Houston Texans: Will David Johnson eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in ’20?

David Johnson houston texans (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
David Johnson houston texans (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Can Houston Texans running back David Johnson rush for 1,000-plus yards in 2020?

There are some varying questions surrounding the Houston Texans and the new players added to the roster for the 2020 season. One of those players has a mass amount of pressure on him, and that is running back David Johnson.

Johnson has that pressure for a number of reasons, as he was a part of the trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. Johnson is also replacing 1,000-yard rusher Carlos Hyde from a season ago, plus Johnson himself is looking to revitalize his career and get back to the star player he was a few short seasons ago.

That is a lot to put on any one player, but that is the hand that has been dealt to the past All-Pro selection. Not only that, the success by David Johnson in 2020 will go a very long way in determining just how far the Texans can go as a team this season as well.

David Johnson can be and is still a quality player, and even last season, though he averaged just 3.7 yards per game and lost his starting job to Kenyon Drake, Johnson still showed he’s not finished yet by any means.

In 13 games last season, David Johnson rushed for 345 yards, averaging 3.7 yards per carry and had two touchdowns. His career average per carry is 4.0 yards, plus he’s collected 33 career rushing scores. For his career, Johnson averages 50.5 yards per game rushing, and that’s on an average of 12.6 attempts per game.

Only once in his career has David Johnson rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season, and oh what a season it was for the running back formerly of the Cardinals. That season seems like ages ago, but back in 2016 Johnson — before suffering injuries — rushed 293 times in a season for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns. That same year, Johnson all had 80 receptions for 879 yards and four touchdowns.

In ’16, Johnson was nearly a perfect player for the Cardinals, but that was the top of the mountain for the Cardinals and Johnson, and now the running back is with the Texans and has a very good opportunity to be featured in the offense controlled by offensive coordinator Tim Kelley.

Houston Texans: Dual RB threat will work fine for David Johnson

This season, David Johnson will share time in the backfield with Duke Johnson, as both have the abilities to be dual-threat running backs, but will that hurt David Johnson’s pursuit to become a two-time 1,000-yard-plus rusher in the NFL?

The thought here is the presence of Duke Johnson will only help the cause of David Johnson as he looks to become the second straight running back to have a 1,000-yard season for the Texans. The duo of Johnson and Johnson will only make David Johnson better, as Duke Johnson will be able to take some of the grind off David Johnson, which would be a great thing as he enters his seventh NFL season.

The thing about David Johnson is he’s going to need a quality start to his 2020 season because for the Houston Texans offense to have early season success against tough opponents like the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, one of those big factors is how well he works within the Texans system.

David Johnson still has the talent to be a 1,000-yard rusher, and with the improvements the offensive line the Houston Texans have made with the likes of Laremy Tunsil, Max Scharping and Tytus Howard as their top three linemen, plus other decisions that will be made to the unit, there is the makings of a quality group of players there to help in the process of David Johnson gaining his second 1,000-yard season.

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All in all, this could be a special season for Johnson as he works to get back to his past form in some way, and though it will be close, Johnson can be a 1,000-yard rusher again. Even more than that, he’s going to be a dual threat running back the Texans have needed in quite some while.