Welp, the Houston Texans are 0-3-1 and there’s not much to be excited or optimistic about. But regardless of the scenario and outlook, it’s always best to remain... well okay fine just try to not turn the TV off by the third quarter.
This week’s groupthink, we need to think positive. Let’s uplift people. Who have you been impressed by so far through four games?
I think this rookie class might be the deepest class since 2006. I think Jalen Pitre is easily the best safety in this draft. Derek Stingley is showing signs of improvement. Kenyon Green and Dameon Pierce are obviously good as well. Each player has had their rough spots and that’s to be expected. The only thing that will make this team better is more talented players. They will likely come in the next two drafts.
Have to concur with VBall about the rookies. This season was never going to be about the win/loss record. It’s about how well the rookies, especially the high drafts picks, would do. So far it has been encouraging. I’d like to see them and some of the other 1st/2nd year guys evolve as well. Will give a shoutout to Jerry Hughes (4 sacks in 4 games)…worth the flyer Caserio took on him.
Oh, and can’t forget the gloriously stupid but oh so appropriate tie in Week 1. The memory of that dumbness still brings a smile to my face. Been calling for it for a couple of years, and the football Fates answered.
Answering my own question is a lot more difficult than it should be...
I’ve enjoyed watching the resurrection of OJ Howard’s career. His two TDs Week One were a fantastic surprise and highlighted an otherwise dismal game. The tight end’s performance led to Pharaoh Brown being cut this past week. With Brevin Jordan and Teagan Quitoriano’s delayed development, Howard has elevated the Texans blocking and short yardage situation passing options. It’s impressive to see a player bounce back in any regard, but it’s even better to see it occur in a Texans uniform.
In Caserio’s first real draft class, he’s hit on nearly every pick for certain. Kenyon Green, Derek Stingley, Dameon Pierce and Jalen Pitre have all been strong picks. And the jury’s still out on John Metchie since he hasn’t played yet. That’s just one draft class. Once we get two or three, the Texans could have a legit team on their hands. These four in particular make the Texans watchable and relevant this season, and as long as they continue to perform well, I’m content.
Like everyone else, I’ve been very happy with the play of Derek Stingley Jr. and Jalen Pitre on defense and Kenyon Green and Dameon Pierce on offense. Pitre and Stingley have the speed, instincts, and hands to be great defensive backs for future Texans defenses, and Green and Pierce both performed well above expectations. Instead of being a weakness or a part of the offense that we can only hopes improves in time, both Green and Pierce have been integral to a much improved rushing attack in 2022.
Along the defensive line, I believe that Jonathan Greenard, Jerry Hughes, and Roy Lopez have been doing a good job at clogging lanes and causing disruption for the opposing quarterback. Greenard continues to show flashes of being a real diamond in the rough, and with a full season opposite of Jerry Hughes, maybe he really will turn into something special this year. Consistency is key for both Lopez and Greenard, who can become either a legitimate strength to the Texans improving defense, or turn into excellent depth for a better defensive line that has yet to be built.
I think there’s been a few things to look at positively for the Texans. I think the rookie class has been great, four major contributors/starters is pretty good out of a draft class.
The running game when Pierce is the primary back has looked NFL level good. The defense is doing ok just four games into the Lovie Smith era. The front four are consistently getting pressure and the secondary is holding its own.
After having watched the Texans for the better part of the last decade struggle with the likes of Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, Carlos Hyde, David Johnson, Phillip Lindsey, Duke Johnson, Mark Ingram, Royce Freeman, and, of course, Rex Burkhead, I’m enjoying watching Dameon Pierce when he gets on the field. Sure, statistically, the run game hasn’t improved that much, but you can see Pierce running like a monster, even excluding that 75-yard touchdown on Sunday. If we ever get a decent offensive line again, Pierce is going to cause nightmares for the rest of the league.