The Athletic recently ranked all 32 NFL teams in terms of their offensive prowess. With the recent re-shaping of the offense in Houston, there is bound to be critics of the Texans’ new look. Still, perhaps surprisingly, what with Deshaun Watson under center and all, the Texans were ranked as the 20th best offense in the NFL in The Athletic’s analysis.
20. Houston Texans
Last year: 16th
In six seasons under Bill O’Brien, the Texans have never finished higher than 16th in offensive efficiency. O’Brien traded Hopkins and took on David Johnson’s contract in the biggest head-scratcher of the offseason. Houston is now counting on Brandin Cooks (five concussions in six seasons), Randall Cobb (30 years old) and Will Fuller (has missed 20 games the past three seasons) to replace Hopkins’ production. With Deshaun Watson, the Texans have a relatively high floor. But parting ways with one of the top receivers in the NFL is unlikely to result in year over year improvement.
20th seems harsh. This offense certainly is lacking a clear, true number one receiver with the departure of DeAndre Hopkins. Health is a major question mark, and it remains to be seen if Tim Kelly will be able shape this offense outside of BOB’s vision. However, I think that the team isn’t receiving enough credit.
When fully operational, this offense can run with anyone. Will Fuller V, when healthy, will stretch the field to open up the short to intermediate pickups for Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills. The tight end group will be one to watch as Jordan Akins and Darren Fells try to provide Deshaun Watson with a security blanket. The real game-changer could end up being the running back group. I’m not quite as high on David Johnson as other folks are, but I am desperately hoping that Duke Johnson Jr. gets more touches. Again, his success will depend largely on if the Texans are willing to open up the passing game and NOT turn DJUM (David/Duke Johnson Up the Middle) into a thing.
Personally, I’d feel that a 13th or 12th spot would be more fitting. That’s just me, though. What about you, my dear reader? Where would you rank the Texans’ offense this season?