Run game may continue to be problematic for Texans

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The Houston Texans didn’t have an effective run game to complement quarterback Deshaun Watson, who earned his third straight Pro Bowl appearance despite the club’s 4-12 record.

Don’t expect 2021 to be any different, regardless of who is under center for the Texans.

According to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, the Texans have the absolute worst starting running back in the league. Monson didn’t even bother to retain former All-Pro David Johnson as the starting running back or give former Pro Bowler Phillip Lindsay the benefit of the doubt. Instead, Monson went with Ingram as the Texans’ starting running back and graded the situation accordingly.

Mark Ingram is getting up in age and has some real mileage under his belt. He is coming off a season in which he was effectively sidelined and reduced to the role of cheerleader in Baltimore. Still, a year before that, he averaged 3.1 yards after contact per carry and broke 40 tackles on 208 attempts.

Ingram tallied 299 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through 11 games for Baltimore, nine of which he started in 2020.

Given the Texans’ ambiguity at quarterback with Watson presumably never coming back and the battle going between Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Finley, and Davis Mills, having a decent run game to control the pace of the game would be helpful in Houston’s quest to avoid another four-win season — or worse. Regardless of who starts in the backfield for Houston, they will have to prove to the rest of the NFL they can get the job done.