(SportsRadio 610) -- A unit believed to be a strength for the Texans heading into this season was the offensive line.
For the first time in a decade, the Texans returned all five starters along the offensive line after years of patchwork and struggles to keep quarterback Deshaun Watson upright.
They signed left tackle Laremy Tunsil to an extension that made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the game.
Center Nick Martin signed an extension last season guaranteeing over $18 million; right guard Zach Fulton’s deal was restructured in the offseason to guarantee a $5 million salary in 2020; while Tytus Howard at right tackle and Max Scharping at left guard are expected to improve in their second NFL seasons.
But the line as a whole was not good in the Texans’ 34-20 loss to the Chiefs on Thursday night.
They struggled with the Chiefs’ star interior defensive lineman Chris Jones, and Frank Clark off the edge.
Jones had 1.5 sacks and Clark recorded a sack as well. Perhaps the most noteworthy pass rush came from former Texans defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who hit Deshaun Watson as he threw it deep for Brandin Cooks in the fourth quarter, causing a wide open interception for rookie L'Jarius Sneed.
Every Texans offensive lineman allowed at least two pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.
Watson was under pressure on 45.5 percent of his straight-dropbacks and Houston allowed six pressures in under 2 seconds, according to PFF.
“We had trouble with Frank Clark. We had trouble with some of their games up front,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said after the game. “We have to fix that very quickly here.”