The 2020 Houston Texans had one of the worst pass defenses in football. They couldn’t rush, they couldn’t cover, and they couldn’t tackle. It was bad in 2018. It was bad in 2019 too. Yet for some reason, general manager Bill O’Brien thought his defense was an Eric Murray away from turning things around. It wasn’t. And now, here we are, and the Texans still have one of the worst pass defenses in the league. This offseason, their secondary added Terrance Mitchell, Desmond King, Terrance Brooks, Tremon Smith, and Tavierre Thomas.
Pro Football Focus recently ranked the NFL’s secondaries entering the 2021 NFL season. They had the Texans ranked 24th, a far cry away from 32nd. Here’s what they had to say:
24. Houston Texans
The cupboard isn’t completely bare for defensive coordinator Lovie Smith as he looks to implement his Tampa 2 defense in Houston next season. Justin Reid ranks in the 79th percentile of all safeties in coverage grade since he was drafted in 2018. Bradley Roby (71.5 PFF grade in 2020) and Desmond King II (67.0 PFF grade in 2020) have both provided solid play over the past few seasons at cornerback, as well.
The second outside cornerback spot will likely be an issue for Houston. Vernon Hargreaves III, who started there last season, has earned PFF grades below 50.0 in each of the past two seasons. He’ll likely compete with Terrance Mitchell for that job once Roby returns from suspension in Week 2.
That’s fine, I guess. King will be good in a zone heavy offense as long as he doesn’t have to play press man in the slot. The second cornerback position is a wasteland. It’s a little bit better than some of the rest, but it’s still one of the worst in the league.
But it’s not THE worst in the league. I guess this is what good news looks like for the 2021 Houston Texans.