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ESPN’s NFL Football Power Index: Where The Houston Texans Rank

Some numbers for the nerds.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We have driven past and through the heavy portion of personnel addition and subtraction of the offseason. Gilded free agent contracts, dead money saving releases, mock drafts, arm chair scouting, and UDFA tracking is all behind us. There’s only the highway we are on, the mile markers flicking past, and creosote surrounding us. It’s twelve miles until the next town, a place filled with season previews and training camps.

Before this next stop in the offseason, model results and analytics will be published in advance of the BIG season preview books getting released. One of those big signposts is ESPN’s NFL Football Power Index. It was released yesterday. At this point of the year, it takes into account Vegas’ predictions, efficiencies for each unit from previous seasons (based off of expected points added), returning starters, coaching changes, quarterback changes, and quarterback injuries. You can read more about what FPI is here.

Basically, FPI is the number of points below or above average each team is. This model thinks the 2018 Houston Texans are mediocre. Right now the Texans are ranked 19th, with a FPI of -0.3. The Texans rank below Jacksonville (+1.1, 14th), but ahead of Tennessee (-0.4, 20th) and Indianapolis (-3.4, 28th).

As far as predictions go, Houston is expected to win 8.4 games, according to FPI. This gives them a 47% chance to make the postseason, a 30% chance to win the AFC South, a 4% chance to make the Super Bowl, and a 2% chance to win the Lombardi Trophy.

By unit, Houston has an offensive rating of 0.1 (14th), a defensive rating of -0.2 (16th), and a special teams rating of -0.2 (23rd).

Note that despite being considered mediocre in actual team rating, the Texans are expected to win 8.4 games. The biggest reason for this is the schedule. As mentioned before in this space, the Texans have an easy schedule in 2018. In fact, FPI has the Texans with the easiest expected 2018 schedule. A last place finish in 2017 and a mediocre division, plus getting to face the NFC East, the Browns, and the AFC East in 2018, sets Houston up for an alleged stroll in the park when September arrives.