After a nice win on Sunday Night, the Dallas Cowboys (9-3) move their attention to their next opponent, the Houston Texans (1-10-1). The Texans have the worst record in football and Dallas is currently favored by 17 points in this game, so we may have another blowout on our hands.
Today we take a look at the Texans’ offense, a unit that has been one of the worst position groups in all of football this season. Here are three things to know about the Texans’ offense.
1) The worst quarterback situation in all of football
The Texans have had the worst performance at the quarterback spot of any team in the league this season. It should come as no surprise that they also have the league’s worst record.
Davis Mills, who started Houston’s first 10 games of the season, really struggled. Mills threw 11 interceptions in those 10 games, the second-most in all of football, and had a passer rating of 78.1. Mills’ EPA/Play of -0.145 and his CPOE of -4.9 rank him in the bottom five among quarterbacks who have started two or more games this season. The 24-year-old’s success rate of 38.7% is also the worst in football.
Mills lost the starting job after his Week 11 performance against the Commanders, and the Texans have rolled with veteran Kyle Allen in their last two games. Unfortunately for Houston, things haven’t gotten any better. Allen has turned the ball over four times in his two starts and completed just 59% of his passes. Last week, in a 27-14 loss to the Browns, Allen had the lowest EPA/Play (-0.567) and CPOE (-11.2) of any starting quarterbacks.
Overall, Houston’s situation at the quarterback spot is a mess. It’s almost a lock they’ll pick a signal-caller with their first pick in the upcoming draft, but things will keep looking ugly until they do so.
2) A struggling offensive line and an underperforming first-round pick
When you are a bad team there’s a good chance you’re not very solid on the offensive line. This holds true when talking about the Texans, who have had one of the worst-performing offensive lines in football this season. Pro Football Focus has Houston ranked as the fourth-worst pass-blocking line in the league with a team grade of just 54.7. The Texans have given up the eighth-most sacks (33) in the NFL, and have let their quarterback be sacked 17 times over their last five games.
Outside of Laremey Tunsil, the rest of the Texans’ line has really struggled. Kenyon Green, who the Texans selected with the 15th pick in last year's draft, has had an abysmal rookie year. Green has a 26.3 pass-block grade and 51.5 run-block grade via PFF and has allowed 35 QB pressures, tied for the fifth-most in the league. Green also has been penalized 10 times on the year.
Look at Jon Allen walk Kenyon Green into the backfield. pic.twitter.com/8KZxZxOjVd— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) November 20, 2022
#Titans Jeffery Simmons used 6’4” 324lb Kenyon Green to tackle Dameon Pierce pic.twitter.com/qKntsOX4Sy— Wes on Broadway (@TitansStats) November 1, 2022
3) A diamond in the rough at the running back spot
There hasn’t been a lot of good to come out of the Texans’ 2022 season, but one positive has been the breakthrough by rookie running back Dameon Pierce. Houston selected Pierce out of Florida in the fourth round of this year’s draft, and he's played more like a first- or second-round pick.
Pierce is tied for fourth in the AFC with 861 rushing yards and PFF has him graded as the sixth-best running back in football.
#Texans rookie Dameon Pierce takes it 75 yards touchdown! pic.twitter.com/Q4BeGXxAl6— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 2, 2022
Pierce has slowed down considerably over the past three weeks, but it’s hard to put much blame on him. Houston’s offense is so bad through the air they haven't been able to give Pierce much of a chance to consistently run the ball.
It won’t matter much until they figure out the quarterback spot, but Pierce paired with a first-round signal-caller could be a nice duo for the Houston offense in 2023.