The Houston Texans backfield ranked in the top 15 for 2023

Dameon Pierce and newcomer, Devin Singletary should highlight one of the better rushing attacks in the NFL this season.

Houston Texans
Houston Texans / Bob Levey/GettyImages

I probably sound like a broken record at this point but this is a hill I'm prepared to die on. The Houston Texans will be a top-ten rushing team in 2023. Do I need to repeat that? Ok, I won't but apparently PFF believes the Texans backfield to be in the upper half of the NFL, so I'm not alone in thinking this unit will be solid.

PFF recently put out their running back ranks by team for the 2023 season and they slotted the Houston Texans in at number 13. Some of those teams ranked ahead of them include the New York Giants, Las Vegas Raiders, and Indianapolis Colts. All three of those teams have an outstanding running back leading their backfield.

Here is my issue with this list. If we're ranking these teams based solely on the lead back, then sure, those three teams I just mentioned should be high on the list but if we're looking at the backfield as a unit, then not a chance the Texans are below any of them.

Those weren't the only teams ranked ahead of them that I don't think should have been, which includes the Los Angeles Chargers. PFF sites backup running back Isaiah Spiller as one reason but what exactly has he done in the league since being drafted?

Here is what PFF said about the Houston Texans running back room. You decide if you agree or not.

"Dameon Pierce was tied with Walker’s second-best 84.8 PFF rushing grade among rookies but led all first-year players at the position with 62 missed tackles forced on rushing attempts. They added Devin Singletary as a free agent, with the former Buffalo Bills player producing 82.0-plus PFF rushing grades in each of the past two seasons."

Pro Football Focus

That sounds great, right? What they don't mention is Pierce's rushing grade is 11th best in all of the NFL and only a tenth of a point below Saquan Barkley. But guess who was rated above Barkley and made the league's top ten? That would be Singletary with a 2022 rushing grade of 85.1.

Both running backs, Pierce and Singletary finished with higher rushing grades than the likes of D'Andre Swift, Travis Ettiene, and even Christian McCaffrey. I know the PFF grades are the end-all-be-all, as most, myself included, would say McCaffrey is the best back in the league. Regardless, the only thing that might keep the Houston Texans from being a top-ten rushing team, is the play of the offensive line. If that group can be at the very least, average, the Texans ground game will be dangerous.

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