Houston Texans: Lack of offense is hurting the defense

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The defense of the Houston Texans hasn’t done the offense an favors in 2020.

Through three games, the Houston Texans are the worst run defense in the NFL. The defense can use some improvement, but their offense needs to do them some favors too.

By most any metric, the early part of this season has been a struggle for the Texans defensive unit. The worst aspect has been the run defense, allowing 565 yards through three games.

The Houston Texans defense is 31st in the league in both average number of plays allowed per drive (7.4) and average time of opponent’s drive (3:40). That’s another way of saying that the defense is spending a lot of time on the field.

The discrepancy really shows when you look at time of possession for the Texans and their opponents. Opposing teams average around 11 minutes more time on offense than the Texans. This extra time on the field really shows up late in the game for the defense.

Houston’s defense has not only given up the most rushing yards this season, but they are giving up big plays on the ground. Opposing offenses have 14 rushes of at least 10 yards, with five rushes for at least 20 yards. For comparison, the Houston Texans have three runs over 10 yards, and none of 20 yards or more. Also, those three runs all came against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first game of the season.

Those big running plays have really shown up in the fourth quarter of games. Half of those rushes of 10-plus yards  — seven rushes — have come in the fourth quarter of games, with three runs for over 20 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown from Mark Ingram.

In the first three quarters of the game, opposing offenses have gained 302 yards on 61 attempts. That is nearly five yards per carry, a number that any offense would be happy with. Where things get real bad, are late in the game because on 35 attempts teams this season have gained 255 yards for 7.29 yards per attempt against the Houston Texans.

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Houston Texans News: Defense need less time on the field moving forward

The Houston Texans defense can’t be asked to spend as much time on the field as this they have through three games. Sure, the Texans can perform better, but their break downs really come at the end of the game, and the best way for them to improve is by the offense helping them out.

This isn’t a lopsided issue, the Houston Texans offense has contributed to the defensive and the entire early struggles of the team. The offense is 31st in the league in rushing yards with only 198 through three games.

The offense has not been able to sustain long drives to give the defense a chance to rest this season. On third downs, the team is only converting 38.7 percent of the time, putting them at 23rd in the league. So, while the defense could get more stops, the offense is giving the ball back way too quickly.

Acquiring David Johnson this offseason has not produced the desired results. Johnson broke a 19-yard touchdown run against the Chiefs that gave fans some hope in Week 1. Since the first game of the season, Johnson has not broken a run of 10 yards or more.

Despite Deshaun Watson’s best efforts, this season has been another struggle with protection. He has been sacked 13 times, tied for second most in the league, and pressured on 37.3 percent of his snaps, more than any other quarterback.

While it makes sense that the offense is not on the field long, its not as simple as the defense not stopping the other team. The lack of extended drives or big plays from the offense keeps the defense on the field.

As much as fans want to see Watson lead what should be a high powered Houston Texans offense, J.J. Watt and the defensive players want to see their offense end drives with touchdowns as well.

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This upcoming matchup with the Minnesota Vikings for Week 4 is a good opportunity for the team to get back on track, because the Vikings offense averages the least amount of time per possession. Both the Vikings and Houston Texans are winless thus far, lets hope the good guys improve on offense, help the defense, and earn their first win of the season the Sunday.