Will the bye week prove to be costly in the Texans’ hopes of starting a win streak as they enter Week 7 against the Las Vegas Raiders?
It has been a bit of a shaky start for the Texans this season. New head coach Lovie Smith has led the team to a 1-3-1 record thus far; however, after some early-season lost leads, Houston appeared to have turned a corner in Week 5 against the Jaguars.
The Texans picked up their first win of the season, shutting down a Jags offense that had been solid to start the year. Now the 13-6 win wasn’t perfect, but it’s certainly a good building block for a young Houston team.
Houston will now look to keep momentum going on Sunday, as they travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders. Now the question is: How can the Texans make sure they don’t fall back into their early season struggles?
The answer is short, simple and to the point … feed running back Dameon Pierce.
The Houston rookie running back has been a massive bright spot for the team. Pierce is currently eighth in rushing yards and 10th in rushing touchdowns. Pierce is also the key to Houston defeating Vegas this Sunday.
Dameon Pierce can lead the Texans to victory vs. Raiders
This is a very achievable victory for the Texans. Las Vegas has fallen short of expectations this year, sitting with a record of 1-4. A big reason for their current overall record is an incredibly lackluster defense. The Raiders are allowing the fifth-most points per game. They also rank in the bottom 12 in total yards allowed per game.
Basically, Pierce should be able to get anything he wants on Sunday. This is key though, as time of possession will be a major factor.
For as bad as the Raiders have been on defense, their offense still poses a major threat. Equipped with stars like Davante Adams and Darren Waller, Las Vegas has built the sixth-best scoring offense in terms of points per game. While Houston’s defense has been perhaps better than expected (13th in scoring defense), it’s still not ideal to give Las Vegas any more offensive possessions than necessary.
The only time Houston won this season was also the only time they won the time of possession battle. That’s why getting Pierce going early and often will be the key for Houston’s chances. As long as the coaching staff didn’t forget this over the bye week, the Texans will have a shot at another victory.