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Value of Things: Way Too Early Houston Texans Projections— Defenses and Kickers

How much improvement can we expect out of the defense?

NFL: Houston Texans Rookie Minicamp Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The gambling experts and the fantasy experts are not literally the same people. However, that might as well be related. Emotions and feelings don’t enter in at all. There is no money in that. The best thing they can do is set the numbers at a place where you will get equal action on both sides. So, when Vegas sets the Houston Texans’ win total at 5.5 or 6.5 then it means they expect them to finish 6-11.

So, if Texans fans or prognosticators are to somehow justify anything over that they will need to find it somewhere in the individual position groups and their projections. So, we have gone through all of the fantasy projections currently available for each position group. The team defenses and the kicking game are the last two positions on the docket. Before we can get into the projections we need to take a look at the 2022 totals.

2022 Numbers

Obviously, different fantasy sites and games use different numbers as it pertains to defense. Some focus purely on sacks, turnovers, defensive scores, and points allowed. Others include more intricate numbers like yards allowed through the air and on the ground. We are looking at all of it because we want to know how good the defense could possibly be.

Rushing Yards per game: 170.2 (32nd)

Passing Yards per game: 209.3 (22nd)

Total Yards Allowed per game: 379.5 (30th)

Fumble Recoveries: 11 (8th)

Interceptions: 16 (8th)

Turnovers: 27 (4th)

Sacks: 39 (18th)

Defensive TDs: 1

Points Allowed Per Game: 24.7 (27th)

Obviously, the Texans defense wasn’t all bad. Lovie Smith’s defenses obviously surrendered a ton of yards, but they managed to keep scores reasonable because they forced more turnovers than most teams. This is radically different than the offensive side of the ball. DeMeco Ryans runs his defenses differently which means he prioritizes different things. That could be positive or negative but considering he had the best defense when he was defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers for the last two seasons, we are thinking it will be positive.

2023 Defensive Projections

CBS Sports Line

Rushing Yards Per Game: 124.9

Passing Yards Per Game: 187.9

Total Yards Per Game: 312.8

Fumble Recoveries: 13

Interceptions: 15

Turnovers: 28

Sacks: 52

Defensive TDs: 3

Points Allowed Per Game: 19.8


Rushing Yards Per Game: 139.0

Passing Yards Per Game: 209.0

Total Yards Per Game: 348.0

Fumble Recoveries: 9

Interceptions: 13

Total Turnovers: 22

Sacks: 40

Defensive TDs: 3

Points Allowed Per Game: 22.2

Rushing Yards Per Game: 131.9

Passing Yards Per Game: 198.4

Total Yards Per Game: 330.4

Fumble Recoveries: 11

Interceptions: 14

Total Turnovers: 25

Sacks: 42

Defensive TDs: 3

Points Allowed Per Game: 25.1

It should be noted that Yahoo has projections for defenses, but those projections weren’t over the course of a full season and quite frankly they don’t make sense. Obviously, that could change before we go to the season, but for now we will use as our third source.

Composite Numbers

Rushing Yards Per Game: 131.9

Passing Yards Per Game: 198.4

Total Yards Per Game: 330.3

Fumble Recoveries: 11

Interceptions: 14

Combined Turnovers: 25

Sacks: 45

Defensive TDs: 3

Points Allowed per game: 22.4

Obviously each year stands on its own, but we could feed these numbers through last year’s totals to see where they would rank. They would be 25th in rushing yards allowed, 7th in passing yards allowed, and 14th in total yards allowed. They would be 8th in total turnovers generated. and a tie for seventh in sacks. The most important numbers are the points allowed. They would have finished in a tie for 20th in points allowed.

Kicker Projections

CBS: 26 FG, 32 XP

ESPN: 28 FG, 31 XP

Yahoo: 25 FG, 34 XP

Composite: 26 FG, 32 XP

Obviously, if we were doing in-depth kicker analysis then we would look at the distance of these field goals in order to see how many fantasy points he would generate. We aren’t interested in that for this particular article. We are interested in putting together our projections to see where the Texans would go this year.

Quarterback Touchdowns: 21 passing, 2 rushing

Running Backs: 10 rushing touchdowns

Defense: 3 defensive touchdowns

Kicker Points: 26 Fielding Goals, 32 extra points

Two Point Conversions: 2

Total Projected Points: 330

Now, those points are assuming a couple of two point conversions based purely on Yahoo projections. So, that is an average of 19.4 points per game offensively. Keep in mind that they averaged 22,4 points per game allowed based on the composite rankings. That is a point differential of -61. A few teams were close to that last year. The Titans finished 7-10 with -61, the Broncos finished 5-12 with -72. So, 6-10 seems to make sense on that level. In another way to look at it, six teams had lower differentials last season.


We are focused purely on the defense in this edition, so when focused on the defense I can’t find too much fault with the numbers they have. They will generate more sacks and will obviously give up fewer running yards. Much of the points allowed depends on the offense. This is an offense that finished 29th in first downs, and third in total punts, If you combine that with the interceptions then you see how many bad situations they put the defense is. If they can eliminate just some of the turnovers and generate just a few more first downs per game they could end up looking a lot better than you see here.