Houston Texans at New York Giants: 3 keys to offense


September 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Texans running back

Arian Foster

(23) is tackled by Oakland Raiders free safety

Charles Woodson

(24) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There was improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 for the Houston Texans offense, and I fully expect to see even more improvement this week for the offensive unit as they face the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

The Giants’ defense is allowing 341.5 yards per game to the opposing offense, 15th in the NFL, while the Texans offense is 22nd in the NFL with an average of 324 yards per game in the first two weeks of the season.

With all that said, the Texans have a good opportunity to add to their offensive numbers, but they will have to continue to get better. Here are three keys to the Texans’ offense for them to be successful against the Giants.

Sep 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver

Andre Johnson

(80) is tackled by Oakland Raiders cornerback

Tarell Brown

(23) after making a catch in the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Texans defeated the Raiders 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Get the ball to Andre Johnson
If the Texans want to move to 3-0 overall this weekend, they MUST get the ball to their future Hall of Fame wide receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson is the Texans’ leading WR in receptions and yardage with 12 catches for 167 yards combined vs. the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. He’s averaging 13.9 yards per reception.

For him to have more success against the Giants, and if the Texans want that third win … I honestly believe Johnson needs to score a touchdown catch in this game. J.J. Watt shouldn’t have more TD receptions than Johnson, but it seems the All-Pro wide out is having fun thus far, so after this past offseason, that is a good sign to see.

2. Great offensive line play
This is not a secret, because every week the offensive line on every team needs to play at a high quality for a team to be successful. For the Texans, that really rings true, because if the Texans o-line doesn’t make the blocks for the running game, then it is a certainty Ryan Fitzpatrick will be forced to make plays through the air.

If Fitzpatrick doesn’t have that running game to protect him with his passing, he’ll become mistake prone, and everything will snowball from there.

So, for the Texans to be successful, the o-line MUST make the blocks needed for the running game to have success.

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3. Keep Arian Foster fresh
Through the first two games, Arian Foster looks like he did before suffering a season-ending back injury in 2013. Thus far in ’13, Foster has 55 carries for a combined 241 yards rushing and one touchdown.

Foster is averaging 4.4 yards per carry this season.

I like how Foster is leading the pace of this offense, but the Texans still need to keep him fresh as the NFL season is a marathon and not a sprint. I believe Alfred Blue will see his workload move up just a little bit. He has 12 carries this season for 40 yards (3.3 ypc).