CODY STOOTS: PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

New WR Thomas set to contribute while Texans face struggling Von Miller

Greg Mancz and the OL had a big game. Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Pro Football Focus grades each individual player's performance and assigns them a grade. All 32 teams use Pro Football Focus. 

Each week we will take a look at some of the good and bad from the Texans and a look at the upcoming opponent as well. They also do great fantasy analysis and draft coverage as well. Stats are for the previous game unless otherwise noted. You can join Pro Football Focus here

The Texans Offensive Line Pass Blocking Grades

Julie'n Davenport - 79.7

Senio Kelemete - 86.8

Nick Martin - 83.2

Greg Mancz - 80.5

Kendall Lamm - 61.2

Now, THIS is some pass protecting! The Texans allowed just one quarterback hit in the win over the Dolphins and no sacks. That's incredible considering where these guys were weeks ago. It's the highest pass block grade for Mancz at right guard and for Davenport this season. They have to maintain something close to this if the Texans are going to compete for a playoff spot and more. It's doable, they've now showcased they can pull it together. The Broncos boast the seventh highest graded pass rush in football and have two huge sack guys in Bradley Chubb and Von Miller. This isn't an easy task but success against these guys and this offensive line is for real. 

Von Miller - Defensive Grade 78.8 (Season)

Miller is in the middle of a career low year as far as Pro Football Focus grading. He's never finished below 90 in any season he's been graded and his pass rush and run defense grades are also at all-time lows. He's on pace for a career low in hurries per snap. He's doing all this while amassing eight sacks which is two off the league lead. It is important to see Bradley Chubb's development, he's the 31st best pass rusher from the edge defender spot, as he sets Miller and the Broncos up for success with his activity opposite Miller. 

Case Keenum - 70.7 Offensive Grade

The former Texans quarterback is far from his Minnesota version where he checked in 17 points better overall, but he has put together two of his better grades the past two weeks. The Broncos are starting to ask a little less of Keenum than when the season started as he is down on his attempts. Keenum has yet to play a clean game this season with an interception in all his contests and there is one thing very clear about Keenum that should alarm Broncos fans. Keenum isn't scrambling anymore. He had 21 scrambles last year keeping defenses honest and this year has just four through half the season. It isn't a huge thing but one has to wonder what else is missing from what Keenum did in Minnesota. 

Demaryius Thomas - 73.1 Offensive Grade (Season)

The Texans added Thomas at the cost of a fourth-round pick and another later pick to help with the Will Fuller injury. Thomas is in the middle of the lowest graded season of his career and was set to have the least productive year in his career since his rookie season. It will likely all change now as he goes from a crowded room of pass catchers to the clear-cut second best receiver on the Texans. Thomas has often been associated with drops and he has six this season, but just one in his last four games. He should see all his numbers get boosted with better quarterback play and more targets. He is still productive, graded out as one of the 40 best wideouts in football, and will help the Texans where injuries have hurt them. 

As always, you can join Pro Football Focus here

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Texans fall to Browns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans kept it closer than the experts thought they would, but couldn't pull out a victory. Here are 11 observations from the loss in Cleveland to the Browns.

1. The game looks totally different if Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor finishes the game. Taylor left at halftime with a hamstring injury. He was playing exceptionally well against his former team. Taylor is not expected to play Thursday according to NFL Network.

2. Davis Mills had a rocky NFL debut which was to be expected. Mills looked to have the wrong elements of a few plays. He also couldn't hit backup wideout Andre Roberts over the middle and threw an interception. It was a fine performance considering what Mills showed he could do in the preseason.

3. Mills didn't work with a full load of offensive weapons in the second half. Rookie wideout Nico Collins didn't return to the game after his lone catch and big run early in the game. Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola left the game with an injury. Tight end Anthony Auclair left with an eye injury. The Texans entered the game without wide receiver Anthony Miller who was inactive.

4. Brandin Cooks is a monster through two games. He is the most dangerous skill position player on the team, and defenses still have trouble covering him and staying with him. Cooks turned in yet another impressive day for this team and hauled in a Davis Mills touchdown pass.

5. The Browns did a solid job against the ground game of the Texans. Mark Ingram averaged under three yards per carry and Tyrod Taylor was the only rusher to have a big play on the ground. This led to a fair number of third-and-long situations which the Texans usually had trouble converting.

6. Justin Reid was set to increase his payday on his next contract with his early play. Reid forced a fumble and had an interception in the first half. Unfortunately, Reid would leave the game multiple times with injuries. The knock on Reid has always been his health.

7. The Texans were worn down by the Browns rushing attack all day. Once Cleveland committed to the run they saw the success of their work culminating in a 26-yard scamper by Nick Chubb for a touchdown. The Browns didn't run as much as I excepted them to run early.

8. Tim Kelly had another nice day calling plays. Kelly remains creative in finding ways to get the ball out of Taylor's hands quickly as well as manufacturing matchups where the Texans can win and pick up yards. He even got creative to get Davis Mills a passing touchdown late in the game. Kelly has been very impressive through two games.

9. Andre Roberts was inexcusably bad today. The Texans defense held on the opening drive and his muffed punt eliminated the momentum from the defensive stand. He also had poor returns on kickoffs. His lone job is to be a solid returner, and he failed at that on Sunday.

10. David Culley had a head-scratching decision foregoing an offsides call on a third down. The head coach opted for the result of the third down, and a punt on fourth down, instead of another third down. He did not explain himself well postgame on the decision either.

11. The Texans hung tough and should feel solid about where they could have been without the injury to their quarterback. With no Taylor in the short week, it will not be easy to beat the Panthers who upset the Saints on Sunday.

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