Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and the Houston Texans’ special teams have got to struggle. The Texans ‘‘mutually parted ways’’ with former special teams coordinator Larry Izzo this offseason after the team again failed to markedly improve from last year’s struggles. For an indication as to just how bad Houston’s special teams performance was last season, we need only to turn to Pro Football Hall of Fame voter Rick Gosselin. Gosselin took the time to rank all 32 special teams unit in the NFL. In Gosselin’s own words, here’s how he conducted the experiment:
Here’s the formula for the rankings: The league’s 32 teams are ranked in 22 kicking game categories and assigned points according to their standing – one for best, 32 for worst. In the 14 years the ranking has expanded to include 22 categories....
These categories include such things as average field position in which a drive is started and average yards allowed on a punt return.
So where did the Texans rank in relation to all 32 other teams?
It’s the specific placement of the Texans in some of these categories that causes the most concern. The Texans ranked last in the NFL in punt return yardage allowed, with 12.4 yards given up per punt. The Texans also had the highest kicking percentage allowed with 94.5% of all kicks against them being successful.
That’s empirical evidence that the Texans’ special teams are still horrible. Here’s hoping Brad Seely (whose Oakland unit finished eighth in Gosselin’s latest rankings) can turn the tide of the Texans’ woeful special teams play and bring it to a point of some kind of competency.
What do you make of these rankings? Do you think they paint the full picture of the special teams play around the NFL?