(SportsRadio 610) -- The Texans were committed to establishing the run Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, so much they were unwilling to abandon it when failing so clearly.
Running back David Johnson, in his first year with the team after being acquired for DeAndre Hopkins last offseason, averaged just 1.8 yards on 13 carries in Sunday’s 28-21 loss to the Steelers. He ran for just 10 yards on eight first-down carries.
On Monday, head coach Bill O’Brien said Johnson is running hard and there is nothing he needs to do differently, rather it’s the coaches’ scheming and run blocking that needs to be better.
“We tried to run it outside, we tried to run it inside. We couldn’t run it anywhere,” O’Brien said. “So, Pittsburgh did a good job on the edges. They did a good job on the inside. We’ve just got to do a better job. We’ve got to coach it better, we’ve got to scheme it up better.”
The failure in the running game led to brutal down-and-distance situations for the Texans.
According to Aaron Reiss at The Athletic, you have to go back to 2003 to find a game in which the Texans faced a tougher situation on third down, averaging 11.3 yards to go against the Steelers.
How much of these struggles have to do with backup running back Duke Johnson being sidelined with an ankle injury these past two games?
How much of it is David Johnson not being as dynamic a back as O’Brien anticipated when traded Hopkins for him?
Whichever the case, no team should fear this running game with Johnson, these offensive linemen and coaching staff orchestrating the attack.
“We tried to work different schemes and really nothing worked,” O’Brien said Sunday after the game. “We weren’t able to get to the edge. We weren’t able to get up inside too much. So, we just have to look at it.”