Houston Texans who need to improve: No. 2: David Johnson
The pressure is on David Johnson. The Texans just traded away the second-best receiver in franchise history, and he was the key player Houston got in return. He will need to produce in a big way to win over fans.
The good news is when Johnson is good, he is pretty darn good. In 2016, he ran for 1,239 yards and caught 80 passes for 879 more yards. More recently, in 2018, he ran for 940 yards and notched 446 more through the air.
The problem is his other three seasons have not been very good, including 2017 when he was injured in the first week of the season. His average yards per carry the past two seasons haven’t been good at all – 3.6 in 2018, 3.7 last season.
If Johnson somehow returns to his 2016 form running the ball, he could be a massive cog in the offensive wheel. Discounting the year he missed for injury, he has averaged over 50 catches a season, and he averages 10.7 yards per catch on his career. Clearly, he is a weapon in the passing game.
It is hard to project him being as good as he was in 2016. Though he isn’t all that old at 28 years old, a lot of time has passed since that All-Pro season. Maybe the change of scenery will help but don’t set expectations too high on Johnson.
Still, he needs to step up and show he can be as capable running the ball as he is catching it. If he can be an effective runner, that will only help Watson’s play-action game and will keep defenses in check and guessing.