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2018 Houston Texans Preview: Football Outsiders On Houston’s New Secondary

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NFL: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs
Beautiful.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

In conjunction with the release of their annual Almanac (which you should most definitely consider buying here), Football Outsiders graciously offered to answer a handful of questions from any SB Nation NFL site that was interested in posing them. BRB (through Brett Kollmann) took full advantage of that offer, and Tom Gower drew the short straw from FO by getting assigned to us.

We submitted five questions that Tom answered. Here’s the first one, along with Tom’s response.

What are your thoughts on the revamped Texans’ secondary heading into 2018? Will Tyrann Mathieu and Aaron Colvin help to rescue this unit?

Can Colvin successfully make the transition to outside corner? Does Johnathan Joseph have another year of good play in him? Can Kevin Johnson rebound from whatever ailed him last year? Can Kareem Jackson make a quick transition to safety in the wake of Andre Hal’s diagnosis? Will Mathieu rebound to his early-career form? I’m not sure about any of those, but the good news is (a) they’re all reasonable bets, and (b) the Texans don’t need all of them to come true for our expected defensive improvement to occur.

That “expected defensive improvement” Tom references in the last line? In their Almanac, Football Outsiders projects the Texans to have the fifth-best defense in the league by DVOA in 2018. That would seem to bode well for the secondary, wouldn’t it?

We’ll have another Football Outsiders post or two tomorrow.