Sad-Sack Houston Texans: The Dumbest Team In Football

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 04, 2013



The Houston Texans have the biggest muscles and the smallest brains in the NFL this year.

They consistently win the physical battles, but lose the mental battles.

And that, in a nutshell, explains their disappointing 2-10 season (3-9 ATS), not to mention the brilliant power of the Insider-only Cold, Hard Football Facts Intelligence Index.

The Intelligence Index is a powerful way to separate big winners from big losers in the NFL and to consistently win games both straight up and, more importantly, against the spread. 

The Intelligence Index is our way to identify which teams are the best in situational football. Smart, well-coached teams do all the little things right in all phases of the game: master third downs, win the turnover battle, dominate in the red zone and excel on special teams. Dumb teams consistently fail in all these situations.

We rank every team in Intelligence, from No. 1, the smartest team, to No. 32, the dumbest. Smart teams consistently win games both straight up and ATS; dumb teams consistently lose games both straight up and ATS.

Houston is No. 32 and dead last on the Intelligence Index. The Houston Texans consistently lose games. 

But they're not alone.

Professor of Pigskin Jonathan Comey has identified 29 Mental Mismatches so far this season at CHFF Insider. That's when a smart team plays a dumb team. The smart teams are winning at an incredible clip of .862 straight up (25-4) and .667 against the spread (18-9-2).

Comey offers three new Mental Mismatches for Week 14 right here today.

The secret to the indicator's success is very simple: most folks look only at the physical qualities of each team. But we look also at their overlooked mental capabilities, too, which gives us a leg up on the marketplace. It turns out that the betting public consistently overvalues the physical capabillites of a team and undervalues their mental capabilities, as the 2013 Texans prove with startling clarity.

Consider this: Only five teams in the NFL boast 8 wins ATS through 12 games. Four of those five teams fill the Top 5 in the Cold, Hard Football Facts Intelligence Index.

2013 Intelligence Index Top 5 (through Week 13)

 TEAMIntelligence Indexvs. SpreadOverall
1Carolina+8.358-49-3
2Kansas City+6.966-69-3
3San Francisco+6.418-3-18-4
4Seattle+5.498-411-1
5Dallas+4.728-47-5

Put another way, the five smartest teams on the Intelligence Index are:

  • 38-21-1 (.644) against the spread
  • 44-16 (.733) overall

At the other end of the spectrum, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans have filled the bottom spot in the Intelligence Index all season long. They boast the worst combined records straight up and ATS of any two teams in football.

Jacksonville and Houston are a combined 5-19 SU and 7-17 ATS. They're not alone. The five dumbest teams on the Intelligence Index are:

  • 21-39 (.350) against the spread
  • 17-43 (.283) overall

The Texans, No. 32 this week, are the poster child for the success of the Intelligence Index: They are No. 3 in total defense, No. 10 in total defense, and No. 7 in Total Team Yards Differential. In other words, Houston consistently wins the physical battles.

But the stupid Texans consistently lose the mental battles. They are No. 32 on the Intelligence Index, and just 2-10 overall and 3-9 ATS. Folks who examined Houston's mental incapacities have consistently won money this year knowing that they'd fail to come through despite their physical prowess.

The "smart" teams in our 29 Mental Mismatches this year are an incredible 25-4 straight up and a sterling 18-9-2 ATS (.667).

There are few if any folks in football pitching ATS winners with 2 out of 3 picks over the course of an entire season. But we are with the Intelligence Index, and we document every single pick and every single result each week at CHFF Insider.

Perhaps most impressively, the smart teams consistently win in blowout fashion. The smart teams have been favored in all 29 of our Mental Mismatches, and by an average of 5.3 points.

The smart teams have won by an average of 11.1 points per game. In other words, they're beating the market by a margin of better than 2-to-1 over expected results.

The average score in our 29 Mental Mismatches has been 27.5 to 16.4 a margin of 11.1 PPG for those of you keeping score at home.

We’ve picked three underdogs to cover this year in our Mental Mismatches. All three not only covered, but won outright.

Just 38 games this year have been decided by 20+ points. We’ve indentified nine of those ahead of time among our 29 Mental Mismatches – a batting average of .310 picking the season’s biggest blowouts before they even happen.

Here’s a look at all 29 of our Intelligence Index picks below.

Become a CHFF Insider today and you'll get our Mental Mismatches, and much more information, stats and analysis each week of the season, right through the Super Bowl. You can become a weekly Insider for just $9.95 per week.

CHFF Intelligence Index 2013 Mental Mismatches

WeekSmart TeamScoreDumb TeamScoreDIFFFAVSpreadSUATS
2CIN20PIT1010Smart-7WW
3CAR38NYG038Smart-1.5WW
3SEA45JAX1728Smart-19.5WW
3DAL31STL724Smart-3.5WW
4KC31NYG724Smart-5WW
4IND37JAX334Smart-7.5WW
4SEA23HOU203Smart-2.5WW
5SF34HOU331Smart-6.5WW
6CHI27NYG216Smart-8WL
6PHI31TB2011Smart-1WW
6IND9SD19-10Smart-1.5LL
7KC17HOU161Smart-6.5WL
7NE27NYJ30-3Smart-4LL
8CAR31TB1318Smart-6WW
8KC23CLE176Smart-7WL
8SF42JAX1032Smart-16.5WW
9IND27HOU243Smart-2.5WW
9SD24WAS30-6Smart-1LL
9SEA27TB243Smart-16.5WL
10ARI27HOU243Smart-3Wpush
10IND8STL38-30Smart-9.5LL
10MIN34WAS277Dumb2.5WW
11IND30TEN273Smart-3Wpush
11PHI24WAS168Smart-3.5WW
12BAL19NYJ316Smart-3.5WW
12PIT27CLE1116Dumb2.5WW
12SF27WAS621Smart-5.5WW
13NE34HOU313Smart-7.5WL
13MIA23NYJ320Dumb1.5WW

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