clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Houston Texans Value of Things: How Much Better Is The Offense?

What changes have the Texans made on offense?

San Francisco 49ers v Houston Texans Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Mindset is an absolutely crucial thing in sports. I carry the same mindset into regular seasons like this that I do in the preseason and when I followed the Houston Astros during the dark days about ten years ago. When watching Spring Training or the preseason in the NFL you can look for the negatives or positives. I choose to look at the positive. Even when you are blown out there can be a handful of positives.

That’s what we will use the Tuesday space for during the regular season. No matter what happens Sunday, we will find positives we can hang our hats on for the week. A large part of that will be managing our expectations to make sure we are giving these guys realistic targets to reach. That’s what we will be doing today and Thursday.


2022: Davis Mills, Kyle Allen

2021: Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills

The key theme for 2022 will be incremental improvement. No position group got radically better in the 2022 offseason and that includes the quarterbacks. Allen is a little better than Taylor. More importantly, he brings the same skills as Mills to the table, so the offense won’t skip a beat if he has to play. The biggest key will be the growth we see from Mills.

Obviously, feelings are raw on this subject. I expect Mills to improve in 2022. He has better coaching, a simpler system, and some improvement around him. However, how much progress we should expect is a bone of contention. What his ceiling is also is a bone of contention. We will likely break this down each week.

Running Backs

2022: Dameon Pierce, Rex Burkhead, Royce Freeman

2021: David Johnson, Rex Burkhead, Royce Freeman

The Texans had to worst running game in football the past two seasons. They ended up letting David Johnson, Mark Ingram, and Philip Lindsay go last year in favor of Burkhead. It was an absolute mess. Pierce gives this fan base some hope, but this is yet another area where we have to be honest and temper our expectations. You don’t go from the worst in football to one of the best in football overnight. You are hoping for credible.

Looking at what happened to the running back room is a microcosm of what has happened with this team. Nick Caserio did not replace bad football players with all-pros. That doesn’t happen overnight. He has replaced awful football players with cheaper guys that should be somewhere around mediocre. Mediocre doesn’t blow anyone’s skirt up, but it is a lot better than awful.

Wide Receivers

2022: Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Moore, Tyler Johnson

2021: Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Conley, Chris Moore

Is Tyler Johnson really better than Chris Conley? I suppose he could be. We also have to remember that while Dorsett finished last season with the club, he wasn’t there for most of the year. John Metchie was supposed to figure prominently in this group, but no one can really plan for cancer. This group might be the least improved on the whole roster.

We can reasonably expect Nico Collins to be better and Dorsett to provide some big play ability that those other guys didn’t last season. If those two things happen then we will see incremental improvement from this unit. That will be the theme of the season: incremental improvement.

Tight Ends:

2022: Brevin Jordan, Pharaoh Brown, O.J. Howard

2021: Antony Auclair, Pharaoh Brown, Brevin Jordan, Jordan Akins

Akins is also back on the practice squad, so really there wasn’t a whole lot of change. We have yet another rookie on injured reserve and Auclair also will be on injured reserve. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. This group will be measured by the growth of Brevin Jordan. We didn’t see a whole lot of him in the preseason, but that’s not cause for alarm. Yet.

The other major difference between the tight ends and receivers was the late addition of O.J. Howard. He isn’t an all-pro, but he was considerably better than most guys that get cut in camp. When healthy he is normally a 30-40 catch guy that can also credibly block. That may not make anyone forget Travis Kelce, but it makes this unit better than the one that played last year.

Offensive Line

2022: Laremy Tunsil, Kenyon Green, Justin Britt, A.J. Cann, Tytus Howard

2021: Tytus Howard, Max Scharpring, Justin Britt, Justin McCray, Charlie Heck

This will be the most improved unit individually between last year and this year. That of course assumes that Tunsil remains healthy and plays somewhere close to his all-pro pedigree. Everything just fills in after that. The guy to watch will be Green. He could fall somewhere between below average and all-pro depending on what happens. If it’s the latter then the Texans will have an above average offensive line for the first time in at least five seasons.

The other three guys should at least be solid if not better. It will certainly be an interesting group to watch. So much has been said about the changing of coaches and styles. It’s put up or shut up time for a lot of these guys. We already saw a couple walk out the door because they didn’t put up.