The Houston Texans players will be back in the building on Tuesday following Sunday's 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Head Coach Lovie Smith addressed the media and here are four takeaways from Monday's press conference.
1. Getting back to the ground game
The Houston Texans have struggled in the run game in back-to-back weeks. Dameon Pierce, who led all rookies in rushing yards, has totalled 16 yards on 15 carries in Weeks 11 and 12 combined. Against the Dolphins, Houston was trailing 30-0 by halftime, but was unable to get the ground game going in either half, finishing with just 14 carries for 36 yards.
Head Coach Lovie Smith discussed what hasn't happened in the past two weeks and wants to get the run game back on track.
"The running game is about one-on-one blocking up front first," Smith said. "It's about that, man-on-man. We've done that for the majority of the season. Last couple of weeks, we've kind of lost that. We got to get it back, better technique, better want-to and it's a must as much as anything. But we're not going to abandon the run. Everybody still has to be able to run the football, we just got to do it better."
2. Kyle Allen will get second start
The Texans named Kyle Allen their starting quarterback Friday. Allen completed 26-of-39 passes for 215 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Miami. Expect Allen to get his second start this Sunday with a full week of work with the first team.
"When you haven't played in a while, there is some rust," Smith said. "That's why starting off, Kyle was playing better football in the second half than he played in the first. That interception at the end, we can't have that but just overall, we didn't score a point in the first half, we scored 15 in the second with him leading us. So hopefully, that's just a part of it. You have to just assume the best ball will be a little bit later on and hopefully this week we will see marked improvement."
3. Bouncing back vs. Browns
The Texans will face their former QB Deshaun Watson in his first game upon being reinstated from his 11-game suspension. Watson will make his return in the stadium where he last played when Houston wrapped up the 2020 regular season against the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 3, 2021.
Smith said he expects a talented Browns team to be even better with Watson's return. Read more here.
4. Injury updates
"The guys from yesterday's game, we're still evaluating," Smith said of Sunday's injuries.
Smith Rookie LB Christian Harris left Sunday's game with a shoulder injury and did not return. RB Rex Burkhead is currently in the concussion protocol after he took a scary hit and was shaken up late in the fourth quarter. Derek Stingley Jr. missed his second consecutive game with a mild hamstring injury, but is "getting better," according to Smith.
Kickoff against the Browns will be Sunday at noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
Tap to browse tickets for the Houston Texans next home game vs. the Cleveland Browns here.