Lovie Smith likes the idea of giving Giants a problem with Texans’ running game

HOUSTON – One look at the Houston Texans’ 1-6-1 record, and one would conclude that they are on track to finish with less than the four wins they have had in back-to-back years.

Yet, one glance at rookie running back Dameon Pierce carrying the ball, and you know that the Texans are putting together something special on the offensive side of the ball. Through eight games, Pierce has 678 yards on 148 carries and has reached the end zone five times. He is just three yards shy of being in the top-five leading rushers in the NFL.

The fourth-round draft pick out of the University of Florida has made his presence known around the league and shined when the lights were the brightest with a prime-time performance last Thursday night against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. He finished the game with a career-high 139 yards and averaged over five yards per carry.

Although the Texans’ defense will have their hands full trying to stop New York Giants’ dynamic running back Saquon Barkley, who has amassed 779 yards this season, the Giants’ defense, which ranks 25th in the league giving up 137.3 yards per game, will have to find a way to slow down Pierce.

“First thing, it’s a good sound to it, ‘going against another top-10 running back’, saying that we have a top-10 running back,” said Texans head coach Lovie Smith when asked about the Giants preparing for Pierce. “I think whatever you are, as a football team, what you believe, your personality, you don’t get away from that. We need to run the football.”

“We’ve said that every game, that’s not going to change, doesn’t matter who we go against. They have an excellent defense that’s going to challenge us in a lot of different ways that other teams have not. We have to meet that challenge. It’s kind of as simple as that.”

The Texans are prepared to get wide receivers Nico Collins and Brandin Cooks back this week when they travel to New York, and that could help Pierce tremendously in the run game if the offense can get some production from them.

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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire