It’s difficult to glean positivity from a 1-12-1 season, let alone remark on the optimism inspired by two last minute losses. However, when you
The Houston Texans last two games have been an inspiring effort across both sides of the ball. They competed and at points dominated two top teams in the NFL with playoff aspirations. They impressed all the while rolling out a motley crew of players and backups in the wake of injuries and incompetent play.
1. Fans Calling For Pep Hamilton’s Job
Pressure makes diamonds. The week over week putrid offensive system and performance frustrated fans. The lack of creativity, resourcefulness, and competency have pushed the new offensive coordinator to open up the playbook to save his job. We were even discussing this issue in late September.
With a defensive-minded head coach, Hamilton is the primary offensive mind in the building. Combine that with a second-year QB at the helm, there is significant pressure on Hamilton to effectively manage the offense. Thus far, his performance has been the worst in the league in just about every statistical category.
After being down 30-0 to the Miami Dolphins at halftime, the offense has looked better. But the past two weeks have appeared remarkably improved with the rotation of QBs Jeff Driskel and Davis Mills.
2.Turnovers and defensive playmaking
Vs Kansas City:
Kansas City 22
That’s the field positioning gained by the five turnovers in the past two weeks. All of which are in either opponent territory or saved a potential TD. 24 of their 47 points were scored after turnovers. When the Texans can force opposing offenses off the field and supply themselves with advantageous field position, that’s a recipe for success.
3. Revived Running Game
Rookie Dameon Pierce is out for the season. Forcing Rex Burkhead and Royce Freeman to run in the same style and produce equivalent results is unrealistic. Therefore, Pep Hamilton has adjusted the scheme to fit the player. Next Gen Stats shows us the difference in the offense recently:
Running through the middle wasn’t in the scheme this past week. Hitting the edge worked extremely well. Mainly this was executed with the zone read with Jeff Driskel. It’s a smart wrinkle to an offense that has enjoyed bludgeoning itself into the backs of the offensive line.
4. Chris Moore Stepping Up
In the wake of Brandin Cooks giving up and Nico Collins’ injury, fans were horrified at their receiving options. The WR3 position has been a major question mark all season and there was no true answer. Now with options one and two out, Moore was elevated to the primary target. He’s stepped up to the role of these past two games with his best performances of the season. He thrashed the Cowboys on 10 catches for 124 yards. He only has two TDs for the season and hasn’t produced as a red zone target
The NFL blocks all fun, but here is a link to Moore’s stellar performance against those Cowboys. Moore had his way with Kelvin Joseph throughout the game in an impressive performance. Moore isn’t exactly one for the future, but it’s great to see him taking advantage of this opportunity.
5. The Jeff Driskel Experience
If you told me QB Jeff Driskel would be our saving grace in week 15 of the NFL season… I’d honestly believe you. It’s the path of least resistance at this point. In the words of me on the couch at 12:00 CST the last 15 Sundays, “we ain’t goin’ nowhere so let’s have some fun”.
When you put people in positions to fail, the ones who do succeed will succeed for life. It’s those who turn their opportunity into the chance of a lifetime. Jeff Driskel has had multiple chances in the pros. This is his fifth team, he switched positions to TIGHT END in 2021, and now he’s our X-factor. You’ve got to love guys who love football. Pure competitors. You will absolutely see Driskel coaching in some capacity in the next 3-5 years.
Let’s absolutely ride. In a season lacking any spark or energy, give me a guy who will run through a brick wall to get a first down. Driskel could lead men to war. That’s why you keep him around. It doesn’t matter if we’re running a high school level offense with him at QB, if he moves the ball down the field and gets those ugly orange sticks 10 yards a part moving, I’m all here for it.
Football. It’s supposed to be fun, remember?