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Houston Texans Hold Number 1 Spot in This Week's NFL STOP Factor Rankings

HOUSTON, TX- OCTOBER 21: J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans tries to block Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens pass on October 21, 2012 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texas won 43 to 13. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIINovember 5, 2016

The Houston Texans are back on top of this week’s STOP Factor rankings with a 75.6 mark. They have stopped their opponents from scoring on 62 of the 82 possessions this year. The Chicago Bears rank second in the rankings with a 75.0 mark.

The Texans not only have the best record in the AFC, but they rank second in the conference with only 128 points allowed (Miami, 126). Houston’s defense is also third in the league allowing only 4.72 yards per play (San Francisco 4.55, Denver 4.71).

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that defense is important to the success of an NFL team; and specifically, that keeping your opponents out of the end zone (via touchdown or field goal) is imperative. To quantify this, take a look at the five teams that sit atop this week’s STOP Factor rankings. These five teams have a combined record of 29-8. Now look at the teams that are at the bottom five. These five have a combined win-loss record of 10-27.

(The STOP Factor is based on the premise that it is the defense’s job to stop their opponents from scoring on each possession. To get a team’s STOP Factor, you divide the number of times a defense stops the offense from scoring – offensive unit TD or field goal – by the number of total possessions by the opposition.)

Following is each NFL teams’ STOP Factor. Listed is how many times each team stopped the opponents from scoring, the number of possessions their opponents had, and the percentage of possessions that each team prevented the other team from scoring (stats are through Week 8 games).


Team, Opponents’ scoreless possessions/opponents’ possessions, STOP percentage

1. Houston 75.6 (62 stops in 82 possessions)

2. Chicago 75.0 (60 stops in 80 possessions)

3. San Francisco 73.8 (59 stops in 80 possessions)

4. Arizona 71.3 (67 stops in 94 possessions)

5. Atlanta 71.2 (52 stops in 73 possessions)

6. Miami 70.9 (61 stops in 86 possessions)

7. San Diego 70.3 (52 stops in 74 possessions)

8. Seattle 68.8 (55 stops in 80 possessions)

9. Tampa Bay 67.9 (55 stops in 81 possessions)

10. Cleveland 66.7 (62 stops in 93 possessions)

11. New England 65.9 (58 stops in 88 possessions)

12. Denver 65.3 (49 stops in 75 possessions)

13. Minnesota 64.4 (56 stops in 87 possessions)

14. New York Giants 64.3 (54 stops in 84 possessions)

15. Green Bay 64.0 (57 stops in 89 possessions)

16. Dallas 62.7 (42 stops in 67 possessions)

17. Philadelphia 60.8 (48 stops in 79 possessions)

18. Detroit 60.6 (43 stops in 71 possessions)

19. St. Louis 60.5 (49 stops in 81 possessions)

20tie. Baltimore 60.3 (47 stops in 78 possessions)

20tie. Cincinnati 60.3 (47 stops in 78 possessions)

22. Indianapolis 59.5 (45 stops in 78 possessions)

23. Pittsburgh 59.4 (38 stops in 64 possessions)

24. New York Jets 58.8 (50 stops in 85 possessions)

25, Jacksonville 57.7 (45 stops in 78 possessions)

26. Washington 56.0 (51 stops in 91 possessions)

27. Oakland 55.0 (44 stops in 80 possessions)

28. New Orleans 53.2 (42 stops in 79 possessions)

29. Kansas City 52.6 (40 stops in 76 possessions)

30. Buffalo 51.9 (40 stops in 77 possessions)

31. Carolina 51.4 (37 stops in 72 possessions)

32. Tennessee 48.8 (40 stops in 82 possessions)


Biggest gainers this week: Denver (up six spots this week); New England (up four spots this week); Cleveland (up three spots this week); San Francisco (up three spots this week).

Biggest losers this week: St. Louis (down eight spots this week); Minnesota (down five spots this week); Dallas (down four spots this week); Philadelphia (down three spots this week).

Average league STOP Factor (through Week 8): 62.8

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