Neil’s NFL Daily: July 9, 2013

Today's Daily sees Neil Hornsby rating the probable 2013 starting line-ups for the Colts and Texans - did he get it right?

| 4 years ago

Neil’s NFL Daily: July 9, 2013

Unfortunately, the biggest news in the NFL remains nothing to do with football. On the day Victor Cruz signed a new (and slightly richer) deal with the Giants, reports emerged that Broncos’ Director of Player Personnel, Matt Russell, not content with a single accident under the influence of alcohol, rear-ended a police cruiser too. To misquote Oscar Wilde, “to hit one may be regarded as a misfortune; to hit two looks like carelessness”.

The league’s reaction here will be incredibly interesting, as it appears the Broncos (who have been in full possession of this information since the weekend) are playing a “wait and see what we can get away with” strategy. It’s been an offseason to forget for sure, but hopefully not quite that quickly.

Anyway, let’s crack on with the main order of business — the next two teams up for my grading of the starting line-ups.

For those new to the series and wanting to catch up, you can find the other teams covered to date with this handy set of links.

Charts by team:



Tuesday, July 9th

Houston Texans (Click to enlarge)


— I’ll get my defense in regarding (supposedly) the eighth-best player in football straight away. While Arian Foster is indeed a fine runner, his 2.2 yards/attempt after contact ranks equal 40th of 59 running backs, his 0.6 yards per pass route is second worst in the NFL to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and his pass blocking is among the NFL’s worst.

— Like many thing Pro Bowl-related, Wade Smith’s honor came a couple of years late. He was brilliant in 2010 (and obviously got nothing), terrible in ’11 and average last year.

— The decision to let Mario Williams depart was inevitable, but what once (on someone’s paper at least) looked a formidable linebacker group now seems quite the opposite. From 32 eligible 3-4 OLBs, Reed, Mercilus and Connor Barwin ranked 25th, 26th and 29th in Pass Rushing Productivity. Luckily for the Texans Watt and Antonio Smith ranked first and second for total pressure among 3-4 ends.


Indianapolis Colts (Click to enlarge)


— I know we didn’t rank Andrew Luck very highly last year, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a fine player and will improve markedly this year. His offensive line was a disaster, meaning he was hit a 33% more frequently than the next player (Sam Bradford), and the offense was an incredibly difficult one to run efficiently. Watch him become a far better quarterback, have a worse record and suffer through the morons asking “what’s wrong with Luck?”.

— The next person to be colour-coded blue for Indianapolis? Not only do I think it will be Dwayne Allen, but I’m fully expecting it to be this year as well.

— One way to attack the Colts this year, push them into nickel (i.e. get Franklin off the field) and run at them. While much has changed, much remains the same and an inability to play the run looks set to continue for at least another year. At least Landry will be put to good use.


Other editions of Neil’s NFL Daily can be found HERE


Follow Neil on Twitter: @PFF_Neil


| PFF Founder

Neil founded PFF in 2006 and is currently responsible for the service to the company's 22 NFL team customers. He is constantly developing new insights into the game and player performance.

  • JaTerrance Dwayne Young

    Cant wait to see the full list of elite and high-quality players when your done with this segment

  • JaTerrance Dwayne Young

    I honestly dont think Reggie Wayne is an ELITE WR at this stage of this career

    • David Sumich

      Until he actually doesn’t have an elite year, he is elite. Last year were elite numbers still I think, so until he is proven otherwise, how can you say he isn’t, other than on assumption?

    • GBPFan

      as a Packer fan – I couldn’t disagree more, we’ve got a good group of corners and none of ’em could lock down the old man.

  • Andrew

    I’d like to make the case for Chris Meyers to be a Blue Chip Player. He finished 7th, 1st and 3rd in your center ratings the last 3 seasons with a >+19 rating each year. Can that really be “just” high quality?

  • Sherck

    The starting DE opposite Cory Redding should be Ricky Jean Francois instead of Richardo Matthews for the Colts. I highly doubt that Matthews will make the 53 man squad out of Training Camp.

  • Jared Slansky

    Might you guys continue these as the season wears on? I would love to see a running chart like this throughout the season as injuries & changes happen.

  • JaTerrance Dwayne Young

    What are the grades ratings for Keyshawn Martin, Garrett Graham, and Brice McCain

  • David Sumich

    How do you go with a 3 WR set for Colts base? Pep Hamilton loves the 2 TE set as his base. You really need to remove T. Y. Hilton from the 2nd outside receiver and move DHB there, putting Reggie at the #1, then add Coby Fleener as the second TE.

  • Mike

    6 of the free agents signed by the Colts this off season are rated above average. I think that validates what Grigson has done in free agency and why he was executive of the year.

  • Grant

    Colts is still terribly wrong. Mike McGlynn will not be the starter, PERIOD. Franklin is not going to be the starting NT as well; that goes to Josh Chapman. Mathis is playing the other side of the field now as well with Erik Walden opposite him.