The Houston Texans are no strangers to harsh commentary and headlines in recent months, and unfortunately, a ranking by Pro Football Focus of the top 32 running backs in the NFL that was published on Tuesday follows this trend.
With three former Pro Bowl running backs on their roster, surely the Texans couldn't rank at the bottom?
Veteran Mark Ingram is Houston's highest-ranked running back ranked as, you guessed it, 32nd best in the league.
Mark Ingram is getting up in age and has some real mileage under his belt. He is coming off a season in which he was effectively sidelined and reduced to the role of cheerleader in Baltimore. Still, a year before that, he averaged 3.1 yards after contact per carry and broke 40 tackles on 208 attempts - Sam Monson, PFF.
Granted, he has yet to play for the Texans and is coming off of a somewhat quiet year by his standards. However, given he was a Pro Bowler just one year prior and the circumstances around him in Baltimore last season weren't conducive to getting the best out of him anyway, it seems harsh.
We say it is especially so when considering that two rookies in Najee Harris and Travis Etienne both rank ahead of him, despite having proven nothing at the NFL level so far - although their talent is undeniable.
Meanwhile, fellow Texans backs David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay also missed out. Johnson comes as no surprise as 2020 wasn't the comeback year many had hoped for from the former All-Pro.
That being said, Lindsay had two consecutive 1,000+ rushing yards seasons prior to last year which, much like Ingram's, was somewhat of a disappointment thanks in large part to injuries. As such, dropping him from this list seems rough.
Regardless of this ranking, Texans fans shouldn't be disheartened.
Lindsay is still only 26 and has proven that he is more than capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level in the NFL. And both he and Ingram have the luxury of being featured in an offense in Houston which should, in theory, get the best out of their respective skill sets. Plus they should have an offensive line blocking the way for them which, on paper at least, looks to have strengthened this offseason.
For now, anyway, though? There is no place for the Texans runners to go but up.