At the start of a year, most businesses make lists of things to stop doing, keep doing or do better.
No matter how the Texans shape up roster-wise and coaching-wise, here are some things they did well in 2021 that you'll want to see continue and see them build from.
Let's start with a biggie – takeaways. After only nine in 2020, the new D rebounded well, tying for 10th in takeaways and 9th in picks. You'd love to see more but it was a big swing and let's hope it continues.
The Texans weren't exactly a sack machine but Jon Greenard had eight and got them at a rate of one per 25.1 pass-rush snaps – which was good for fourth highest in the league (don't ask me who tracks this stuff. 25-POINT-1! That's some nitty-gritty stuff right there!).
Greenard also had the third highest second-year player grade according to Pro Football Focus (we'll have a quiz on this later).
While we're discussing pressure and feasting on analytics let's point out that Ross Blacklock had the highest QB pressure rate for any Houston defensive tackle since 2016. These aren't exactly stats I can spit out on the back end of a play-by-play call but I'll take it!
Now for some offense – with Davis Mills at the controls, the team had the number one red zone efficiency rating in the NFL at 116.8. There was also a 116.9 rating on deep-ball passing, which was good for second in the league. Mills' completion rate of 66.8% was the third best for a rookie since 1950 (kids, that's before television became a thing).
Factoring into that was fellow rookie Nico Collins, who put up 13.52 yards per catch (I didn't measure this personally but take my word for it. POINT-52! I can't even measure my desk that accurately). That number was the fourth best for any offensive player in his class.
I'd throw Brandin Cooks' numbers in here too but we're running out of time and my typing fingers will get sore. Trust me, as long as he's in the league he'll put up numbers.
There are other 'keep-doings' as well. Like Ka'imi Fairbairn to stay perfect inside of 40 yards, like he's been since 2017 or Tremon Smith to put up at least one kickoff return for a TD per season. But I thought we'd just start with these.
It's a big offseason and the team will, of course, look different in 2022 but these are certainly some things you want to take with you into the next campaign.
Take a look at the best photos of the 2021 Houston Texans smiles.