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. After we talked about the offense on Wednesday, the defense yesterday, let’s talk about the special teams today.
The Texans’ special teams DVOA since 2012:
- 2012: -7.7% (32nd)
- 2013: -5.1% (29th)
- 2014: -3.9% (28th)
- 2015: -5.7% (32nd)
- 2016: -6.5% (31st)
Ah, the Houston Texans’ special teams being putrid and fetid, a tradition unlike any other. Things were a little better in 2017, though. They finished with a DVOA -4.5%, which was 26th! Way to gooooooooooo, fellas! Woo! So proud of y’all.
Throughout the year, Shane Lechler punted the ball really far but put it in the back of the end zone too often; the Texans lost 10.1 expected points, according to Football Outsiders. Lechler is the biggest component on the punt team and, as Gary Kubiak used to say, that’s on him.
The Texans juggled punt and kick returners. Tyler Ervin started the year in the role and caught kicks with his hands instead of his face, but he was lost to a season-ending injury early in the season. From there Bruce Ellington, Will Fuller V, and Chris Thompson juggled return duties, with Fuller being the best at the bunch at returning punts.
Houston kind of found a kicker in Ka’imi Fairbairn. Fairbairn made 20 of 25 field goals, most importantly making three out of four from 50+ yards. Unfortunately, he did miss five extra points on the season. He can also knock the ball out of bounds.
Overall, I would give the Texans’ special teams a ‘C’. They finally didn’t have the worst special teams in the NFL, as the Giants put on the brown jacket this year. The punt team was among the worst in football. Shane Lechler is still bad. The Texans actually have a kicker that can get the ball out of the end zone. Larry Izzo was fired.
What about you? What grade would you give the Texans’ 2017 special teams?
What Grade Would You Give the 2017 Special Teams
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