2014 Record: 9-7, missed playoffs, 4-1 in last five
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1st: 21st in DVOA* overall offense (18th pass, 24st rush) | 6th in DVOA* overall defense (6th pass, 16th run)
2nd: Most effective defense in the league against WR2s (7.8 pass attempts per game, 45.6 yards per game) and third most effective against TEs (6, 38.8), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.
3rd: Key loss: WR Andre Johnson | Key addition: QB Brian Hoyer
4th: One of the key questions going into camp is about the lack of a starting quarterback. While the team added WR Cecil Shorts too, I made Brian Hoyer the key addition. Hoyer had a 10-6 record as the starter in Cleveland. I woulnd’t be surprised if he wins the starting job over Ryan Mallett. I have some concerns about Arian Foster. When on the field he’s a beast — scoring 47 touchdowns in just three season from 2010-2012 AND becoming the third-fastest player to 5,000 yards from scrimmage in 2012. However, he’s missed 11 of a possible 32 games in the past two seasons. DeAndre Hopkins is a beast, but defenses won’t have to pay as much respect to Shorts as they did to Johnson. But despite all of those questions, the J.J. Watt-powered Texans defense will make them a contender if they can get any sort of production out of their QBs.
*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.