It seemed a solid rushing attack is exactly what Texans’ rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud needed to take some of the pressure off this season.
But through the Texans’ first two games, second-year running back Dameon Pierce and the ground game have been all but non-existent. Pierce, coming off a sensational rookie season, has 69 yards on 26 carries and is averaging just 2.6 yards per carry during the Texans 0-2 start.
Pierce was one of the biggest surprises last season after rushing for 939 yards on 220 rushing attempts while averaging 4.27 yards per carry.
The problem is the Texans’ new coaching regime hasn’t tried to run the ball very much and when it has tried to, it’s gone nowhere. The Texans rank 30th in the NFL in rushing while averaging 2.5 yards per carry with zero touchdowns on the ground.
“With the rushing, we would like to run it more,” said Texans first-year coach DeMeco Ryans. “We would like to do a better job of running the ball, and that all starts up front. Offensive line – running the ball.”
The Texans have certainly been plagued by injuries along their offensive line, which certainly hasn’t helped. New offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik also must show patience and commitment to the run.
Last week, the Colts outrushed the Texans 126 yards to 52, while averaging 5.5 yards per carry compared to just two yards by the Texans. Pierce was held to 31 yards on 15 rushes and he gained 10 of those yards on one carry.
It will be interesting to see if the Texans can correct their rushing woes this week against a Jacksonville defense that has been respectable against the run. The Jaguars have surrendered 166 yards rushing on 48 attempts and have allowed just one touchdown on the ground through the first two games of the season.
A solid rushing attack will certainly help Stroud and the offense which has been inconsistent so far with no resemblance to being a balanced offense.
“I feel like they kind of go off each other,” Stroud said. “The running game works for the passing game, the passing game works for the running game. In our offense, we want to execute everything at a high level. It’s not just one specific area.
“If you want to be a great offense and put up good numbers, you have to do everything well. So, that’s our plan, man. We aren’t trying to do too much on either way. We want to be balanced and make sure that we’re executing at a high level in every single way we can.”