Houston Texans: The main cause of the team’s lag in turnover differential

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans continue to lag in turnover differential so far this season. Why is that the case? Let’s examine what can be improved. Look.

Houston Texans fans — it’s another week, another challenge for our team as they will take on the Atlanta Falcons as they will play their second straight game at NRG Stadium before hitting the road to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs the following Sunday.

The Falcons have had their struggles as of late but they’re certainly a team that the Houston Texans simply cannot play down to, considering the immense amount of talent that they have.  Matt Ryan is still a formidable quarterback in this league that produces results but maybe not necessarily the way he’d like in this stage of his career.

I know many of us — especially Falcons’ fans — how his career would’ve turned out if the Falcons had defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI but giving up 31 unanswered points well forever be among the many mysteries within this game that we love.  I still can’t fathom it myself but it happened and further cements the Pats as one of the greatest sports dynasties on Earth.

Now enough of the flattery, it’s time to talk about how well the Houston Texans are playing the takeaway/turnover battle this season.

Although they’re a bit behind last season’s No. 2 performance (+13), they are among the league-leaders in turnover differential.

Through four games, the Houston Texans have six takeaways — five forced fumbles and one interception — and four giveaways (two interceptions and two fumbles) for a differential of +2 for this team.

They’re currently ranked 10th out of all NFL teams and the only the Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, Patriots and Chicago Bears tracking ahead of the Texans.

So who’s at fault?

That’s still impressive considering that’s 10 out of 32 NFL teams but I know things would be better if the secondary was forcing more interceptions.  Whitney Mercilus has the lone interception for the Houston Texans this season and with the youth — seasoned with a bit of Johnathan Joseph — you’d think this unit would be getting more picks off quarterbacks.

The defensive line is doing their job with forcing the fumbles with J.J. Watt and Mercilus leading the charge but that’s not enough, the secondary needs to help out as well.

Only the Seahawks (+15) were better than the Houston Texans at turnover differential back in

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2018 so it’s up to that unit to ensure that they’re doing their part.

Anthony Midget is in his second season as the secondary coach after spending the previous four as the assistant secondary coach so his chair is cool right now but if this continues, it’s going to start feeling uneasy for him as it warms up.

If anything, it’s not Deshaun Watson fault, outside of the interception that he threw against the New Orleans Saints, he had gone six straight games — dating back to last season — without one.  He last threw a pick — actually, he had two — against the Washington Redskins during Week 10.

The other interception belongs to DeAndre Hopkins, which was just accrued last week, where the Houston Texans got cute with a trick play that went terribly awry.

Next. Texans' rushing attack is stronger than ever. dark

It’s still quite early into the season and it’s definitely something that can be corrected but it’s imperative that this team have better play from the secondary to balance the attack any given week.

We’ll see if the tides turn tomorrow afternoon — go Houston Texans!