Houston had the unusual offense last year, consistently stalling for field goals. The offense attempted 41 field goals while scoring only 23 touchdowns. No other team finished with more than 9 more field goal attempts than touchdowns. So that’s seemingly a nice selling point for Nick Novak, who knocked in 127 points last year.
But does this kind of stat translate? That is, should we all be trying to select kickers from offenses that last year produced 10 or 15 more field goals than touchdowns? Let’s take a moment and look at the numbers.
In this century, 36 other offenses have generated at least 10 more field goal tries than touchdowns. Looking at what those teams did the next year, only 12 the next season ranked in the top 10 in kicker scoring. That’s a third – about what you would expect from any random sample. On the chart below, I have those teams in bold.
Nine of those 36 teams (a quarter) finished ranked somewhere between 11th and 20th. Call those teams middle-of-the-pack finishers. And the remaining 15 of the clubs (designated with black dots) ranked in the bottom-10 in scoring at the position – they were fantasy liabilities.
I don’t, therefore, see FG-TD ratio as a particularly meaningful stat. Especially in this case, with the Texans having a new quarterback this season. Not sure who that guy will be, but it could give the offense a much different personality.
More important, I think, is the overall quality of the Houston team. It looks like a pretty solid team that will be in the thick of the race for the AFC South. Better teams tend to score more kicking points, so I will have Nick Novak among my top-15 kickers, most likely.
On the chart below, “Points” refers to points scored by the kickers. Rank shows the NFL team rank (some number between 1 and 32).
|FIELD GOAL HEAVY TEAMS -- THE NEXT YEAR|
|2002||• San Diego||26||36||-10||89||26|
|2003||• Tampa Bay||26||32||-6||81||28T|
|2009||• St. Louis||24||16||8||73||31|
|2011||• St. Louis||28||16||12||81||32|
|2012||• Kansas City||34||17||17||101||26|
|2012||• St. Louis||31||27||4||95||29|