Texans OC Tim Kelly says RB David Johnson has found a rhythm in run game

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Mark Lane
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Running back David Johnson has started to play up to the definitive vision the Houston Texans had when they traded for him in March before free agency.

The former 2016 All-Pro has tallied at least a 4.40 yards per carry in two of the last four games. Johnson missed Week 14 due to being a close contact with COVID-19, and in Week 15, although he didn’t reach that threshold in the 27-20 loss, he did catch 11 passes for 106 yards.

According to offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, Johnson is starting to hit his stride and find a rhythm with the offensive line.

“He’s running hard and really the guys up front are doing a good job of keeping him clean and letting him get to the second level,” Kelly said. “I’ve trusted them a little bit more. Earlier in the year, going back to the last question of what you’ve learned, you’ve got to stick to the run game a little bit, let David get into a rhythm, let those guys up front get into a rhythm.”

In Week 16, the Cincinnati Bengals bested the Texans 37-31 at NRG Stadium, but Johnson provided 128 yard and a touchdown on 12 carries, his fourth-best game on the ground of his career.

“I think they’ve done a great job over the past couple weeks of really doing that and allowing us to be more balanced in how we’re trying to attack the different defenses that we’re playing,” Kelly said. “David’s running really hard. He’s doing a good job. He’s protecting the football and we’re looking forward to him doing the same thing on Sunday.”

Johnson will lead the way for Houston’s running game as the Texans host the Tennessee Titans the season finale at NRG Stadium. In Week 6, Johnson carried 19 times for 57 yards and a touchdown in the 42-36 overtime loss at Nissan Stadium.