Texans most balanced offense in NFL
The Texans might have the most balanced offense in football. Andre Johnson says that this team distributes the ball between the run and the pass better than any other team he's ever played on.
The NFL has become a pass happy league and the Texans might utilize the run and pass as equals better than any other team. The Texans have run 485 pass plays this season compared to 472 run plays.
“It makes the defense defend a lot," Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. "They put an extra guy down in the box to stop the run. We think we have the people to throw it well and a quarterback that distributes it well. They play back, we think we can do enough offensively running the ball with a two shell safety or whatever, quarters, that we can find some holes and then certainly a lot of our big chunks come off our play pass and our movement game, which is off the running game."
Johnson and Arian Foster have formed the NFL's top rushing-receiving combination this season and almost have the same number of yards. Foster has 1,313 yards on the ground and Johnson has 1,360 yards receiving.
“We want to be balanced, so, like the other day, I like the way we played," Gary Kubiak said. "We ran for 180 and threw for 260. That’s where we want to be. When we’re doing those type of things, we’re usually staying on the field and helping our defense. Andre has been exceptional, Arian has been there all year long. Arian is a workhorse-type of guy."
When it comes to scoring the football the Texans are right down the middle as well. 22 touchdowns have been scored off the pass and 18 off the run.
“That’s what our offense is built on, is to be balanced," Matt Schaub said. "You look over the past few years and that’s when we’re playing our best. That’s when we’re playing our most efficient, is when we can run the football, be successful with that, couple that with our play action, our bootleg game, where we can take some shots down the field and be effective and keep our third downs manageable and then we’re converting on those. That all leads to us scoring points.”
Schaub is right on two points. The Texans have been successfully balancing the ball the last few seasons. Since 2010, the Texans are the only team in the NFL to have a running back to average over 90 yards a game and have a receiver average over 90 yards a game. Schaub more than anybody also knows how well this balanced offense helps the play action pass. Schaub runs this so well and it's because teams must respect the run game.
“It all looks the same, whether it be our run plays or when we run our play action game," Schaub said. "When it all looks the same, the guys up front do a great job of selling those plays to make it look to the linebackers like a run. Then all we need is that split second to get down field, then the receivers obviously making the play.”
The health of Johnson has maybe been the biggest reason for the success of running and passing the ball equally.
"Dre has been hurt the last couple years so we kind of missed that, but you see exactly how dangerous he could be when he’s healthy," Foster said. "He showed it last year in the playoffs. In my opinion, he’s a Half of Famer and he’s going to continue to put up big performances for us because that’s what he does.”