Houston Texans: Running game is the best in the NFL
By Jair Lopez
Through the first two weeks, the Houston Texans’ running game is leading the league in rushing.
Despite the disappointing 0-2 start by the Houston Texans, they’re being productive in running the football. This isn’t necessarily a surprise given the threat that quarterback Deshaun Watson presents by being able to tuck the football and gain positive yards. Having to account not only for the running back, but also the quarterback, allows more freedom to run the football and have a more productive offense.
The offensive line has blocked well in the running game and the interior group consisting of left guard Senio Kelemete, center Nick Martin and right guard Zach Fulton have done a great job of creating running lanes for their running backs.
They’ve had their rough patches here and there, but the Texans offensive line is much better than what they were last year. Kelemete and Fulton are upgrades over former guards Xavier Su’a-Filo and Jeff Allen. It’ll continue to take time for this offense to gel since they have an entirely new offensive line besides returning starter Nick Martin.
Running back Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue have also done a good job when they’ve given the opportunity to carry the rock.
Over the first two games of the season, Miller ranks fourth in the NFL with 166 rushing yards. Miller is off to a more productive start than he was last year. In his 34 carries, Miller has averaged 4.9 yards per carry, which is tied for second best in his career.
Meanwhile Blue has been a good complimentary back for the Texans. Blue has 12 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown through two game, as he is averaging an impressive 6.0 yards per carry. This production has been impressive given the slow start the team has had as a collective unit. If the running game is able to maintain it’s impressive start the Texans are bound to have a successful season. They’ll be facing the New York Giants in their home opener in NRG Stadium on Sunday.
In a quick look at the run defenses of the first two opponents this season, the Patriots are 27th in the NFL at 135.5 rushing yards allowed per game and the Titans are 26th at 134.0 rushing ypg allowed.
The Giants have the sixth-ranked defense in the NFL, but they’re 29th in the league in stopping the run. The Texans could have a lot of success in establishing their run game and perhaps having their first win of the season in front of their home crowd because of that.