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Itâ€™s just not something that a statistical model is built to pick up on.Phillips complicates projections in so much as the massive defensive improvement makes the system think Houston will regress, but there isnâ€™t anything specific to him that the system dislikes. And every team had to deal with the lockout chaff, so there were no real adjustments in the projections because of that.â€ Last year the defensive question was whether Mario Williams could transition to the 3-4. !!! Blocked DIRECT EXTERNAL URL Link => Edit & leave it without URL tags OR put it into CODE tags !!! This year the story of the defense is how do the Texans deal with the exit of Mario and DeMeco Ryans? Thoughts?â€œI think Houston is in excellent shape to absorb the losses. Between Whitney Mercilus, Brooks Reed, and Connor Barwin, the Texans have plenty of options to man the â€œendbackerâ€ position. Mario Williams is invariably more talented than any of those options, but itâ€™s not like the Texans had a lot of production from him last year to replace: just five sacks in five games.
As for Ryans, I believe this is a situation where the Texans thought it smart to give up on a player a year too soon rather than a year too late. I wouldnâ€™t be completely surprised if Ryans has a bounceback season in Philadelphia just because I know the kind of worker he is, but replacing his production last year, where he was little more than a two-down linebacker that had lost a step? I donâ€™t think Houston has too much to be concerned about here. These are big names, !!! Blocked DIRECT EXTERNAL URL Link => Edit & leave it without URL tags OR put it into CODE tags !!! and it hurts when big names move on because they have invariably produced well historically, but there wasnâ€™t much irreplaceable production from those two last season.â€Some suggest that the second year of Wade Phillips means the Texans defense in his year 2 will collapse. What does your Football Outsiders data suggest if anything?
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