If there is one thing the Houston Texans can look back on during the 2021 season and smile about, it is the fact that they dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars this season.
Many predicted that the Texans would ultimately be in worse shape than the Jaguars, but Houston has proven twice now that they are the better team on the field. The Texans finish with a 2-0 record against Jacksonville on the season and are gaining confidence as the 2021-22 season is shortly coming to an end.
As one of the more dominating performances from the franchise this season, there were plenty of moments to smile about, actions that need to be improved upon, and facets of this team that are downright still ugly at the moment.
THE GOOD: The Davis Mills to Brandin Cooks Connection
Davis Mills has genuinely found his favorite receiver in Brandin Cooks’s season. The two were able to connect for seven completions for a total of 102 yards with two touchdowns. Cooks has been the young quarterback’s go-to receiver when needed.
Regarding the rookie’s personal development, he must have a receiver to lean on when he needs to get a big play or significant gain down the field. Brandin Cooks has been that safeguard that the Texans’ quarterbacks have used all season long. So the primary question is will Cooks be in Houston long-term to turn into the new franchise pass catcher?
The Davis Mills to Brandin Cooks connection has been the catalyst for the Texans’ offensive attack all season. One of the bright spots in this 2021 Texans season with not too many of them.
THE BAD: The Houston Texans rushing attack
This one seems like It has been a trend all season for the Houston Texans. While the best part of their offense is their passing game, the worst aspect of it is their lack of rushing production. Even in a 30-16 win, the lackluster rushing personnel could only muster up 75 total yards on 26 rushing attempts.
The 30 point performance from the offense and special teams could have been higher if the running game had produced more efficient plays. In the short term, the passing game will win the Texans games, but in the long term aspect lens, David Culley and company must find some rushing production if they want Houston to become a postseason contender for years to come.
THE UGLY: Penalties
This week against the Jaguars, the Texans found themselves getting into penalty trouble again. Penalties are either drive killers for the offense or momentum builders for the opposition. Whether the players, coaches, or fans agree with the calls is not the issue.
Houston’s issue is the excessive amount of penalties each game during the season, and against the better teams in the NFL, those penalties result in the Texans losing games. For example, this week, they registered nine penalties for a total loss of 65 yards. If Houston wants to improve and be a division champion who can compete for a championship one day, they must stop taking unforced penalties against themselves.
This is a facet of the game that David Culley preached preseason, and it hasn’t seemed to improve even after week 15.