Gary Kubiak Empties the Backfield and Other AFC South Must-Reads

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistFebruary 20, 2013

Kubiak applauds the empty backfield.
Kubiak applauds the empty backfield.Elsa/Getty Images

Against the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs, the Houston Texans had the ball inside the five-yard line with a third-and-short.

They emptied the backfield and settled for a field goal.

Today's article of the day comes from Rivers McCown of Battle Red Blog, who looks at just how common the empty backfield was for the Texans in 2012.

As with most of McCown's excellent work, the stat-driven piece exposes the fact that some hand-wringing over Kubiak's decisions is more about perception than reality.

I've been as critical as anyone of Kubiak for some time now, and certainly noticed the empty-backfield tendency.

McCown does a fine job illustrating that while the tactic was not particularly successful last year, it has worked in the past. The data doesn't support stringing Kubiak up by his toes just for employing it.

It's a great lesson in restraint. Nothing in McCown's data suggests Kubiak is a secret genius, and the choices he made against the Bengals were indefensible (see the "Secret Play" section), but neither is it fair to rant and rave about every aspect of his play-calling repertoire.


General Interest

Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth had a terrific piece on testing bias.

Chase Stuart of Football Perspective tracked the greatest wideout seasons ever.

Tom Gower of the Football Outsiders had his AFC South needs piece reposted for free.


Houston Texans

The Houston Chronicle posted video of Arian Foster in Hawaii Five-O.


Indianapolis Colts

Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star broke down the Colts' cap.

Scott Kacsmar of Cold Hard Football Facts looked at how the Colts dismantled their Super Bowl winning club from 2006.

Kacsmar, writing for Bleacher Report, highlighted key areas the Colts can improve in 2013.


Tennessee Titans

Paul Kuharsky of looked at how the Titans' needs will sync with available talent.

Tom Gower of Total Titans looked at the defensive tackles on the roster.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Kuharsky commented on Tanier's piece about Blaine Gabbert.