The Offensive Line
Offensive Line – Offensive line performance is improving, but nowhere near “good”. Duane Brown’s return, even considering the loss of Derek Newton, provides some stability, but overall play remains inconsistent.
When the Texans had the ball in the fourth quarter and overtime of the Colts game and again in the fourth quarter of the Lions game the scrum took place on the opponents’ side of the line of scrimmage. That didn’t happen earlier in the year and must become the norm in the second half.
Xavier Su’a-Filo still has too many busts, but with Brown back in the line-up he is increasing his dominant plays. Su’a-Filo must cut the whiffs for the left side of the line to excel. Some of his good plays are really good. “Good” unless one considers the Texans could have drafted Derek Carr instead of Su’a-Filo and spent all that Osweiler money on offensive line and defensive end help. Hindsight is 20/20.
Greg Mancz, forced into play because of an injury and a bad free agent signing, is becoming adequate at center. Jeff Allen has disappointed and Chris Clark is the swing tackle starting because of Derek Newton’s season ending injury. This is not the worst offensive line in the NFL, but they are often overpowered by good defensive front sevens.
Each of the linemen are gradually improving and the second half doesn’t include as many dominant defenses. This line isn’t talented enough to excel, but the question is whether they can improve enough for the Texans to limp into the playoffs.