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Texans Sticking With Tim Kelly As Play-Caller

Coach David Culley says Tim Kelly not to blame for Houston's offensive woes

HOUSTON -- Yes, the Houston Texans have the last-ranked offense in the NFL in terms of scoring, total offense and rushing offense.

No, that doesn’t mean the Texans are planning to take away play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Tim Kelly.

Texans coach David Culley backed Kelly, affirming his responsibilities and stating that he isn’t to blame for the offensive woes.

In his second year as Texans offensive coordinator, Kelly has overseen an offense that’s averaging a league-low 14.9 points and 264.8 yards per game, while also ranking last in rushing offense and average per carry.

Kelly, 35, was retained after the Texans fired former coach/general manager Bill O’Brien. Houston had NFL passing leader last season in Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Of course, Watson isn’t playing after requesting a trade and is facing unresolved legal issues. And the Texans are playing without injured offensive linemen Laremy Tunsil, Marcus Cannon and Justin Britt.

“That’s not even a question about Tim being the play-caller,” Culley said Monday at NRG Stadium. “We got to play better. It has nothing to do with the play call. It has something to do with us playing better and doing things the right way.”

The Texans squandered a 14-11 halftime lead Sunday during a 21-14 loss to the New York Jets, and had just three first downs and 45 yards of total offense in the second half.

The Texans have struggled to run and football, but have improved lately in avoiding turnovers. Overall, though, this is far from a dangerous offense.

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“No, I would just like to see our whole offense do better, me as a head coach do better in getting things the way it should be,” Culley said. “But no, there is no question about our play-calling. It’s the fact that we are not doing what we need to do when the play is called.”

The Texans allowed five sacks against a disruptive Jets front seven headlined by John Franklin-Myers (two sacks, one interception) and Quinnen Williams.

It was tough sledding again for the running game.

“Well it has something to do with everybody on the offense,” Culley said. “The line, when the backs aren’t always hitting the right hole, we aren’t always making the right calls. It’s a combination of things. It’s not who is running the ball. It’s how we are all executing it when we are out there running those plays.”.

After quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw touchdown passes to receiver Brandin Cooks and rookie tight end Brevin Jordan to build a 14-3 lead, the offense nosedived.

The Texans finished with just 13 first downs, 202 yards of total offense and an average of 3.7 yards per offensive play.

The Jets entered Sunday allowing 414.2 total yards of offense and 282.2 passing yards per game.

“The flow wasn't right in the second half,” Taylor said. “We have to be better at that moving forward. I think that boils down to execution.

"If you look at the first half, the flow of the game was in our favor. We were executing, hitting our chunk plays, doing what we needed to do in the run game. We didn't do it in the second half.”