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O-line shows growth through first half of season

The Texans offense line, despite injuries and a number of changes early on in the season, has shown improvement through the first nine games. With both tackles in new starting roles, the Texans have faced tough pass rushers each week, most recently the likes of Denver’s Bradley Chubb and Von Miller.

“Still trying to get better week to week,” Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin said. “Every matchup is tough. Every defense we play has great players. I think playing together for the last couple, three, four weeks here is obviously helping. That always helps. You always tell them (if) you get five guys on the same page, you’ve got a chance.”

Since Week 1, both starting tackles have changed for the Texans offensive line. In the last five games, both Julién Davenport and Kendall Lamm have been consistent starters at left and right tackle, respectively. Lamm, an undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State, is now in his fourth season with Houston. Lamm is one of the players that has shown the most improvement, according to head coach Bill O’Brien.

“I’ll just tell you, he’s one of our favorite guys,” O’Brien said. “He really works hard. He’s had some ups and downs. He’s dealt with being on the practice squad, being on the 53. He’s fought hard to be where he’s at. He’s earned the right to play a lot of football. He’s tough, he understands how we want to play, he works his butt off and we really like having him on the team.”

Davenport, now in his second season out of Bucknell, started the season at left tackle. However, after a season-ending ankle injury to starting right tackle Seantrel Henderson, Davenport moved to the right for the next two games against Tennessee and the New York Giants. Rookie Martinas Rankin filled in at left tackle, but Davenport regained the starting role and has kept it since Week 5.

“Davenport, I think naturally a left (tackle) coming out of college,” Devlin said. “We had to move him back, so again, a young guy. The more he plays the better he’ll get and the more confidence he’ll get. Still have to get him playing earlier in games with that same type of mentality, but the last couple of games, if something was to occur, he wasn’t letting it snowball. (He’s) getting back and playing within the system. They’re learning, they’re fighting. That’s where we’re at.”

Through nine games this season, the Texans offense is averaging 369.1 net yards per game (248.9 passing, 120.2 rushing). Deshaun Watson has complte4d 64.9 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 100.8 passer rating.

Following their Week 10 bye, the (6-3) Texans will next face Washington on the road on Nov. 18.

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