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Run game, finishing and tackle-fixing | Dear Drew

Got a question about the Texans? Life in general? Drew Dougherty's your guy. He's been with the Texans since 2009 and is chock full of meaningful, as well as generally useless, information. Fire away by clicking HERE!

Nathan Pastrano: Dear Drew, The Texans have been emphasizing week after week about "finishing games". But so far, we haven't seen it happen. Do you think this will change at all or will they continue to struggle in the 4th quarter?
DD: It's a zillion dollar question, Nathan. The Texans haven't scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter this season, and since the Davis Mills-to-O.J. Howard scoring pass in the third quarter against the Colts, Houston's now gone scoreless in five quarters after halftime, as well as the overtime period against Indianapolis. Getting fourth quarter touchdowns in these games would have certainly turned the tide in the Texans favor.
Against the run this season, the Texans defense has allowed 177, 149 and 281 yards in successive games. Opponents have combined to average 36.3 carries per game, and they've picked up an average of 5.6 yards per carry. The latter mark is next-to-worst in the NFL.
Ultimately, getting touchdowns late and doing a better job of stopping the run throughout will help the Texans finish games.
The Chargers come to town averaging an NFL-low 2.6 yards per carry this year. Several of their stars—Quarterback Justin Herbert, Left Tackle Rashawn Slater, Defensive End Joey Bosa and Wide Receiver Keenan Allen, to name a few—are either out or will play through extreme pain due to injuries.
The Texans walloped Los Angeles last year in December, and now's as good a time as any to "finish" and get the first victory of 2022.

Teresa Jessie: Dear Drew, How soon are we going to see Jeff Driskel at quarterback?
DD: Teresa, he might be back again soon. Driskel's currently on the practice squad, but was pulled up to play in the first two games of the season. He had a carry in each contest, getting five yards against the Colts and 10 against the Broncos out of the Wildcat formation. We'll surely see him again this season in a game, most likely in that Wildcat type of scenario.

Jose Valdez: Dearest of Drew, Why do you think Lovie's not committed to the run? He says he is but it doesn't seem that way.
DD: We've seen Dameon Pierce's carries and yardage rise each week. I still believe they'll find ways to get him more touches as the season progresses. He's clearly an electric player who Smith has praised as someone who finishes well when he's on the field and given the ball. Smith wasn't wild about Pierce's two fumbles in Chicago, and said the rookie must protect the ball better, but I think you'll see more of him this week, and in the weeks to follow.

Art Guerra: Dear Drew, How will the Texans fix the missed tackles?
DD: Smith said Monday his defenders need to "get in a little bit better positions and wrap up once you get to the point of attack." They're back in the building for film work and meetings on Tuesday, and will hit the practice field Wednesday through Friday. They'll work on tackling better in those practices, and hopefully put it to use on Sunday against the Chargers.

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