School is for nerds. Grades are bad. How can you really measure someone’s ability to learn? I ask this while I rub paste all over myself.
In the case of your favorite football team, the Houston Texans, it’s always fun after the season to go back and evaluate how the team performed. Today, let’s talk about the offense.
This season the Texans finished 25th in DVOA at -10.2%. They climbed all the way up from the 31st spot they finished in last season. More specifically, they were 24th in passing offense at -1.1% and 21st in rushing offense at -11.2% in 2017. Did you know the Texans have never finished higher than 24th in DVOA since Bill O’Brien has taken over the team?
It isn’t entirely fair to grade them based on DVOA, though. The team was entirely different with and without Deshaun Watson. The Texans still finished 17th in points scored with 338 and threw 28 passing touchdowns, which placed them at 6th overall. In six starts and seven games played, Deshaun Watson threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns, had a DVOA of 23.3% (7th), a DYAR of 500 (14th), and ran for 269 yards with 2 touchdowns. Compare that to Tom Savage, who in seven starts and eight games played threw for 1,412 yards, 5 touchdowns, had a DVOA of -26.7% (33rd), a DYAR of -238 (31st), and averaged 5.14 net yards an attempt. One quarterback was really bad, and the other was really good.
Watson’s injury cratered Houston’s run game as well. The ground game was morphed into one based on fakes, jet sweeps, motions, options, and quarterback reads. These are all plays that Savage can’t run because he poses zero threat as a runner. When Watson went away, so did the Texans’ ability to run the ball effectively.
In addition to all of this, Will Fuller V caught seven touchdowns with Deshaun Watson at quarterback and zero without him. Breno Giacomini played every snap at right tackle and made my eyeballs bleed. Xavier Su’a-Filo still has yet to learn how to punch and grab the chest of defensive linemen. DeAndre Hopkins was the second-best receiver in football. Nick Martin was great. Stephen Anderson was the best tight end on the roster. Lamar Miller had his best season in Houston. Bruce Ellington emerged as a legitimate slot receiver.
Overall, I would give the Texans’ offense a ‘C’. That’s an ‘A’ for when Deshaun Watson was on the field and a ‘F’ for when Tom Savage was. Those two balance each other out, I guess. I don’t know. I’m not a teacher.
What about you? What grade would you give the Texans’ 2017 offense?
What Grade Would You Give The 2017 Houston Texans Offense?
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