Brandin Cooks (79.7), Darren Fells (77.1) and Laremy Tunsil (80.5) are the only Houston Texans to grade over 75 in the first two weeks of action in Pro Football Focus’ player ratings.
Overall, the team has performed well enough in the first two weeks of the 2020 NFL season to tie for 25th in scoring offense, 28th in points given up defensively, and 26th best overall.
Deshaun Watson is sitting at 72.3, David Johnson at 67.4, and J.J. Watt has a 60.9 rating, despite two sacks in Week 2. Justin Reid is just outside the 75 mark with 74.0.
Couldn't pay me to play QB against @JJWatt...— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) September 20, 2020
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/LEp1LxoF5E
This is hardly what Texans fans deserve after the embarrassing end to the 2019 season. In the last three games, the Texans have been outscored 118-67. The offense has looked confused, the defense outmatched, and the special teams...well, less than special.
By individual game, Brandin Cooks rated an 81.3 for his Week 2 performance against the Ravens, gaining 95 yards on 8 targets with 5 catches. He’s currently lined up to be the DeAndre Hopkins replacement.
For comparison’s sake, Hopkins is currently sitting at 80.3 on the year, good for fifth place in the NFL among all receivers with 219 yards on 25 targets and 22 catches.
Bill O’Brien, offensive super-genius and quarterback guru, is currently averaging 18.0 points scored per game and 33.5 points surrendered. While it’s easy to make excuses by pointing to the abbreviated offseason, new coordinators, and gaping roster holes, it’s also best to remember every team is facing COVID-19 challenges and assorted obstacles. Some coaches overcome. Some spend their press conferences allocating blame.
After J.J. Watt let loose on rookie Ross Blacklock for allegedly throwing a punch resulting in his ejection from the game, we can cling to the hope that veteran leadership can will this team to start stringing together some wins. But with Watt’s brothers waiting for the Texans in Pittsburgh on Sunday, it could also result in J.J. finally having enough and demanding a trade to the Steelers to join his brothers on a team that clearly values winning championships.
We got some clarity today on why Ross Blacklock was ejected and why J.J. Watt called it a "stupid" and "selfish" play by the rookie. Bill O'Brien said an official told him Blacklock threw a punch. They didn't show it on the TV broadcast. https://t.co/4kdUMbazRI— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) September 21, 2020
However, there is a ray of sunshine to cling to in all this. A 9-7 or 10-6 record might be enough to get Houston back into the NFL Playoffs. If you count the first four games as “preseason”, the Texans’ schedule gets a lot easier with games against Jacksonville, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and Detroit on tap. If O’Brien can get his system to work, if the players buy in, and if the coordinators get dialed in, this team still has a chance to be dangerous. But now that we’ve seen how they match up against the current AFC elite, it might take a minor miracle to get beyond the AFC Divisional round this year.
What’s been your biggest surprise player-wise this season so far? Shocked a certain player hasn’t done better? Pleasantly surprised at what a certain player has accomplished? Wish J.J. Watt had landed two more sacks last Sunday to put him at 100 total in his career? Give us your thoughts in the comments.