlation to Victory chart at CHFF Insider.

Passer Rating Differential (No. 3) – Passer Rating Differential is what we call The Mother of All Stats: 36 percent of all NFL champs since 1940 have finished No. 1 in Passer Rating Differential; 65 percent finished in the Top 3. It merely subtracts a team’s Defensive Passer Rating from its Offensive Passer Rating.

With a PRD of +23.68, the 2011 Texans were well within the historic norms of an NFL champion. We made a pretty detailed presentation about PRD at NFL Films this summer, which you can see here.

Offensive Hog Index (No. 4) – The Texans were solid across the board in all three components of our Offensive Hog Index: No. 8 running the ball, No. 8 on third down, and No. 13 protecting the passer. So still some room for improvement there, too.

Quality Standings (No. 5) – Houston posted a respectable 4-3 record against Quality Opponents (5-4 including playoffs). Only three teams beat more than four Quality Opponents last year, and all were great teams: Green Bay (5), Baltimore (6) and New Orleans (6).

Real Passing Yards Per Attempt (No. 7) – The Texans produced 7.01 yards every time they dropped back to pass (remember, REAL Passing YPA counts sacks as attempts). Anything over 7.0 is pretty impressive.

Real Passing YPA is a key measure of team success: teams who won the Real Passing YPA battle last year went 186-70 (.727), according to our Correlation to Victory charts at CHFF Insider.


Offensive Passer Rating (No. 7) – Offensive Passer Rating merely applies the formula to measure individual quarterbacks to the entire team, meaning how all its quarterbacks performed. Houston posted a 92.7 Offensive Passer Rating in 2011. It would have been higher had Schaub not been injured. He posted a 96.8 passer rating last year. Yates posted an 80.7 in his six games.

Defensive Hog Index (No. 7) – The Texans were fairly stout in all three individual components of the DHI, No. 14 on third downs, No. 11 against the run and, boosted by DC Wade Phillips’ new system and a host of young pass rushers, No. 4 at forcing Negative Pass Plays. The DHI is a HUGE indicator of postseason potential. NFL champions almost always rank highly on the Defensive Hog Index and, in particular, are adept at pressuring the passer.

Relativity Index (No. 8) – The Relativity Index measures the performance of each team relative to the performance of its opponents in all other games: how well you score against a defense, relative to their scoring average in other games, and how well or poorly you defend against an offense, compared with their scoring average in other games.

Houston was on average +5.13 points better than their opponents in other games.

The Relativity Index is a KILLER predictor of success. It accurately predicted the winner in 67.4 percent of NFL games last year, according to our Predictive Rate of Victory chart at CHFF Insider.

Real Quarterback Rating (No. 9) – Real QB Rating is our measure of all aspects of QB play, including passing plus rushing, sacks, fumbles, etc. Houston’s army of quarterbacks produced a Real QB Rating of just 82.99.

Most impressive? Houston’s QBs suffered just 14 total turnovers (INTs, fumbles) in 2011, tied with Tom Brady’s Patriots. Only the QBs for NFC powers San Francisco (7) and Green Bay (9) cared for the ball better.

Our Real QB Rating may be the single most important measure of team success in football. Teams who won the Real QB Rating last year went 223-33 (.871), according to our Correlation to Victory chart at CHFF Insider. No stat in football has a higher Correlation to Victory.

Bendability (No. 11) – The Bendability Index is our measure of defensive efficiency and our effort to chronicle the bend-but-don’t-break phenomenon. It measures how hard you make opponents work for points. Houston’s opponents needed to produce 16.44 Yards Per Point Allowed.

For some perspective, No. 1 San Francisco’s highly bendable defense forced opponents to march 21.53 Yards Per Point Allowed; No. 32 Minnesota’s peanut-brittle defense forced opponents to march just 12.76 Yards Per Point Allowed.

Scoreability (No. 17) – Houston ranked in the bottom half of the league in only one indicator, here in our measure of offensive efficiency. The team’s two worst indicators were our efficiency measures. So if Houston had one weakness, it did not get enough out of its talent or produce enough points based on the yardage they generated.

A glass-half-full Texans fan would see this as a sign that there is room to improve.

Remember, after 10 games the reins of the offense were handed to back-up Matt Leinart. The under-achieving former first-round pick suffered something of a mercy injury and the team was put into the hands of youngster T.J. Yates.

The rookie performed admirably. But rookie QBs don’t win Super Bowls. The Texans ended the regular-season with three straight losses and didn’t have the wings to fly with the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional playoffs.

Blame it on the injury bug, the natural attrition of the NFL or the Curse of Doug Flutie.

Whatever the case, if Houston can recapture the magic of 2011, and if Schaub can stay healthy, the Texans are a very dangerous team, one with very legitimate Super Bowl dreams.


From our partners




Must See Videos
NFL Draft Changing Cities, Moving Out Of New York City | FootballNation.com
2014 NFL Draft: No Dunking In Football
2014 NFL Combine Winners

Team Pages
AFC East NFC
South
North
West

Connect With Us
Sign up for our newsletter to recieve all the latest news and updates...
Privacy guaranteed. We'll never share your info.




The Football Nation Network

© Copyright 2014 Football Nation LLC. Privacy Policy & Terms of Use
Some images property of Getty Images or Icon/SMI