July 23, 2024

Regardless of who you ask, the Houston Texans are a team to beat in 2024. There are many reasons for this, but the passing game stands out. The Texans boast a fantastic one-two punch with C.J. Stroud, a dynamic young quarterback, and a trio of excellent receivers: Nico Collins, Stefon Diggs, and Tank Dell.

This makes their passing units among the best. This assessment doesn’t even account for tight end Dalton Schultz or the depth at the receiver position, which includes Noah Brown, Robert Woods, John Metchie III, Xavier Hutchinson, and Ben Skowronek. There’s also considerable optimism around rookie tight end Cade Stover.

Houston Texans v Cincinnati Bengals

Often overlooked, the offensive line appears to be improved from the 2024 season. Players like Juice Scruggs and Tytus Howard are expected to be healthy for the season, and the team drafted Blake Fischer in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

These factors contribute to Pro Football Focus ranking the Texans’ receiving corps at No. 5.

However, the reason they aren’t ranked higher in other publications is likely due to Joe Mixon. Mixon has never been a major threat out of the backfield; his best receiving season came in 2022 with over 400 yards through the air, but he only had about 800 rushing yards that year. It was his third-lowest season for yards from scrimmage.

When compared to teams like the San Francisco 49ers, it’s clear why PFF ranked them fifth. Except for the Miami Dolphins, who are ranked second, every team ahead of the Texans on PFF’s list has a better pass-catching running back and likely a better overall running back as well.

Currently, Mixon is the weakest link on the team, and the Texans will need to maximize his contribution if they hope to outscore other teams.

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