The Houston Texans need to look to their rushing attack this Sunday as a way to clinch the AFC South championship, and to become champions all they need to do is win.
From the looks of things the Houston Texans will have the services of starting running back Lamar Miller as they take the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17, which will be much needed if they want to clinch the AFC South championship.
Last Sunday in their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Texans had very little production from their running backs as the duo of Alfred Blue and D’Onta Foreman were held to a combined 13 yards on 11 carries. Blue had four carries for 14 yards, averaging 3.5 yards per carry. Foreman, in his season debut, had seven carries for -1 yard. The leading rusher was quarterback Deshaun Watson with eight carries for 49 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry.
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Those numbers are disturbing, and granted the Eagles do have a good defense, but if the Texans want to be taken seriously once the playoffs begin they have to have a better, more productive rushing attack from their running backs.
In 13 games this season Miller has 193 carries for 917 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry this season. He’s also rushed for four touchdowns in those games.
If Miller rushes for 83 yards on Sunday it will be the third time in his career Miller earns 1,000 yards in a season with the previous two happening in 2014 with the Miami Dolphins (1,099) and 2016 with the Texans (1,073).
Miller should help the running backs regroup and play at a higher level in Week 17, as in the first game against Jacksonville this season, Miller totaled 100 yards on 22 caries with one rushing touchdown.
Again, Houston needs a solid game from all three of the running backs combined as it would be a great step in getting the Texans back to their winning ways, which would result in a AFC South championship this Sunday.
Here are more headlines on the Texans for Friday:
• Jordan Godwin in an ESPN.com article wrote about how the Houston Texans’ defense wants to get back to “win streak form” as the article quoted defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
"“We’ve been making some mistakes that are costing us yardage — and in some cases, games — we’ve got to tighten it up …”"
That is a true fact, and it isn’t like the Texans’ defense has been playing poorly overall, but they’ve had moments of letdown at inopportune times and it has made games closer than they’ve needed to be, or resulted in a loss. The good thing is the Texans know they are in the playoffs, but they could really use an improvement this week to showcase they are a Super Bowl contender and not just a team that is happy to make the playoffs and that’s it.
• FanSided’s House of Houston wrote about how “Vyncint Smith will be a vital offensive cog.” Brian K. Patterson of House of Houston gave his thoughts on Smith’s involvement with the offense moving forward:
"“I could see Smith letting loose on “GO” routes all day but I understand that with his limited experience, learning an NFL route tree to diversify his skill set can be a daunting task.”"
Smith will be exciting to watch progress, and what is the tough part for him is he has to keep learning the NFL at a stressful level of action as the team is going for the AFC South championship and the team getting ready to play in the playoffs very soon. The Texans need all the help they can get behind DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver because of injuries, so Smith is going to have to step up and do the best he can from here on out.
• Tweet of the Day
This is well-deserved for Andre Hal and the Texans awarding him for all that he has fought and overcome, plus how he helps others off the field, congratulations are in order for Hal.