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By: Mike Bullock
2nd year running back isn’t off and running so far
In the NFL, it’s easy to sit around and assume that great running backs gobble up yards through the sheer power of their talent and ability. It’s also easy to assume when a running back doesn’t produce big stats, that’s entirely their fault.
Jim Brown, Gayle Sayers, Walter Peyton, Earl Campbell, Arian Foster and more all had several things in common. Besides crazy talent and passion, they all had a solid offensive scheme and bulldozing offensive line to run behind.
Houston Texans Offensive Scheme
Right now, it remains to be seen if the new Houston Texans offensive coordinator, Bobby Slowik can assemble a great rushing scheme.
Last season, the San Francisco 49ers, Slowik’s old team, gained 2360 ground yards on 504 attempts with a 4.7 yard per carry average. Meanwhile, Pierce gained 939 yards on 220 attempts with a 4.27 yard per carry average. Assuming Slowik’s scheme is similar, Pierce should be ok this year.
Unfortunately, even if Slowik did/has/can, the offensive line is a Frankenstein’s monster of personnel.
Houston Texans Offensive Line
When Demeco Ryans started training camp this year, Josh Jones, Jarrett Patterson and George Fant were answers to questions no one was asking. With the injuries to Tytus Howard, Juice Scruggs and Kenyon Green the offense immediately took a major hit.
If Mighty Matt Weston was still around these parts, he would toss out a post with circles and arrows, Xs and Os, detailing all the blown opportunities by the current Houston Texans offensive line.
Then he would espouse the need for the line to have a ton of reps together to gel into one cohesive unit. In fact, if you’ve been following BRB for any real amount of time, you’ve likely read that again and again.
So where does that leave Dameon Pierce?
2 games into the current NFL season, Pierce isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire.
The 2nd year tailback has 26 carries for 69 yards and a repulsive 2.6 yards per carry. He’s scored exactly 0 touchdowns and had exactly 0 runs for double digit yards.
Can’t wait until the starting offensive line is back and Dameon Pierce can actually run the ball
— Nick Schwager (@NickSchwagerNFL) September 17, 2023
Me too Nick. Me too.
Houston Texans Defense
What does the defense have to do with Pierce’s lack of productivity? Well, once a team goes down on the score, the offense tends to abandon the running game and start slinging the ball all over to catch up.
What DeMeco saw from the passing game today pic.twitter.com/KPQf4RsQaw
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 17, 2023
We had to throw it…
The Texans D has given up 37 first downs, 14-3rd down conversions, 618 total yards and 7 touchdowns already.
Houston’s rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has 91 attempts, 58 completions and 626 yards so far. 384 of those yards came yesterday while trying to catch up to the Indianapolis Colts offense after the Texans defense let them drop points like it was cool.
If your quarterback puts up well over 300 air yards, you can bet the offensive scheme has abandoned the run game.
And, if you need more shade to throw at the o-line’s productivity, Stroud has lost 93 yards on 11 sacks in just 2 games.
Remember when Deshaun Watson was the most sacked quarterback in the NFL not too long ago? Apparently the current Texans o-line is trying to take that crown for Stroud…
All this isn’t to let Pierce off the hook. You can bet he’s the first to say he needs to try harder, but when all these things are stacked against you, even Earl Campbell and Aidan Foster would have a rough go of it.
Further on the bright side, the offensive improved this week over last. Hopefully that’s a trend that continues onward and upward.
Next stop, the Jacksonville Jaguars and their hot defense. Yesterday they limited Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs offensive to 17 points and only 101 rushing yards. Will Slowik, the o-line and H-Town defense provide a better climate for Pierce? In Demeco We Trust.
Originally posted on Battle Red Blog – All Posts