The signature transfer of the offseason noticed the Houston Texans commerce DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson. The one factor worse than making this commerce is to then go on the market and run David Johnson a complete bunch, between the tackles, and in inappropriate conditions. Because it was with Invoice O’Brien, so it’s with Romeo Crennel.
Working the ball is ok, and you want to run some quantity. It’s particularly invaluable when making an attempt to guard a lead, however Houston hasn’t been in that scenario a lot, and definitely have been by no means in it on Sunday in opposition to the Inexperienced Bay Packers. There are far, way more conditions the place it’s extremely damaging to run the ball, and the Texans ran in most of them on Sunday. Regardless of that extremely unhealthy offseason transfer, the Texans have good offensive expertise, particularly on the ability positions, and an honest coach would have this offense buzzing very quickly.
Previous to scoring their first landing within the Third quarter to chop the deficit to 21-7, Deshaun Watson was 15/18 for 178 yards. How does one go for greater than a half of soccer with solely three incompletions and never rating any factors? Already down 7-0, Watson began off the drive with an honest acquire to Will Fuller, solely to see this occur.
Longtime readers will know I’m not a fan of working between the tackles on Third and 1, but when there may be any play that could be worse, it’s a straight hand-off out of shotgun. Houston runs this play a LOT.
On their subsequent drive they ran probably the most inefficient play in soccer — the 2nd and 10 run:
Right here, we must always pause to say that 82 of Johnson’s 101 carries this 12 months have gained 5 yards or much less. On any given 2nd-and-long play, because of this any run to Johnson may be very prone to put you in a Third-and-medium or Third-and-long scenario. Furthermore, letting Watson throw would give him two probabilities to transform as an alternative of 1. It’s a literal waste of a play, and Houston does it on a regular basis.
Inexperienced Bay would get one other rating adopted by a 3-and-out for Houston. After the Texans compelled one other Packer punt, they’d an opportunity to get again into this factor and put collectively what ought to have been a scoring drive. They ended up lacking a discipline objective, however moved the ball for the primary time all day. It seemed like this.
The one factor that basically stopped Watson all day was penalties, which slowed the drive right here. The Houston line isn’t superb as a result of Houston’s GM wasn’t superb, and they also maintain rather a lot, however passing can also be the one manner they ever transfer the ball on offense.
The Packers took benefit of the missed discipline objective and put the sport away with one other landing. After that, the Houston offense remained pretty open for some time, they usually amounted a small comeback. Within the 4th and trailing 28-13, Houston took over with good discipline place at their very own 38. They went and did this.
Simply take a look at the physique language on Deshaun Watson after this handoff.
Working the ball in opposition to Inexperienced Bay isn’t even that unhealthy of an thought, however Houston simply isn’t superb at it, and they’re tied to this old style idea of establishing cheap third downs. The trendy take is that as a result of third downs are so vital, and may finish your drive, it’s greatest to keep away from them utterly. Their insistence on working the ball (in such unusual and ridiculous methods!) made issues very straightforward for a Packers group with an impressive offense. This was clearly going to be a shootout, and Houston took far too lengthy to determine this out.
The Packers virtually by no means fall into traps like this, and the excellence between superior and backward playcallers appears to develop increasingly distinct every week. Thank goodness for Matt LaFleur.