The Houston Texans are about to get even better, somehow. The young squad is already 6-4 on the year, arguably four wins better than many expected this squad to be after 10 games. Now, heading into Week 12, the Texans not only stand to take over the AFC South with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but calmly and assertively place themselves in the race for one home game at least during the NFL Playoffs.
A lot of the reason why they've gotten this far has been due to the arrival of C.J. Stroud, who has done great work all season, despite not having a reliable running game. Thankfully, we've seen running back Devin Singletary start to emerge as a reliable option over the last two weeks, giving the Texans a much-needed boost offensively. This has given Stroud some more breathing room, as now defenses can't just key on him all game long.
Part of the reason the running game has struggled this season, beyond just the decision to limit Singletary's touches in favor of keeping Dameon Pierce involved, has been the offensive line. Right tackle George Fant, and center Micheal Dieter have been average-to-below average run-blockers all season.
Then you have left guard and former first-round selection Tytus Howard, who will be lucky to be on the team next season, let alone starting. He's been terrible all year. They need help on the line, especially for the running game to succeed, and thankfully that long-needed help may finally be arriving in the form of yet another rookie; Juice Scruggs.
Scruggs has missed the entire season due to injury, and has finally returned to practice this year and his return to practice may just make the offense even more impressive. If he gets reactivated from IR, then the rookie will be able to slide right into the starting lineup for the Texans, either at left guard or center, depending on which incumbent ant starter, Dieter or Howard, the Texans feel they need to replace.
Howard is the guy most likely to get the boot, and with interior linemen being able to play multiple positions in today's NFL, either Dieter or Scruggs could slide in at left guard with little adjustment needed. Scruggs should help the offensive line be more consistent if not outright dominant. If he can't, however, the Texans will know what position to focus on in the 2024 NFL Draft.