Midseason Report Card: Offensive Line
Patrick D. Starr
We look at the Houston Texans offensive line in this midseason report card.
The offensive line has been hot and cold this season, and when the Texans offense is on their “A” game the offensive line is a big part. Considered one of the best units in the NFL, they have shown flashes as a group they can dominate when needed.
The Texans are second in the league in rushing with 1,135 yards and are 20th in the league in sacks given up with 15. They have 20 total negative rushes on the season and are 18th in the league with 4.2 yards a carry. They have cleared the way for Arian Foster and Ben Tate, but there is needed improvement in the second half of the season.
Eric Winston has struggled majority of the season so that is the reason for the C. He has picked up his game the past two weeks, but his first 6 weeks were marred with false starts, sacks given up and holding calls. Once considered a book end tackle, he has been struggling to live up to those expectations.
Wade Smith, Chris Myers and Mike Brisiel have been steady in the middle. Myers and Smith have had their hands full lately and have gotten their fare share of kickings by opposing defensive lines. Smith got abused by Haloti Ngata and Myers took his lumps against the Raiders, but they have enough experience to overcome those issues and continue to be solid up the middle. Brisiel gets a B+ for the fact his is consistent, and nothing more. We don’t hear much from him, but he has been solid in the run game and works well with Myers in the run game. His ability to control the inside of the pocket is big especially on the right side of the offense.
Duane Brown is one of the few players that we graded to get an A+ for the first 8 games of the season. Playing heavier this season he has become the leader of the offensive line and protected the blindside of Matt Schaub and provided some serious run blocking, ask James Harrison. Brown has grown as a player and is proving he is an emerging left tackle in the NFL.