- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Which unit is more responsible for Houston’s 4-0 start, the offense or defense?
ESPN Stats & Info argues both sides of the question.
Writes Michael Bonzagni: “The Texans are second in the league in time of possession (35:32) because the defense gets off the field after third downs, allowing opponents to convert a league-low 25 percent of the time (12-of-48 opportunities). Opposing quarterbacks complete 46 percent of their passes for 4.3 yards per attempt with a 3.7 QBR on third downs.
“As a result, the defense has been on the field for an average of 58 snaps per game, tied for fourth lowest in the league.”
Counters John Choi: “Overall, the offense extends drives with third-down efficiency, converting at the sixth-best rate in the league. Their success comes from getting in manageable situations -- 63 percent of Houston’s third downs are five yards to go or fewer, the best rate in the NFL.
“The Texans have only turned the ball over twice this season, tied for the fewest in the NFL, and have no turnovers in the red zone.”
The correct answer, of course, is both.
The Texans are a balanced team that can win in a variety of ways doing a variety of things. The answer may vary week to week but in the big picture, this is a good team that’s not overly reliant on offense or defense.