After looking strong in their first two games of the season, the Houston Texans were stonewalled against the Patriots last Thursday night in Week 3.
Houston’s offense was shutout while the Patriots, with third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett, put up 27 points. But the Texans’ struggles on offense were especially surprising considering how smooth they had looked in the first two games.
Don’t expect Houston’s offense to have a bounce back effort this weekend.
The Texans will be hosting the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, and the Titans have been surprisingly stout on defense to start the 2016 season. The Titans’ defense has only allowed four touchdowns and seven field goals to their opposition this season. Overall, the Titans are tied with Kansas City for the 11th-ranked defense in terms of yards allowed.
None of these factors bode well for a Texans’ offense looking to recover after an embarrassing Thursday night performance.
Brock Osweiler was having a solid start to his 2016 season before the Texans took on the Patriots.
New England picked off Osweiler once, held him to just 196 passing yards, and didn’t allow him to toss a touchdown pass. It was only the second time in Osweiler’s 10 career starts that he didn’t throw a touchdown. He was also held to a measly 4.8 yards per attempt on his 41 passing attempts against the Patriots.
Houston’s run game was still able to make an impact against the Patriots, gaining 109 yards on 27 carries. But its backs couldn’t find the end zone, and ultimately the Texans had to push their rushing attack to the back seat in order to try and make a comeback against New England.
There are a couple of numbers that should give Texans’ fans hopes of a turnaround, though:
The Titans have been fairly susceptible to the run this season, giving up an average of 108.3 yards per game on 4.3 yards per carry. If the Texans want to get back on track on offense, their best bet may be to give the ball to Lamar Miller early and often. Miller has averaged 28 touches a game through three games this season, and he should get around that same number against the Titans.
Then there’s the fact that the Titans have let a receiver go over 100 yards in every single game so far this season.
Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs, Detroit’s Marvin Jones, and Oaklands’ Michael Crabtree all hauled in over 100 receiving yards against the Titans this season. And with receivers like DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, the Texans stand a very good chance of adding one of their receivers to that list as well.
If you’re a person who likes to bet, though, don’t bank on the Texans finding themselves on offense against the Titans.
Tennessee’s defense isn’t the most disruptive in the NFL, but it has been surprisingly stingy in this young season. It’s the type of defense you don’t want to face after getting stifled the previous week. Houston has the weapons and the match-ups advantages to exploit the Titans’ defense, but more potent offenses have failed to put up the points against Tennessee this year.
Don’t count on Houston to have a bounce back performance on offense against the Titans this Sunday. The Texans should still be able to win, but it likely won’t be a pretty game.