The Houston Texans offense is not only aware of their lack of touchdowns in road games this season, they've been downright frustrated by it.
After a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Davis Mills to Brandin Cooks in Week 2 at Cleveland, the Texans have gone 16 quarters without finding the end zone on the road.
"It's frustrating, but we've got to find a way to get it done," Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly said. "No matter how frustrating it is, for whatever reason – there's a multitude of them – we've got to find a way to put the ball in the end zone. I think everyone in the building's frustrated with it, and our guys are coming out and working to make sure that when those opportunities come up for us here in a few days that we're able to punch it in."
After last week's bye, the Texans have a chance to break their road streak when they face the (8-2) Tennessee Titans on Sunday. QB Tyrod Taylor, who returned off the Reserve/Injured list in the Week 9 game at Miami, said the offense is changing things up in order to find scoring success.
"Obviously, when you get a Bye Week, you get a chance to self-scout, and you want to build around those things," Taylor said. "We took away some strengths that we can take advantage of moving forward. Like you said, the main point is eliminating penalties and turnovers. That right there alone gives you the chance to go out each week and be successful, along with us doubling down on the things we have done well up until the point."
The keys to success lie in staying ahead of the chains, keep third downs manageable and executing in the red zone, Taylor said. The Texans have committed 17 turnovers (11 interceptions, six fumbles) and been plagued by penalties through the first nine games. The run game has also struggled, averaging just 75.8 yards per game, compounding the issues on offense.
However, despite penalties and turnovers, Houston's offense did have positives in the first half of the season that Head Coach David Culley and Kelly hope to exploit moving forward.
"I think throughout every game, there's been some stuff that we've been good at," Kelly said. "Different aspects of running the football, I know the numbers probably don't reflect that, but certain schemes have been more efficient for us than others. Certain styles of genres of the pass game, if you will, have been more successful than others. Again, it's just all about us being able to go back and identify it. Not only identify by the numbers, but going and watching the film and seeing where the breakdowns are and why plays haven't worked and why plays have, and continue to try to find those combinations, eliminate the bad ones, and accentuate the good ones."
The Texans travel to Nashville to face the Titans on Sunday. Kickoff from Nissan Stadium is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.