Yahoo! Sports writer Jason Cole has been on a bit of a mission lately, making it his personal goal to rank all the teams personnel groupings. He's run into some problems with the defense, mainly because he can't separate 4-3 and 3-4 teams very well. Well, he finally got past that and wrote the secondary recap recently, and the Texans were ranked dead last in the NFL.
32. Houston Texans: Oh boy, this is scary. Projected starting CBs Glover Quin and Brice McCain have a combined one interception. Of course, they were both rookies last season, but there's not much behind them with Jacques Reeves and rookie Kareem Jackson. At least the safeties, Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson, are experienced. But Pollard and Wilson are both roughly league-average players. Put it together and you have offensive coordinators licking their chops. Bottom line, the Texans' front seven better have some serious pass rush or this group is going to get lit up.
There are quite a few headscratchers in this piece. First of all, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has projected Brice McCain to be a starting cornerback except for Jason Cole. It's essentially Kareem Jackson's job to lose next to Quin. Secondly, Quin had 11 passes defensed last year, and McCain had 3 in a very limited role. Passes defensed correlate well with interceptions going forward according to Football Outsiders, ergo, those are the stats you want for future performance. Not to even get into the shenanigans Cole used by ducking Jacques Reeves for the career interceptions.
Pollard is definitely better than a league-average safety. He might not be as great as some Texans fans have proclaimed that he is, as most Texans fans wouldn't know great safety play having never seen one on the home team in their lifetimes, but he's solidly above-average. Wilson is a better fit for that assumption.
That said, I can't quibble with the rating too much. The Texans probably deserve to be four or five spots higher, but this is definitely the untested link of the defense this year. Things could have been different had the Texans been able to lure a Leigh Bodden or Darren Sharper onto the team, but they are going forward with their youth. It's not the right rating, but it's in the ballpark.
Besides, Cole was probably just making up for his ridiculous overrating of the Texans offensive line based purely on sacks. Or maybe he's just good at jumping to conclusions with small counting stats, like interceptions and sacks allowed.