The Eagles should be able to bring the pressure versus the Texans’ O-Line.
It didn’t matter who was behind center in 2021, Tyrod Taylor or Davis Mills. The Houston Texans’ offensive line had a hard time protecting their quarterback. The result was a long season in which they gave up the ninth most sacks in the NFL (44).
SI’s Cole Thompson of Texans Daily writes that the struggles the Texans’ offensive line faced in 2021 wasn’t an isolated incident. This has been one of the more troubled units, with ease, for most of the past few seasons.
"Since 2017, the Texans have allowed at least 40 sacks per season — twice surpassing 50. Mills was sacked 31 times against Taylor’s 13 last season for a total of 44."
Thompson also mentions that the line is not opening holes for the rushing attack, which is another part of the problem. Teams that don’t run the ball well can also see trouble when trying to air things out.
"The run game in Houston reached a new low last fall as 13 players combined to rush for just over 1,400 yards. The Texans also rushed for a franchise-low 3.2 yards per play and only scored eight rushing touchdowns, both dead last in the league."
These are issues that will require a long-term fix. The questions are about whether or not a single offseason was enough time to correct a good portion of what led to all of the issues that had occurred. In the end, conventional wisdom would suggest that it isn’t, especially when the organization is both in transition and in a state of flux.
Philadelphia’s defensive line should be able to stress the Texans’ offensive lineman until they crack sometime in the second half. At that point, getting to Davis Mills should be easy.
Overall, the Eagles’ revamped defense should see an uptick in defensive statistical production. The favorable schedule helps as well. It all comes down to Jonathan Gannon putting his players in positions to be successful.
Can he do it? Is he worthy of the praise he’s gotten? If he’s as talented as he’s been described, no one has anything to worry about. If he isn’t, the next Eagles season will resemble the most recent. Let’s hope that the former scenario proves to be the one that materializes as we move through the 2022-2023 campaign.