Houston Texans: How bad is the defense in 2020?

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) Houston Texans Phillip Gaines (29) Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) Houston Texans Phillip Gaines (29) Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
Houston Texans,
Houston Texans, /

The Houston Texans fell to 1-6 overall following their Week 7 loss to the Packers.

Another week, another loss for the Houston Texans. The Texans have not faced a 1-6 record since the franchise’s inception in 2002, and that is saying something because they had the worst record in the NFL in 2006 and 2014.

The roster of the Houston Texans that was torn down and decimated by a certain recently fired head coach is now depleted of high-end talent, and does not have the means to improve in the 2021 NFL Draft either without a first or second round pick.

Houston’s offense has not been elite by any means, but has at least shown a semblance of effort in recent weeks since Tim Kelly regained control of play calling duties. The past three games have resulted in a 1-2 record, yet the team scored 30, 36, and 20 points as Deshaun Watson has appeared to hit his mid-season stride.

The obvious weakness to the Houston Texans — aside from salary cap constraints and lack of top draft picks —  is the defense.

Entering Week 7, the Houston Texans had a pitiful rap sheet on the defensive side, including ranking 32nd in rushing yards per play and per game (5.43 yards and 177.5 yards, respectively), as well as 32nd in interception rate (0.49 percent).

Continuing the trend of embarrassing statistics, the defense also allows 25.5 first downs per game (31st overall), 423 total yards per game (30th ), 6.1 yards per play (27th), and 30.3 points per game (26th), per ESPN’s Jayson Braddock.

Coming off of a game in which the Texans became the first team in NFL history to allow a 350-yard passer and 200-yard rusher in the same game (Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry), their follow-up performance on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers was not much better.

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Aaron Rodgers of the Packers was allowed to relax in the pocket as he had his way against a porous Texans secondary to the tune of 283 yards and four touchdowns. The Packers were missing their All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and star running back Aaron Jones, yet that didn’t stop their team from scoring five touchdowns and Davante Adams from having a career day.

Adams caught an eye-popping 13 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns, and the Houston Texans defenders were visibly upset on the field as they couldn’t stop him all afternoon.

It is understandable that a team that played five of the strongest NFL teams in the first seven weeks would struggle to stop three former MVP’s along the way, but their lack of effort is becoming more noticeable with each game.

Among the least successful defenders that the Houston Texans are regularly playing include cornerbacks Phillip Gaines and Vernon Hargreaves, as well as the $20 million man in safety Eric Murray.

Even stud safety Justin Reid had his moments of head-scratching play, especially on a 45-yard pass from Rodgers-to-Adams in which Reid hovered around the wrong side of the field and allowed an easy score in the third quarter.

The season may not be completely over yet, but it is vitally important to continue playing the younger draft picks and developmental guys to see what this roster will resemble next year. Ross Blacklock, Jonathan Greenard, Jacob Martin, and John Reid all need more snaps to prove their worth on the field, though Anthony Weaver also needs to field a competitive unit if the team does not plan to tank this season.

Once Gareon Conley returns from injury, the Texans will hopefully see a somewhat improved secondary, but veterans like J.J. Watt deserve better than what they are working with right now.

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The Houston Texans now enter their bye week at 1-6 with the trade deadline fast approaching, yet Romeo Crennel has stated that he does not plan to trade anyone away, but is that the best decision for the team moving forward?