There is plenty of blame to go around for all the sacks allowed this season by the Houston Texans.
The play of the Houston Texans offense as an entire unit has regressed from where it was at times last season, and this year the number of sacks allowed through three games is way too many, and it’s starting to feel like a couple years ago.
After the first three weeks with games against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens and this past Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Deshaun Watson has been sacked a total of 13 times. Some of those sacks are the fault of Watson himself, some are the fault of blocking by runniug backs and tight ends, and of course the offensive line has allowed a few too many sacks, too.
Simply put, all of those variables added into a complete unit, and too many sacks have been allowed in just three games played. On Sunday against the Steelers, the Texans not only fell to 0-3 overall this season, but they allowed five sacks to happen, plus 12 QB hits, with T.J. Watt totaling one sack and four quarterback hits himself.
If this keeps happening on a consistent basis, wins won’t happen, and the Texans will keep falling further from having any chance to have a successful season.
Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was even asked about the sacks allowed situation following the 28-21 loss on Sunday in Pittsburgh, and here is what the head coach had to say with comments provided by NFL Communications:
"“We’ve got to protect him better. You know, again, like I always say, it’s not always the offensive line. Sometimes that’s getting rid of the ball a little bit quicker or tight ends, receivers, running back, understands the protection and what we’re trying to do.“Yeah, no, we can’t keep going that way. You’re right. He’s taken a lot of hits, and we got to try to get that better. We work hard on it. Got to keep working hard on it, and we got to figure it out.”"
At least O’Brien is admitting mistakes are happening and they need to correct them, but talk is talk, and it is time for this offense to have some results. The Houston Texans’ allowing sacks, added with some of their play-calling decisions, has led them to not leading in time of possession in any of the three games played this season.
That itself leads to Watson keeping the football too long on some occasions, it leads to backs not making the right blocks, and the offensive line crumbles at times when the other aspects occur, or the line itself is the initial cause of the sacks.
Houston Texans: How much longer can this go on?
The Houston Texans made Deshaun Watson the second highest-paid player in the league before the start of the 2020 season, and thus far he’s been sacked 13 times, including four times in each of the first two games, and the aforementioned five times to the Steelers.
On Sunday, those five sacks amounted into a loss of 33 yards, and in the first two games, the four sacks to Kansas City were an 11-yard total loss, and against the Ravens, the four sacks added up to a loss of 22 yards.
Yes, Watson does keep the ball too long at times, but the receivers need to break away from defenders more, and maybe the Texans need to settle for some short-yardage gains instead of the sacks. Some of the sacks can’t be stopped just by the pure play of the defense, but like O’Brien said, the Houston Texans need to figure it out.
The blame of all the sacks allowed can’t be placed on one group or individual. To allow as many sacks as the Houston Texans have in the first three games is a group effort, and one that could be fixed if the Texans ever gain a consistent rushing game to take some of the weight off the shoulders of Watson.
Watson could be pressing because of the way the offense has been playing, but he needs others to step things up to help the offense stay on the field longer than they did on Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately, until the Houston Texans improve their play on offense and get a little creative with play calling, more of the same will happen with the sacks allowed, which is too many times to see happen to a franchise quarterback like Watson.