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Texans vs. Chargers: 3 to Watch Behind Enemy Lines

A look at three offensive players for the Los Angeles Chargers that the Houston Texans need to keep tabs on.

The Houston Texans (0-2-1) remain winless after Sunday’s heartbreaking 23-20 loss to the Chicago Bears. All three games for the Texans - including the season-opening tie against the Indianapolis Colts - have ended within one possession.

The Texans will now welcome the Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) to NRG Stadium on Sunday looking to get their first win. Maybe they can take something away from how their AFC South rival, the Jacksonville Jaguars, manhandled the Chargers in a 38-10 blowout.

Los Angeles boasts some incredible talent on both sides of the ball. But for now, let's focus on the offensive players - aside from an obvious choice in franchise quarterback Justin Herbert - that could present some issues for Houston's defense.

RB Austin Ekeler

Oftentimes used as a receiver more than a running back, Ekeler has developed into one of the league's top backfield threats during his six-year career. 

In 2021, while only rushing for the 11th-most yards (911) and the 14th-most carries, he still tied Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathon Taylor for most total touchdowns at the position (20). This was boosted by his elite receiving numbers, as Ekeler led all runnings backs in receiving yards (647) and receiving touchdowns (eight).

However, with 53 total touches for 219 yards through three games, Ekeler hasn't yet shown he's ready to reproduce the elite results he finished with last season. But going up against a Houston defense that has given up the most rushing yards per game this season by a mile (202.3), Ekeler could finally have his chance to break one free. 

WR Mike Williams

A physically-gifted receiver at 6-4, 218, Willams is arguably the best contested-catch play-maker in the league. 

In Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Williams served as LA's top wideout and posted eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. A handful of these catches were when he was matched up one-on-one and simply out-played his defender to make the grab. 

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And on his touchdown catch, he made a diving one-hand catch in the end zone that showed he's more than just size and power.

A young Houston secondary could have some serious trouble stopping Williams when Herbert throws his way. 

WR Keenan Allen

Allen has been battling a hamstring injury during the early part of this season but has been one of the league's most consistent slot receivers during his 10-year career. 

If not for coming up eight receiving yards shy of 1,000 in 2020, Allen would be headed into this season with five straight 1,000-yard and six-plus touchdown seasons. 

A tough route-runner who has shown elite rapport with Herbert when healthy, Allen's bounce-back game from injury could come against Houston on Sunday. 

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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