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Published on 09/21/2012 at Fri Sep 21 10:00.
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Ben Tate

Running back Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans rushes upfield against the Jacksonville Jaguars September 16, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Houston won 27 - 7. (Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

BT’s Outsiders Perspective makes its triumphant return, now that Football Outsiders has had a chance to tally a few weeks’ worth of data. Recall that FO uses smarter stats to analyze the effectiveness of NFL teams and players — negative percentages are good on defense, bad on offense and specials.

Offensive VOA: 20.8% (6th)
To no one’s surprise, the Texans boast a very productive offense behind running backs Arian Foster, Ben Tate, and quarterback Matt Schaub. They are slotted third with a 20.8% Offensive VOA. Their zone blocking running scheme, carried over from head coach Gary Kubiak‘s days as Broncos offensive coordinator, is as effective as ever, with the 6th ranked rushing VOA, while their passing game is equally slotted at 6th.

Defensive VOA: -60.1% (1st)
This is where the Texans really shine, and are the top-ranked defense according to Football Outsiders with an intimidating -60.1% VOA. They’ve kept their opponents to an average score of 8.5 points, and defensive end J.J. Watt has been stellar. He has three sacks (tied for 2nd in the league) and also has five passes defensed. Put simply, he is wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks from left defensive end, meaning Orlando Franklin and Manny Ramirez will have their hands full.

Special Teams
Special Teams VOA: -18.7% (30th)
Special teams have shown to be a weakness for the Texans. They’re the third-to-worst ranked unit in the league at -18.7% Special Teams VOA. They’re 23rd in kick return average and middle of the pack in net punt yards. It’s not any one thing — they don’t rank above the 0% threshold in any single special teams area Football Outsiders measures.

*Important Note
The Texans are ranked incredibly high through two weeks, but it’s important to remember that that’s through two weeks. These rankings are based on VOA (Value Over Average), not DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) — traditionally, Football Outsiders will begin to include the difficulty of a team’s competition in their calculations after four weeks.

  • BroncosWin

    Broncos have the toughest schedule in the NFL… if we make it to the playoffs this year there will be no doubt that we earned it.