Despite suffering a heart-breaking loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, the Houston Texans offense was brilliant, showing the rest of the NFL they could be one of the best in the league this year.
The Houston Texans put on a show on primetime television, as they went toe to toe against quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. In fact, the Texans were 6.5 point underdogs yet lost by 2 points on a 58-yard field goal. They were in it to the very end due to the offense, which was very encouraging to see.
Bill O’Brien’s playcalling was impressive throughout the game and would have been a recipe for the win if it were not for a last-second blunder by the defense. Texans had 22 first downs, as compared to the Saints who had 25. To put this in perspective, the Texans had 22 or more first downs in only 6 games last season and went 4-2 in those games.
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In addition, the Texans had 28 points which they also only accomplished 6 times last season, posting a record of 5-1 in such games. What was impressive too was the fact that the Texans had the exact same number of third-down conversions as the Saints, who arguably have one of the highest-powered offenses in the league.
The playcalling was very balanced, as the Texans had 30 pass attempts compared to 23 rushing attempts. O’Brien had a lot of on his plate on how he was going to use both Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson who were both fairly new to the team, but Hyde had 10 carries for 83 yards meanwhile Johnson had 9 carries for 57 yards. The ground game gave a great reason for optimism, as Hyde had 8.3 yards per carry and Johnson had 6.3 yards per carry.
Johnson is one of the best pass-catchers at the running back position and showed flashes of that catching 4 passes on 5 targets for 33 yards. In fact, Johnson’s 5 targets were the second-most on the team behind DeAndre Hopkins, who had 13 targets, nabbing 8 receptions for 111 yards and 2 scores.
The best example of how potent the Texans offense was on Monday night was the final drive, in which the Texans were down 21-27 and had 50 seconds left with no timeouts. It seemed like that was going to be a letdown, but the Texans scored on two plays to give them a 28-27 lead.
The final Texans’ drive has led many to question whether they scored too soon, which is a legitimate question with Brees being one of the better quarterbacks for the last decade. However, Texans were put in this predicament to score due to their stellar offense.
O’Brien’s playcalling on Monday night was impressive given all the new moving pieces that were integrated to the offense after the preseason. Although it is only one game, the offense could very well be as good as that of the Kansas City Chiefs and/or the New England Patriots, as long as the offensive line can protect Watson.
This was a great showing by the Texans, who haven’t been predicted to do much this season, evidenced by the 6-10 projection given by CBS.