Are the Houston Texans’ run defense to blame?
The run defense of the Houston Texans is still terrible. The Texans played the Las Vegas Raiders in Vegas last Sunday, losing 38-20. The offense played great, but the defense made some noteworthy errors. Here are three takeaways from Sunday that stood out.
1. The offense looked great
Davis Mills played a fantastic game completing 28-of-41 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, he had an interception, but it was a desperate throw where it was too late to make a comeback.
The passing offense was terrific and it took a downhill spiral when receiver Nico Collins went down with a groin injury. Collins and Mills connected for three completions for 33 yards. It was a big day for Collins until being knocked out of the game because of a groin injury.
Mills made fantastic reads and looked like what Texans fans hoped for coming into the season. He threw dimes to Jordan Akins with perfect throws and connected with Collins, who may have cemented the number-one receiving role for the Texans.
Dameon Pierce had an impressive performance, rushing for 92 yards on 20 attempts. Pierce didn’t have a crazy long run, but going against Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones is difficult. Pierce continues to impress every week. Overall, an excellent outing for the offense, just some poor play calls and injuries that lead to the lack of finishing drives.
2. Costly Mistakes
The Texans had many chances to win the game, but some costly mistakes changed the direction of pace, which caused a loss for the Texans. Rookie guard Kenyon Green and Texans defensive leader Roy Lopez will have to make up for the errors.
Green made a noteworthy mistake when on a fourth and one, he fell for a fake rush by Crosby, causing Green to jump offsides, having a potential game-scoring drive end. Texans defensive tackle Lopez caused a massive mistake for Houston that gave up a touchdown to Riders running back Josh Jacobs, who ran all over the Texans’ defense.
3. The run defense is bad
The Texans’ defense had severe issues against the run while the offense was on fire against the Las Vegas Raiders. The pass defense impressed, holding the Raiders receivers to fewer receptions than expected. Even though Davante Adams had 98 receiving yards, it was on eight receptions on 16 targets, which is impressive. Adams didn’t have a single catch longer than 16 yards. Derek Stingley Jr, Steven Nelson, and Desmond King did a solid job on Sunday.
While the defensive back impressed, the linebackers and safety’s struggled. The Raiders picked apart the Texans’ defense with the short passing game, where Adams dominated.
However, the run defense gave up 143 rushing yards and three touchdowns to Jacobs, who had the defense looking useless. Jacobs averaged over seven yards a carry, which is unacceptable and a total letdown by the secondary.
If Mills continues to play as he did on Sunday, the Texans may want to push him in the coming weeks to ensure that he can continue this play. Hopefully, Collins will return to the field and suits up next week.
The offense looked solid when healthy on the field. But the defense needs to make stops so the offense to show out and see what Mills and Collins can continue to do.
It was great to see rookie linebacker Christian Harris on the field, and it was clear his athleticism is outstanding, but he made some rookie mistakes. Harris struggled, but it is his first game coming off an injury, but he looks promising. The Texans missed too many tackles that led to a close loss, but the responsibility is primarily on the Houston run defense.
The team needs to address the run defense. Teams are taking full advantage, winning games where the Texans could have won. To win, the Texans must complete tackles and not let opposing running backs have their way with the defense. Until this change occurs, the run defense will continue to struggle.