The Battle Red Blog minds come together to discuss Houston Texans Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton’s play calling after two straight fourth quarter losses. With the offense seemingly stalled, the complimentary football so poetically phrased and prioritized in the Bill O’Brien era has fallen a part twice in the Lovie Smith regime. Whether you actually wanted the Texans to win or not, they had two legitimate chances to do so to begin the season. In doing so, it begs our question of the week:
The last two weeks the offense has stalled in the 4th quarter. In both instances they’ve lost the game. Is it too early to start asking questions about Pep Hamilton’s offense or should the focus be on the players thus far?
I think it is extremely fair to question Hamilton at this point. Why do they continue to pass the ball far more than they run it when they told us they would be a running team in the preseason? Both games we either had significant leads or were one score games. It wasn’t like you had to pass the ball to get back in the game. They could have iced the game in both instances just by sustaining a running game. The Broncos game was even more absurd because they were successfully running the ball and the passing offense was so ineffective. It’s just two games and coaches get to grow just like players do. However, if this trend continues it will become a more pressing issue.
Pep Hamilton’s showing, so far, has been disappointing. It’s also not entirely surprising.
His offenses in Indy weren’t great, either, even with Andrew Luck at QB. You have to give Pep credit for doing something, anything, with Davis Mills, but his offensive scheme is right up there with BOB and Tim Kelly. It’s boring. It’s useless. It’s ineffective. It’s immensely boring.
One can argue that Pep doesn’t have a lot to work with, and it’s true. If there is one thing that Mills repeatedly shows us, it’s that he is incapable of elevating the cast around him. Alas, we are stuck with 15 more games of this until the Josh McCown Era begins. For some reason!
It’s hard not to blame the coordinators when they’re the people that know what their working with the best. Obviously we know this offence has limitations but our own Offensive coordinator should know that better then anyone. Not to say the plays aren’t working but it hasn’t amounted to many points and in the 4th quarter when you need points he just showed he can’t call something up to get them. I do think they’ll adjust throughout the season as the players adjust but even in early games it’s just been hard to watch
I think the offense’s woes can be pinned on a few people, Hamilton included. The team should run the ball more, creating the play action and opening up Mills far more. But let’s be real here. The defense has put the Texans in position to be 2-0. If Carson Wentz and Tua Tagovailoa can lead the league in passing yards, why can’t Davis Mills? But the fact that the team can’t score more than 21 points has to be an indictment on the quarterback.
It is always a tough balance between scheme and talent. Does an offense work because of the coaching and plan, or because of the talent? Depends on the game. That being said, and accounting for the fact that we are only 2 games in, the 4th quarter offense could become a huge problem. Outscored 27-0, at a significant disadvantage on time of possession, and a defense that is wearing down, this doesn’t look good for Mills or Hamilton. Mills is no longer a green rookie, and while he is still learning, he shouldn’t be struggling like this in the 4th quarter. Hamilton is supposed to know what to do, but he is not helping Mills or the offense. If either want to be back in their current jobs at this time next year, the 4th quarter offense must improve.