One of the lone bright spots in 2022 for Houston Texans fans was, then, rookie tailback Dameon Pierce. The hungry young player punished defenders, gobbled up yards and saw his name splashed all over highlight reels all season. That is, until a minor injury led to what many believe was an IR-stash of sorts, to save his talent for 2023.
Unfortunately, 2023 brought a system, offensive line and game plan that has yet to connect with a great performance from Pierce.
what happened to this Dameon Pierce? Where did he go?— (@PalaceLos) November 11, 2023
Lost all his vision and burst pic.twitter.com/zShbLF9p7z
So far in 2023, Pierce has only managed to wrangle 327 yards on 109 carries with a subpar 3.0 yards per carry average. Worst of all, his longest run is only 16 yards.
We’ve detailed a variety of potential reasons why, but in the end, the results are what they are: not good.
Enter Devin Singletary, signed in the off-season by general manager Nick Caserio to share the load in Bobby Slowik’s wide zone offense. The fifth year back has 359 yards on 92 carries for a 3.9 yard per carry average, with a longest rush going for 22.
#Texans Devin Singletary had a CAREER day yesterday. He had 30 carries for 150 yards and a TD with a very efficient 5 YPC. PFF graded his performance 70.7— VT (@brownchubbybear) November 13, 2023
94 of his 150 yards were after contact. He had 5 carries over 10 yards resulting in 7 first downs with the longest being a… pic.twitter.com/F8gQldSXJ6
News: 2 days ago Singletary carried 30 times for a career-high 150 yards and a touchdown and brought in his only target for 11 yards in the Texans’ 30-27 win over the Bengals on Sunday.
Spin: Singletary filled in for Dameon Pierce (ankle) for the second straight game, and on this occasion, he was the only Texans running back to log a carry. Singletary consistently exploited running lanes throughout the afternoon, with his long gain going for a modest 22 yards. He also recorded his first touchdown in a Texans uniform on a six-yard run midway through the third quarter, the perfect punctuation mark on the career-best performance. Given how much Pierce has struggled for running room when he’s been healthy, it’s certainly conceivable the backfield develops into much more of a timeshare whenever the second-year back returns to action.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Singletary signed with the Texans after spending his first four NFL seasons in Buffalo. The 2019 third-round pick as reliable as they come, as he’s the only fantasy-relevant back who has appeared in 100% of his team’s regular-season games over the last three seasons. Singletary’s rushing efficiency has been good (his career 4.69 YPC ranks eighth among 38 qualified RBs) and he has been a consistent contributor in the passing game (38-plus catches in three consecutive seasons). Singletary has yet to finish a season higher than 15th among RBs in carries, targets, touches or fantasy points, and that’s unlikely to change as he plays second fiddle to second-year Dameon Pierce in Houston. The 26-year-old is best valued as a bench/insurance hold.
The NFL history books are littered with tales of starters exiting due to injury and losing their spot on the depth chart after the backups’ performance in their absence. Will Pierce see his name added to that list?
Devin Singletary is one of the main reasons why we got the dub! First 100 yard rusher in 17 weeks. pic.twitter.com/KlL7UNOEbO— big ounce (watch out for those Texans) (@_bigounce) November 13, 2023
Or was last weekend just a fluke against a Cincinnati Bengals team that couldn’t properly defend the run? (or the pass for that matter.) Which tailback will play against the visiting Arizona Cardinals this weekend? Who will have the better day? So many questions...
Which brings us to today’s poll:
Who should be RB1 going forward in 2023?
This poll is closed
Let the debate begin!