Thursday, January 18, 2007

Breakdown: The Houston Texans -- The 2002 Season

2002 DVOA: -39.8% (31st)
2002 Offensive DVOA: -37.8% (32nd), -42.7% passing (32nd), -32.7% rushing (32nd)
2002 Defensive DVOA: 4.1% (20th), 4.2% passing (17th), 4.0% rushing (21st)
2002 Special Teams DVOA: 2.0% (12th), Almost all of this off the leg of Chad Stanley (Texans led the league in net punting)

David Carr: -68.2 DPAR (last in NFL)
James Allen: -5.2 DPAR
Jonathan Wells: -23.0 DPAR (last in NFL among running backs)
Jabar Gaffney: -0.2 DPAR
Corey Bradford: -3.1 DPAR
Billy Miller: 21.1 DPAR (best in NFL among tight ends)
Offensive Line: 3.10 Adjusted Line Yards (worst in NFL), 56% success rate in power situations (29th), 9% of carries went for more than 10 yards (31st), 36% of runs stuffed (last), 14% adjusted sack rate (last by over 3%), and consistent badness running the ball at every position (26th, 32nd, 31st, 32nd, 29th).

Defensive Line: 4.24 Adjusted Line Yards (18th), 71% power success (24th), 17% of carries went for more than 10 yards (16th) 24% stuffed (16th), 6.4% adjusted sack rate (13th), and around the horn, from left end, to left side, to middle, to right side, to right end (23rd, 4th, 18th, 12th, 27th)

I'll have better stats for the 2003 and on versions of this, but this is what I have from 2002. So, deal with it.

The 2002 Texans beat the Dallas Cowboys in their opening game, but in retrospect, it probably would've been better if they had lost, because this team was just like any other expansion team: crummy. Unlike previous expansion teams, the Texans matched the offensive ineptitude to be expected from a rookie quarterback with one of the worst offensive lines ever assembled with a pretty okay defense for an expansion team. Behind the quick tackling of inside linebackers Jay Foreman (106 tackles) and Jamie Sharper (96 tackles, 6.5 sacks), the 3-4 defense was pretty much a success as far as up the middle. The problem was that once you got past Jeff Posey (8 sacks), the team had no lateral speed to deal with runs to the sides. The pass defense, led by Marcus Coleman and Aaron Glenn, was very good at taking away the side routes. The problem was that, as always, the Texans safeties were just dreadful. Eric Brown and Matt Stevens have played a grand total of 0 games since being cut by the Texans, and that wouldn't have been that big of a deal had Casserley not held on to Eric Brown for 3 years trying to pretend that he was good.

As far as the offense, well, "abortion" would be a good word. Any time you have the worst running back DPAR AND the worst quarterback DPAR, thats a good sign that theres a problem. In the Texans four wins, there was only one game where they scored more than 21 points, and that was the game where Aaron Glenn returned two interceptions for touchdowns in Pittsburgh.

However, their defense did keep them in a lot of games, except for that perplexing 38-3 lost against the 2-14 Bengals. And combine this with the Cowboys win, and Charlie Casserly started getting oodles of praise around the city even though his 4-12 record was a complete fluke, and 2-14 was a better indicator of the talent.

Free agents -- OL Zach Wiegert (Jaguars), LB Patrick Chukwurah (Vikings), OL Todd Washington (Bucs), LB Shannon Taylor (Ravens), LB Charlie Clemons (Saints), RB Stacey Mack (Jaguars), TE Justin Swift (49ers), OT Greg Randall (Patriots).

Draft picks -- 1. WR Andre Johnson (Miami); 2. TE Bennie Joppru (Michigan); 3a. DE Antwan Peek (Cincinnati); 3b. QB Dave Ragone (Louisville); 3c. LT Seth Wand (NW Missouri) 4. RB Domanick Davis (LSU); 6a. QB Drew Henson (Michigan); 6b. DT Keith Wright (Missouri); 7a. S Curry Burns (Louisville); 7b. C Chance Pearce (Texas A&M).

Subtractions -- WR Jermaine Lewis (Jaguars), LB Jeff Posey (Bills), RT Ryan Young (Cowboys), OL Cameron Spikes (Cardinals), FS Kevin Williams (released), G DeMingo Graham (49ers), TE Rod Rutledge (released).

Lionized, Casserly preceded to let his best outside linebacker go in free agency, replacing him with Patrick Chukwurah and Charlie Clemons, who truly shored up the problem of quickness in the linebacking corps. Wait, never mind, Charlie Clemons is as slow as the old pervert in Family Guy.

Sadly, I have to give Casserley some props for this offseason simply because it was his best draft ever; Andre Johnson fell to him, and you can debate how first round recievers are a retarded idea, but he is definitely the best player in Texans history to this point. Domanick Davis-Williams was a tremendous fourth round pick. The Drew Henson gamble paid off, although we got nothing for it because Casserley's pick there was stupid. Antwan Peek is a solid pash-rush specialist, although a bit dumb and boisterous. And even when he failed in this draft, Bennie Joppru became one of the beacons of our time, managing to tear his ACL in three consecutive offseasons. A record which may stand forever unless Kellen Winslow starts to really get to work.

Wait, I guess I can still slam Casserly here. I forgot about our old friend Tony Hollings. He was worth a second rounder though, folks! The fact that Casserly would forfeit one of the most valuable spots in the NFL draft for a supplemental pick is, at best, mind-boggling. At worst, I believe it should qualify him for lethal injection. This is Texas, after all. Oh, and the Seth Wand at left tackle experiment in 2004 was one of history's greatest abominations.

Stacey Mack was universally lauded as a free agent gem, but he did nothing. And Zach Weigert's contract was so bloated and monumentally stupid that he's still on our offensive line years later. He's a solid run blocker, and terrible at everything else.

Coming up next week, part 3: The 2003 Houston Texans (Or, they still suck.)

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