It’s no secret Houston’s offensive passing game, which is ranked 30th in the NFL, is garbage. However, the Texans have been able to work around their glaring weakness by playing with a run-first approach, which is led by a ferocious offensive line and the speed and agility of Lamar Miller.
“You know, that’s our mentality, smash-mouth football,” Miller said. “We have an offensive line to do it and we have the running backs that can do it as well. We just try to go out there and do our assignment and just keep the chains moving any way that’s possible.”
So far, the Texans’ smash-mouth style of play has paid off for them. Houston ranks fifth in the league in offensive rushing, averaging 126 rushing yards a game. Miller has proved to be critical to the Texans’ success on offense, racking up 1,010 yards and four touchdowns on 246 carries in 2016.
Miller is playing a more significant role in Houston than he did in any of his previous seasons with the Miami Dolphins, which was one of the reasons Miller choose to sign with the Texans in March.
“Of course, I always have confidence in myself,” Miller said. “I’ve been playing running back my whole life, so of course I feel like I can carry the load. That’s part of the reason I came here. Just so I can get that workload and just help this team win.”
Although Houston’s offensive line has gone through several readjustments due to injuries, the Texans’ running game still remains their strong suit, and Miller is currently on pace to finish the season with 1,243 rushing yards, which would be the most yardage Miller has churned up in a single season.
“It’s great to have a good running game,” said Texans left tackle Duane Brown. “It’s great going late into the season. Being able to do it week in and week out, that’s a great accomplishment by the guys up front.”
Miller claimed to have a special surprise in store for the offensive line as far as gifts go, but his lips remained sealed as to what those gifts would be.
Even though opposing defenses know Houston likes to run the football down their throats, they still have had no success trying to stop them. Against the Colts last Sunday, the Texans picked up 181 yards on the ground, and 107 of those were by Miller, who also scored their lone touchdown of the game.
“A lot of teams know that we run the ball,” Miller said. “And for us to be able to keep getting positive yards and keep the chain moving, that’s telling us that the offensive line is doing a great job.”