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Texans big run game not enough in 34-6 loss

The Texans were successful in running the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it wasn’t enough in the 34-6 loss on Christmas Day. Led by Alfred Blue who had 108 yards on 16 carries, Houston rushed for a season-high 176 yards as a team.

“We probably should have run it almost every down,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “Probably should have, looking back on it. I don’t know how many times we ran it, but probably should have done it a lot more than we did. But, he did a good job. He ran hard. He ran hard. Since he’s been back healthy, he’s been running hard. I thought that the line did a good job.”

It was the first time the Texans offense eclipsed 100 yards on the ground since Week 11 in their 31-21 win over Arizona. Houston recorded 115 rushing yards by halftime, which was the most rushing yards gained by Houston in the first half since Week 2 of 2012 vs. Jacksonville when the Texans had 118 rushing yards in the first half.

“We had a couple good looks that we liked against their front as far as running scheme,” Yates said. “We knew they’re obviously a very, very good defense, one of the best in the league, but we did a good job opening up some holes and those guys did a good job working together up front to get the run game going.”

Lamar Miller rushed for 55 yards on 10 attempts, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Blue averaged 6.8 yards per carry, with a 48-yard gain in the second quarter, his longest run in a regular season game.

“It was a just a double team play that the line, they moved the down lineman and gave me the crease and I back-doored it and went around (DeAndre) Hopkins’ block,” Blue said.

With his performance, Blue passed Steve Slaton (1,832) for the fifth-most rushing yards in Texans history.

“He’s been running really, really hard ever since he’s been back these past couple weeks,” Yates said. “You saw it at the end of the Jaguars game last week. He’s got something about him right now that he’s running hard. He’s running with some passion.”

The Texans will close out their 2017 regular season on the road against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

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