Texans offensive line produces third straight strong effort

Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Texans offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (78) against the Kansas City Chiefs in a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Texans offensive line produces third straight strong effort

Despite injuries and position re-shuffling, Houston’s offensive line performed well yet again.

For the third straight game, the Houston Texans’ primary quarterback was not sacked, and Houston was in yet another game until the bitter end.

Despite left guard Kenyon Green being unavailable due to injury, and top reserve guard Justin McCray not playing, the Texans line continued to do a solid job with protection up front.

McCray, who missed Week 14 with an injury, was active but did not play. He missed two full practices last week and only got a limited practice in Friday. He was clearly a worst-case scenario backup play against Kansas City, as he did not play a single snap.

Instead, Houston moved right tackle Tytus Howard inside to left guard, a position he has familiarity with in his time as a Texan. Howard replaced the injured Green at guard, and Charlie Heck made the start at right tackle. Both players played every offensive snap at their new positions.

The revamped line surrendered only one sack (taken by Jeff Driskel) and five quarterback hits. In their previous two games, Houston allowed no sacks and three quarterback hits combined. It’s the best stretch that the team’s line has put together this season.

Head coach Lovie Smith was complimentary of his offensive line Monday.

“We like the way they’ve continued to fight. It’s kind of coach talk a little bit, but we do. Last week, we had some injures. Kenyon Green didn’t play. Tytus (Howard), we need to switch places. You’ve been playing tackle all year. Need you to play guard. You’re going to be playing against one of the best players in football, all of that. We like the way the line has shuffled. Scott Quessenberry didn’t start off as our starting center. I like the way he’s moved in there. We shuffled guys around, but for them to be playing that type of ball right now has to be encouraging.”

Considering the offensive line is the one unit that must act as a cohesive unit on every play, getting five men to play perfectly in sync with one changing positions and one coming off the bench is no easy task.

Smith also mentioned the tremendous play of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, whose play this season is being overlooked nationally because of the Texans’ poor record. Tunsil has played at an All-Pro level, and coach Smith was aware that the Pro Bowl will be coming up soon.

“One of the best offensive linemen in football. We talk about our guys; we don’t get a chance to vote for any of our guys. If I was on an opposing team, I would definitely vote him in. He’s that good.”

Tunsil has posted the highest offensive tackle grade in Texans history this season, according to Pro Football Focus. He has allowed only one sack this season. He completely shut down Micah Parsons of the Cowboys, who is a DPOY candidate.

Coach Smith also believes that LG Kenyon Green will return this season.

“Yes, we do. The guys that we put on IR, they can’t. But if we haven’t, we’re expecting those players to come back. We have football left to go. We’re talking about who we’re playing, so yes, we’re hoping that those guys can go.”

Related Posts:

1 Comment

  • That is the first postive thing i’ve read about the Texans this season. It has been miserable. No fun to watch. I hope things get better soon. I’ll be 80 in june🤓

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *