With nickel defenses becoming the new de facto starting eleven in the pass-happy modern NFL, having a trio of great cornerbacks is damn near mandatory in order for teams to survive. Knowing this, our "favorite" statisticians at Pro Football Focus decided to rank every single starting corner group in the NFL from top to bottom. Where do our Houston Texans rank? Well…not as high as you might expect.
8. Houston Texans
Top CBs: Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Kevin Johnson
Key stat: Joseph recorded 16 pass defenses in 2015, second-most in the league.
After a torrid display against the Panthers in Week 2, Joseph rebounded with three pass defenses and only 24 yards allowed to the Bucs a week later, and he didn’t look back. Over the final 14 weeks of the season Joseph was the highest-graded corner in the league in coverage. While Kareem Jackson took a step back from his 2014 form, Kevin Johnson put in a solid rookie display to add to the overall strength of this trio.
This may just be the homer in me writing this, but I have a hard time placing seven cornerback groups above the Texans after seeing Houston's collective dominance in 2015. Johnathan Joseph continues to defy age and put up excellent numbers, Kareem Jackson is arguably the best tackler on the team not named J.J. Watt, and Kevin Johnson was a revelation at the nickel position before sustaining multiple injuries halfway through his rookie campaign. Seeing the Patriots a whopping four spots ahead of Houston despite New England’s propensity to not even use three cornerbacks at all in their nickel packages (often times, they opt to use three safeties instead) is a rather perplexing crime, but I suppose that Texans fans are used to being overlooked for weird reasons at this point.
They’ll see. They’ll aaallllllllll see.