Dameon Pierce set a Texans high water mark with Week 9 outing

The running game has been a key part of any success found by the Houston Texans’ offense in 2022, and after a career-defining outing against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9, rookie running back Dameon Pierce has shown no intention of slowing down. His 139 rushing yards were enough to rank as the third-best performance of any Texans running back in franchise history, just 17 yards off of the top mark of 156 set by Steve Slaton and Alfred Blue in 2008 and 2014 respectively.

If it weren’t for the lack of a touchdown in the effort, the game could’ve gone down as one of the best showings from a ball carrier in the team’s existence. Pierce was one of the only reasons that Houston was able to keep the matchup competitive heading into the fourth quarter, and as the offense functioned without their top two receivers, Pierce proved to be the go-to option on nearly every snap.

Quarterback Davis Mills and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton would be wise to leverage Pierce’s production to incorporate more play-action passes into their game plan to keep opposing defenses on their toes and keep their attack from becoming one-dimensional. While Pierce may be able to carry the load for the team early in his career, wear and tear on his body may become a consideration in the years to come as he looks to build on the success and promise of his outstanding rookie season.

Watch for the Texans to continue feeding their phenomenal first-year back as they seek to prove that old-school ground-and-pound football can still win games in the contemporary pass-happy NFL. Teams around the league are gearing their defenses toward stopping the pass, and head coach Lovie Smith will be pleased to exploit their weakness in every game that Houston plays.

Pierce has a huge chance to become a cornerstone of the Texans franchise with continued improvement to his already incredible skillset and should have every opportunity to prove that he can keep up the torrid pace he has set for himself to this point in the 2022 season.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire