News & Analysis

Houston Texans 2018 Season Recap

By PFF Analysis Team
Feb 26, 2019

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Oct 8, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) during player introductions before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

During the NFL season, our team of 300-plus staff spend around 20,000 man-hours grading and analyzing every play of the NFL season, from the kickoff in the Hall of Fame game to the final play of the Super Bowl.

Now that the 2018 season is officially in the books, we can now take a look back at the season through the eyes of each NFL team and using the grades and statistics that we have compiled, we and detail what went right, what went wrong, and explain what that team has to look forward to.

Below is the 2018 season recap for the Houston Texans.

Overview

With a star-studded cast of defensive players and an offense on the brink of being a top-10 unit, the Houston Texans finished with an 11-5 record but were ousted from the playoffs in the wild-card round.

What went right?
  • Wide receiver Deandre Hopkins not only set the PFF record for most catchable targets without a drop – he obliterated it. His 105 receptions without a single drop were 45 more than the previous record held by Randall Cobb back in 2016.

  • Deshaun Watson returned to form after his knee injury and actually led the league in passer rating on throws to the intermediate level of the field.

  • J.J. Watt also returned to full health, playing a full 16 regular-season games for the first time since 2015. He recorded the second-most pressures among all edge defenders.

  • Jadeveon Clowney’s contract year saw him set career-high marks in overall grade, sacks and snaps played (including the postseason).
What went wrong?
  • The Texans struggled up front along the offensive line yet again, as no starter finished with a grade above 65.5.
  • Included in that group of struggling offensive linemen, Martinas Rankin and Julie’n Davenport each finished among the worst at their positions.

Highest-graded player on offense

Setting the record for most receptions without a drop is sure to bring home some accolades, and that’s what Deandre Hopkins’ record-setting season did. He was the Texans’ highest-graded player, and he took home our awards for Best Receiver and Offensive Player of the Year in the process.

Highest-graded player on defense

Watt really returned to form and racked up a league-best 17 sacks among edge defenders en route to finishing the season as the Texans’ highest-graded defensive player.

Key rookie

Keke Coutee hauled in 73.7% of his targeted passes to lead all rookie receivers in 2018, while his 7.5 yards after the catch per reception was third-best.

In conclusion

The Houston Texans will go as far as Deshaun Watson can take them in 2019 as they’ll have their work cut out for them this offseason to retain a nucleus of stars from their talented defense.

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