CODY STOOTS: PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

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

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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Will all the Texans playmakers be satisfied with their roles in the offense? Composite Getty Image.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show this weekand shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a ton of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Which got us thinking, are there enough catches to go around?

We took a deep dive into the 2023 numbers and here's what we found. CJ Stroud averaged 21 completions per game. And here's a breakdown of how many catches his receivers averaged last year.

Nico Collins 5.3 catches per game

Stefon Diggs (with Buffalo) 6.29 catches per game

Dalton Schultz 3.93 catches per game

Tank Dell 4.27 catches per game

Texans running backs 3.05 catches per game

If we add those up, the total is 22.84. Which means the Texans top receivers should expect a similar amount of production compared to last season. Of course, players like Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and Brevin Jordan will take targets away from Stefon Diggs and company from time to time.

But it's good to know that the Texans top pass catchers should produce numbers close to their 2023 averages. Which is a big deal for a player in a contract year like Diggs.

Another thing to note. We're factoring in that the Texans are expected to run out of 11 personnel most of the time. Which means Diggs, Collins, Dell, Schultz, and Mixon will be the only pass catchers on the field the majority of the time.

Are there concerns about the defense?

Both Kimes and Bien-Aime designated Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. Is he right?

Be sure to watch the video above as we react to Kimes and Bien-Aime's outlook for the Texans this year, and share our thoughts on the possible pitfalls the team will have to navigate in the short and long-term.

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