Texans WR Brandin Cooks says run game takes pressure off play-calling

The Houston Texans rushing offense has been as effective bloodletting to treating strep throat.

The Texans’ rushing attack has generated 3.3 yards per carry, the absolute worst in the NFL, and averages 75.8 yards per game, the second-worst in the league. When the Texans have wanted to move the ball on offense, they have had to rely on the pass. However, opposing defenses are aware of this reality, and don’t have to defend Houston in a two-dimensional fashion.

Receiver Brandin Cooks has been a beneficiary of the Texans’ reliance upon the passing attack with 57 catches for 641 yards and two touchdowns through nine games. Yet the eighth-year wideout knows that the Texans don’t have a prayer to snap their eight-game losing streak if they can’t open up the run game.

“Just from our team, we preach physicality,” Cooks said. “Any time you can run the ball well, that gives your team a boost. But from a whole offensive standpoint, it just opens up everything else.”

The best part of the run game working is it allows offensive coordinator Tim Kelly to be more creative with his play calls rather than cycle through the same passing plays.

“When your backs are running hard and your O-line is able to do what they do, and you’re getting good yards per carry, I feel like from a play calling standpoint, that just takes a lot of pressure off of T.K. (Kelly). That’s what we look forward to doing.”

Although it is easy to scapegoat the offensive line as being the issue for why the running backs aren’t able to generate any movement, Cooks also takes responsibility on behalf of the perimeter players.

Said Cooks: “We’ve all got a part in that, not just the O-line and the running backs, but the receivers as well, blocking downfield and staying engaged with our man.”

The Texans may find a crease agains the Tennessee Titans. Although the leaders of the AFC South are 8-2, they give up 4.4 yards per carry, tied for the 11th-most in the league.

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