HOUSTON — Describing the Houston Texans‘ inability to stop the run as atrocious is an understatement — to say the least.
The Texans gave up more than 160 yards on the ground in five of their first eight games of the season. Their worst came during an overtime loss to the Titans, in a game where Houston allowed a franchise-worst 263 rushing yards against Tennessee. Derrick Henry accounted for 212 yards in the win.
A strenuous schedule that featured a handful of the NFL’s top rushers is one of the most notable reasons behind Houston’s struggles. However, with their next opponent coming against the 5-3 Cleveland Browns, the Texans will face one of their most difficult challenges to date.
“I think in this reign, we’re 2-2,” interim head coach Romeo Crennel said on Monday. “If we can go 3-2 and get our heads above water — we can go from there. We’ve still got eight games left in the season. And I think it would mean that we are making strides as a team.”
Entering Week 10, Cleveland currently ranks fifth in rushing, averaging 150.0 yards per game. While their run game has taken a bit of a decline in recent weeks, the return of Nick Chubb should be enough for the Browns to re-establish themselves as one of the NFL’s top rushing teams.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Pro-Bowl running back made his return to practice on Monday after missing the previous four weeks with an MCL injury. Although Chubb’s status against the Texans has not been made official, all indications are pointing towards his return this Sunday.
Chubb was on pace towards a career year before sustaining his injury against the Cowboys. Through his first four games of the season, Chubb had registered 335 yards on 57 attempts (5.9 AVG), to go along with four touchdowns.
The Texans will have to get creative with their defensive scheme if Chubb makes his return to the field. While running a dual running back system, Chubb split responsibilities in the backfield with Karee Hunt — who is now the team’s leading rusher (529 YDS).
The Texans will be looking for their first two-game win streak of the season after defending the Jaguars on Sunday. Although the Browns will be without Odell Beckham, picking up a victory inside the Dawg Pound could be a grueling task for the Texans in Chubb’s return.
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