The Texans agreed to a new contract with Novak over the offseason. It's not hard to figure out why. As the Houston Chronicle suggested, he was arguably the Texans' most valuable player on offense in 2016, bolstering a struggling unit with a franchise-record 35 field goals. He ended the season tied for second in the NFL for the most field goals with Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis. Novak made 16 consecutive field goals late in the season, including making all five kicks and having five touchbacks during a pivotal December win over the Colts that helped the Texans win the division again. ... Novak has made 93 percent of his field goals inside 50 yards over the past five seasons and connected on 57 percent of his kicks from 50 yards or longer (including 4 of 7 last season). Over the past two seasons, Novak has made 48 of 51 kicks inside 50 yards for a 94-percent clip. Houston's offense will likely sputter at times again this season, so expect Novak to be relied upon heavily once again.
Nick Novak 2016 Outlook
The Texans re-signed Novak to a one-year contract in March. Novak first signed with the Texans as a free agent in late September. He connected on 29 of 31 extra points and 18 of 21 field goals. But was just 2 of 5 from 50-plus yards. In fact, as CBSSports.com notes, for his career Novak is just 13 of 23 from 50-plus yards. Still, the experienced Novak has converted 138 of 168 career field goals for 82.1 percent accuracy. He's made 93 percent of his field goals 40 yards and under over the past four seasons. Despite that accuracy, Novak doesn't measure up to some of the bigger legs who should kick more field goals and be more efficient from over 50 yards. Go with another kicker to start the season.
Nick Novak 2015 Outlook
Nick Novak is among those who believe the league’s new 33-yard PAT distance will reward the league’s better kickers. “I think it makes my job that much more exciting,” Novak told U-T San Diego. “There could be games where I may not get any work, just lighting up the scoreboard and scoring touchdowns, which is a good thing. Now, I have the privilege of kicking 33-yard field goals, maybe four of five a game -- I call them field goals because they’re from 33 yards. And I may kick four or five field goals. My workload is going to go up. It’s exciting to showcase what I can do. I think it increases the value of a kicker, too. Accuracy is going to be a (more valued commodity).” Accuracy, he’s had. And scoring as well. Kickoffs have been a weakness, however. No matter, if the Chargers, who scored just six rushing touchdowns last season, can’t improve on their 54 percent red-zone touchdown scoring, Novak will continue getting ample opportunity to score.