Ground game on a roll for Texans in last 4 games

The Texans have ground out 146 rushing yards per game, on average, over the last four contests.

Through the first five games of 2016, they averaged just 101 per game.

One big reason: the return to the lineup of left tackle Duane Brown. After sitting out the first quarter of the season with a quadriceps injury, he was in for 61 percent of the snaps in the loss at Minnesota. But starting the next week at home against Indianapolis, the Pro Bowler's played every snap over the last quartet of contests.

"I think Duane's playing real well," head coach Bill O'Brien said on Monday. "He's having a really good season."

Houston's 3-1 in that span he's played a whole game. Yesterday at Jacksonville, the Texans ground game pumped out 181 yards on 33 carries. Lamar Miller, Akeem Hunt, Alfred Blue and Brock Osweiler all had a carry go for 11 yards or more. Miller broke loose for a 45-yarder on the offense's first possession, and Hunt's 17-yarder on 3rd-and-16 in the fourth quarter proved to be a key play in the win.

"We didn't get the stop backed up in their own end," Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley said on Sunday. "A critical play.  Defense played pretty good all day, but that's the one that really sticks out.  When you lose a game, you go back and certain plays stick out."

O'Brien went up-and-down the line, and included the tight ends and fullback Jay Prosch in explaining how the Texans were able to chew up so much yardage in the victory.

"I give all those guys credit," O'Brien said. "Whenever you rush for 180 yards it's not just the backs, obviously. Those guys up front are doing a good job, and that was good to see yesterday."

Next Monday night in Mexico City, the Texans face a Raiders defense ranked 21st in the NFL. Oakland's allowed an average of 114.8 rushing yards per game.

The Traveling Texans fans showed up in full force for the matchup in Jacksonville with the Jaguars.

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