Houston Texans finally have a run game with Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson
By Jair Lopez
The Houston Texans have had a lot of success with their offense once they establish the run game.
Don’t look away, but the Houston Texans have a talented duo of running backs in the backfield. Acquiring Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde through separate trades have given life to a mainly stagnant run game since Bill O’Brien took over as head coach in 2014. The run game was productive in O’Brien’s first year with Arian Foster, but an Achilles injury in the 2015 regular season prematurely ended his career in Houston.
Texans showed some success with his successor in Lamar Miller, but the run game was limited with Alfred Blue as the second option. Miller’s ACL injury in the preseason game left the Texans scrambling to rebuild the running back position.
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The offense seems to have finally gotten it right with Hyde and Johnson’s different running styles. Hyde’s bruising style of play combined with Johnson’s finesse and catching ability have opened up the offense for the Texans. Now O’Brien has to balance the workload between the passing and run game.
Hyde has been getting a steady of carries in the Texans offense with 73 carries through five games, and averaging close to 15 carries a game. Meanwhile, Johnson has gotten a smaller amount than his counterpart, with only 32 carries, and around six carries a game. Hyde has 330 yards, two rushing touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards a carry while Johnson has 209 yards and averaging 6.4 yards each he time he carries the football.
The tandem has a total of 105 carries for 539 rushing yards and averaging 5.13 yards per carry. Those numbers are absurdly good, and the running game combined with Deshaun Watson’s ability to tuck the ball and run is ranked tenth in the league with an average of 129.4 yards a game.
The development of the Texans run game will go a long way in making Watson’s life easier at quarterback as the outcome of their performance controls the tempo of the game and can wear a defense down. A successful running attack will open up the play-action game and keep the defense from sending too many extra defenders to go after Watson.