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BRB GroupThink: What’s Wrong With The Texans’ Offense?

The masthead joins together and discusses how what’s ailing Houston’s offense.

Baltimore Ravens v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Texans have scored only 36 points in two games, the 27th most in the league, and have lost each game by more than two possessions.

What is the biggest problem with the Texans’ offense? Do you think they can resolve it before it’s too late?This is the question I asked the masthead. These are their answers:

CARLOS FLORES:

From what I’m seeing, I think a major problem with the offense is being able to recognize and pick up blitzes. I mean, BOB said as much during his press conference on Monday. The team struggled with the pressure that the Ravens brought and didn’t have a plan for zero blitzes. That, and people are just flat out getting beat. Nick Martin got put through the ringer on a few plays, and the interior pressure was HEAVY. Sure, the common thread online is that Deshaun Watson is holding the ball too long and isn’t going through his progressions as quickly as he should, but I think that’s the last of this offense’s problems.

Receivers aren’t separating. The late-game pacing is trash. Randall Cobb was MIA against the Chiefs, and then Will Fuller took a sabbatical in the game against the Ravens. The whole unit just isn’t gelling.

It has to be resolved, and resolved quickly (duh). Like I said before, Pittsburgh is the turning point for me. It has to be competitive, and I’d of course prefer it to be an upset. However, if it turns anything like the last two games, the dumpster will find its first embers by my hand.

RJ METZGER:

Every year, BOB’s offenses look like they have the “reset” button pushed harder than any other. Eventually the line and WR group will gel and Deshaun Watson will look like DW4. Their biggest issue is and has been the scheme. They’re a “poor man’s” version of every offense rather than being good at anything.

Will they fix it in time? No. Because it is what it always has been. A team that is destined for 6 to 10 wins based entirely on the quality of their competition. They are not competitive against the best teams in the league. They will beat bad teams. I doubt that will change. Give them a basement dweller or two and they’ll appear to be “fixed”.

BIGFATDRUNK:

There are no noticeable, meaningful differences between Tim Kelly’s offense and BOB’s, which should be the last thing there is from a surprise.

Before I continue, LOL at the “aLl VeRtIcAl OfFeNsE” and any of the suckers who feel for it.

The line has been trash, especially communicating on blitzes. Tytus Howard and Laremy Tunsil are struggling with one on ones. The non-offseason is no excuse, either, as every other team is in the same situation.

The play calling is trash, and it always will be under BOB. Worst of all, there is no sense of urgency to the offense. David Johnson CHUMing is way for 3 yards/carry will be the norm, not 7 per tote.

No DeAndre Hopkins has been a killer.

It’s a stupid scheme with stupid coaching. Trying to believe otherwise is a fool’s errand.

L4BLITZER:

Just one? Well, I guess a matter of perspective is in order, in that we have only played two games, both against the better favorites to meet for the AFC title, if not win the Super Bowl. The Texans, especially under the Watson/BO’B regime, are slow starters. There was massive personnel turnover, especially at the skill positions, and everyone is still trying to figure out where they all fit under a new offensive coordinator.

That all being said, we do have some significant problems. Watson and the receivers can’t seem to provide the plays they expect/want to, the play-calling and tempo appear out of sync with various in-game situations, and we are already dealing with some injuries with the team (Duke Johnson, Will Fuller). However, what has been the most concerning over the first two games of the season is the quality of play of the offensive line, or lack thereof. Especially if the team hopes to unlock the potential it has with its “Warp Speed Passing Attack” and multi-faceted backs like the firm of Johnson and Johnson, the line has to be on its game. While no one was ready to deem the 2020 Texans’ O-line the second coming of the 1970s Raiders/1980s Hogs, it was thought that it would be an improved unit from the past three years.

Unfortunately, it is not improved, and in some cases, it appears to be regressing. There is much to be said about the play-calling, but the line is having significant trouble holding its blocks for pass plays, and it is not generating the required push needed for the running game. In just about every metric out there, the Texans’ O-line rates right near the bottom. Given that the offense is considered the strength of the team, especially in comparison to the defense, if the line can’t perform, the team is in serious trouble.

Of course, it is very early in the season. The team has time to find a rhythm and adapt, and there have been flashes of potential. However, in order for the team to improve, the O-line is going to have to step up its game. If the foundation isn’t set, the rest of the house, even one with Watson, will not hold.

MIKE BULLOCK:

The simple answer? Bill O’Brien’s system.

The deeper answer: he’s trying to emulate something that Bill Belichick uses when he isn’t Bill Belichick. The nigh constant blocking scheme breakdowns, ever-present receivers running wrong routes, and continual player confusion all point to bad coaching. Add in the terrible clock management, lack of urgency, cold starts, Pop Warner level obvious play calling, and it’s amazing Houston has managed to do what they’ve done in recent years.

The simple fact that Bill O’Brien admitted to not having a play ready for 4th and 1, and then twice since then called terrible plays on 4th and 1, screams his inability to properly manage a game.

When you change all the players, all the coordinators, and the results are still the same, everything points to the only remaining constant: Bill O’Brien’s hijacked Erhart-Perkins offense. This doesn’t even speak to the terrible roster mismanagement, fumbling of cap space, and waste of draft picks we’ve seen since O’Brien became general manager.

The Bill O’Brien experiment is over. It’s a failure. Time to move on. He really does seem like a great guy, but so does Bill Murray. That doesn’t mean either should be running an NFL franchise.

CAPT. RON:

“The Bill O’Brien experiment is over. I’s a failure, time to move on.”

I hope so. The end of the Chin Dynasty will be a great day for Houston.

DIEHARD CHRIS:

The biggest problem with the Texans’ offense is the inability to pick up the blitz and identify the hot routes. Until this is fixed, I expect teams will just go full blitzkreig on Deshaun Watson and this talented, yet seemingly regressing and incapable offensive line. We are all well aware at this point that the Texans through two weeks have given up the most QB pressures on offense, while their Week Three opponent, the Steelers, have garnered the most QB pressures on defense. The Texans’ offensive line seems to struggle with basic games and scheming from defensive lines, so why would that improve against what is the most fearsome pass rush in the league to this point?

I don’t know that the Texans can fix it during the season, but maybe when the schedule gets softer. Of course, why that would satisfy anyone is beyond me - I DO NOT CARE that the schedule is rough. These are the teams you have to not only compete with, but BEAT to move on in the playoffs, and right now the Texans aren’t close to beating or competing at all.

Mike Devlin somehow was able to get some decent offensive line play from this team last season, but once again they don’t look ready for the start of this season. Tytus Howard looks like a different guy entirely. Zach Fulton is his usual self. And so on. Deshaun Watson is magic, but he can’t do it on his own. Frankly, he has regressed as well, but like most others, I attribute that much more to Bill O’Brien and the scheme than anything else.

What would you say is the biggest reason the Texans have struggled on offense so far?