There are always lessons from every NFL game.Here are the lessons from the win over the Jaguars:
1. The Jaguars are so bad that they lose despite allowing just 99 passing yards
In an NFL game these days, 99 passing yards is a slow quarter for some teams. But that is all Brock Osweiler needed for the Texans to pull out this victory. Still, 14/27 is nearing Tim Tebow territory. What’s even more astonishing is that 1/7th of his passes were for touchdowns–and both to tight ends (Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson).
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Blake Bortles produced almost as much offense for the Texans as Osweiler did–Bortles threw a pick six to Kareem Jackson to get the scoring going and then fumbled to set up another scoring opportunity…that Nick Novak missed. True to form, the Jaguars pass defense stopped Osweiler but the running game did well, with 181 yards.
2. Akeem Hunt finally might be the #2 back the Texans have looked for all year
Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, now Akeem Hunt might finally be the winner of the competition to be the #2 back. Blue ran seven times for just 23 yards, and couldn’t punch it in from the one yard line. He’s a special teamer.
But Hunt may be the real deal. As a rookie he averaged 6.5 yards per carry and then on Sunday he averaged 5.6. While the sample size is limited, he could finally be the guy the Texans have looked for even since the days of Arian Foster.
Now his size is a bit of a concern at just 190 pounds, but as a change of pace back to get between 10-15 touches per game, he could fill a needed role in this offense.
3. The Texans still don’t have a pass rush
Bortles has been one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league over the last few years, in part due to a weak offensive line that is not good at pass protection and the fact Bortles has to throw so much due to a lack of running game and being behind most of the time. But on Sunday the Texans got only two sacks. One from John Simon and the other from rookie D.J. Reader.
While Whitney Mercilus leads the team with a respectable 4.5 sacks, they have come in three games. For six games, zero. The Texans must make getting a premiere pass rusher a priority in the offseason, because they cannot simply count on J.J. Watt being the same player he was before the injury. I think Watt is capable of complete recovery and getting back to his previous level, but that is not guaranteed.