Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly’s offense put out one of its most disheartening performances of the season yet on Sunday versus the New York Jets. The scene was perfectly set for the Texans to finally succeed to their fullest potential. The team was coming off a huge victory over the Tennessee Titans, starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was fully healthy, and they were facing a dreadful Jets’ defense that had struggled all season.
Needless to say, that is not what came to fruition for Houston. The team mustered a measly 202 yards of offense in what was the team’s most disheartening loss of the season: a 21-14 loss, at home, to an equally porous 2-8 Jets team.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, despite throwing for two scores, did not perform to the veteran tag associated with his status on the team. The passer took inopportune sacks and ultimately failed to move the ball when it mattered late into crunch time against the Jets’ 29th ranked pass defense. This doesn’t include one of the more bizarre interceptions you’ll see this season.
Speaking of sacks, this was far from the offensive line’s best performance. They allowed five sacks on the day and, notably, the game of musical chairs continued with the shuffling of left guard (formerly right tackle) Tytus Howard to left tackle for the contest.
Running backs David Johnson and Rex Burkhead failed to make an impact on the ground running for 39 and 27 yards respectively for averages of 3.9 and 2.3 yards each. The offense once again struggled to feature its only star in Brandin Cooks.
Cooks received only five targets which were turned into three receptions for 45 yards, 40 of which came on a huge second quarter touchdown pass.
The lone bright spot on Sunday may have been the 2021 rookies. Both Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan found ways to get involved on offense. Collins tied Cooks in the team league for targets with 5 while Jordan hauled in the game’s first touchdown with a dart over the middle from Taylor.
It was more of the same for Houston: poorly timed and often poorly executed runs that couldn’t be overcome by a passing offense that has struggled all season. Despite any creativity seen early in the year, this offensive unit is one that has consistently struggled to generate yardage.
Ultimately, this game was yet another in a long testimony of failures by the 2021 Houston coaching staff. It was the worst offensive performance by any team against the Jets’ this year and in a contest many across the league expected them to win by a mile. A failure to perform in even the most favorable of circumstances will add even more heat to a seat that is scorching hot for the Texans’ 2021 staff.
One has to wonder just how long the team will allow Taylor to start in what is officially a lost season at 2-9. The team may be best suited to allow Davis Mills to start and to see what they can learn about their young passer. Even more so, how long will Tim Kelly be allowed to run out game plans that feature poorly timed Burkhead draws and Taylor rollouts.
Game scripts and game outcomes like this may force the staff to continue to lean on veterans as they try to save their jobs entering an important off-season.