Houston Texans backfield ranked too low at 24th overall by PFF

Duke Johnson #25 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Duke Johnson #25 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans backfield is being overlooked before the start of the 2020 NFL season.

Many might be in for a big surprise by the Houston Texans backfield that is led by Duke Johnson and David Johnson, as this will be the first season these two have been a running back duo together.

In a recent rankings list by Pro Football Focus, the Houston Texans backfield was ranked 24th overall in the NFL out of 32 teams entering the 2020 season. They were just ranked ahead of the Chicago Bears, who are 25th and just below the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, who are 23rd and 24th respectively.

This is going to be the first season for David Johnson being a member of the Texans after coming to the team following a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, while Duke Johnson is starting his season year with the franchise.

Duke Johnson needed to be used more in 2020 by the Houston Texans to really get his talent on the field more. In 2019, Duke Johnson had just 83 carries for 410 yards with two touchdowns. Johnson also caught 44 passes for 410 yards and three touchdowns, with a 9.3 yards per reception average.

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Those are solid numbers, but it would be nice to see Duke Johnson get more attempts and chances to catch passes. That might be tough with the arrival of David Johnson who is going to be the top focal point of the backfield this season as he replaces Carlos Hyde.

As for David Johnson, his arrival to the Texans offense could put then to the next level if he can get back to his past play, though that’s a lot to ask of any player who had the success he had back in 2016.

Houston Texans RBs have opportunity for success in 2020

In the rankings list by Steve Palazzolo of PFF, the following was written about the Houston Texans backfield and their 24th overall ranking:

"“If David Johnson gets back to form, this is one of the best running back rooms in the league. But regardless of his performance, keep an eye on Duke Johnson, as he’s been one of the most productive backs since entering the league in 2015.”"

Seeing the love for Duke Johnson is the best part of this ranking because he’s getting the due respect he deserves from PFF. Duke Johnson has a chance to have his very best NFL season in 2020 because it would not be surprising to see the Texans backfield used greatly in the passing game from Deshaun Watson.

Houston doesn’t have the top All-Pro superstar at wide receiver anymore, but they have a solid core of receivers. With both David and Duke Johnson at running back, they have two very good players who can make noise with their receiving abilities out of the backfield.

In his career with the Cleveland Browns and the Texans, Duke Johnson has 279 career receptions for 2,580 yards with 11 touchdown receptions. David Johnson in has career has 208 receptions for 2,219 yards and 15 touchdowns.

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Houston’s advantage with these two running backs is the aforementioned pass-catching abilities. If this franchise wants success, and for the backfield to be a success in 2020, finding these two in open space with Watson as their quarterback is the key to not being undervalued in 2020.