Are the Broncos Better Than the Texans and Other Must-Reads from the AFC South

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistOctober 24, 2012

If only there was some magic way to compare the Broncos and the Texans. Sigh, I guess we'll never know.
If only there was some magic way to compare the Broncos and the Texans. Sigh, I guess we'll never know.Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

I love the numbers.

But sometimes, you have to make sure you are using the right numbers.

Today's article of the day comes from Vince Verhei of the Football Outsiders on Insider (pay wall) who argues the Broncos are the best team in the AFC.

Most of the article is written to draw attention to the fact that Denver's DVOA numbers are sterling, and it isn't meant to be a slight to the Texans, who rank a little lower than fans might guess.

The primary reason is that Houston's special teams numbers are terrible, lowering their overall rating.

While I have no beef with heaping praise on the Broncos, I find it difficult to claim they are better than Houston based on a slight bump in DVOA.

There's the small problem of the fact that Houston beat Denver in Denver, and did so rather convincingly.

Now, a huge part of that win consisted of big mistakes made by the Broncos' defense, and everyone knows that what happened in Week 3 won't matter in January, but it's hard to imagine the Texans won't be favored if and when they play again in the playoffs, likely in Houston.

DVOA is a wonderful tool and you'll never see me denigrate it, but when talking about six- or seven-game samples and razor-thin margins of difference, I would prefer a different stat were used.

Try point differential, for example. Houston is plus-88 and Denver is plus-32. Even with a strength of schedule difference, I'll take the Texans as the best team in the conference.

The Broncos are much better than people realize, and they could well go to the Super Bowl, but there's no arguing with the Texans right now.


General Interest

Chase Stuart of Football Perspective crunches numbers on Chan Gailey's decision to go for one against Tennessee.

Stuart does some work on predicting interception rates.

Verhei, this time on the Football Outsiders, has the weekly Quick Reads.

Scott Kacsmar of Cold Hard Football Facts has his Captain Comeback column.

The Bleacher Report lead writers post picks. I was 11-2 last week and am in second place by a game.

Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders has Week 7 DVOA numbers ready.


Houston Texans

Shaun Maher of Cold Hard Football Facts says the Ravens' focus on J.J. Watt opened things up for everyone else.

Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle looks at Whitney Mercilus' first NFL sack.


Indianapolis Colts

Kyle Rodriguez of Colts Authority looks at the sacks Andrew Luck took.

Phil B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star has five story-lines to watch.

Paul Kuharsky of says Pat Angerer's return helps the Colts.

Conrad Brunner of 1070 the Fan says Luck has to make a tough choice on throwing it away.


Tennessee Titans

Rivers McCown of Football Outsiders looks at the Titans' upset victory over the Bills.

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean has five Titans on the hot seat.

David Climer of the Tennessean says Jake Locker has earned his job as starter.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Gregg Rosenthal of sticks a fork in the Jaguars.

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union says a surgeon thinks Blaine Gabbert can play.

Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union says the heat is rising on Jaguars general manager Gene Smith.