Last season didn’t have a lot to get excited about for Houston Texans fans. Bad coaching, bad execution, bad defense, just bad, bad, bad.
But there was one hope: rookie running back Dameon Pierce looked exceptional. His name hit the newswire early and often - for all the right reasons. Before getting IR stashed, Pierce was en route to a rookie running back performance nearly unmatched in Texans’ lore.
As for Texans history, [Ben] Tate finished 942 yards his rookie season while [Steve] Slaton finished with an impressive 1,282 yards in 16 games.
By the abbreviated end of 2022, Pierce fell just four yards short of surpassing Tate, with 939 yards. However, Pierce did that in just 13 games, to Tate’s 15 games.
With that sort of rookie performance, it seemed a shoe-in that Pierce would shake the NFL with a thunderous 2nd season.
Yet here we are, five games in and he’s yet to eclipse the 100-yard mark in a single game. His yards per carry is a subpar 2.9, his longest run is only 15 yards and despite the return of starting offensive tackles Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard, he was essentially a non-factor in the loss to the Atlanta Falcons last weekend.
#Texans have just 12 first downs, 238 yards of total offense. They're 2-11 on third down and 0 for 2 in red zone. They have 35 rushing yards on 15 carries, led by 39 yards on 13 carries for Dameon Pierce— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) October 8, 2023
We questioned why Pierce wasn’t off and running last month. Was it offensive scheme, the o-line, a defense not providing enough non have-to-throw-it opportunities? Something else?
Maybe his rookie year was a fluke? Could it be opposing defenses were so fixated on the golden arm of Davis Mills they let Pierce run wild while desperately guarding against the pass?
Yeaaaahhh... probably not.
So just what is it that’s preventing Pierce from achieving the potential we all saw in him last year?
Another possibility is just as likely, it would seem:
Long ago a sci-fi/horror flick documented the existence of aliens who disappeared humans and replaced them with mediocre alien lookalikes. These aliens were unable to perform at the level of the humans they replaced.
Obviously, this is what’s happened to Pierce. We all know an alien could never compare to Arian Foster or Earl Campbell. Sure those guys were outta this world, but not in a ‘kidnapped by aliens’ way.
Someone needs to head over to NASA and have them start searching for our lost tailback. A 100-yard rusher last weekend could have been the difference between winning and losing. 66 yards against a 2-2 team isn’t going to cut it.
For a more down to earth take on this, check out: