Texans sticking with coordinator Tim Kelly as play-caller

Yes, the 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 status as the play-caller and stating that he isn’t to blame for the offensive woes.

In his second year as the Texans’ offensive coordinator, Kelly, 35, has overseen an offense that’s averaging a league-low 14.9 points per game and 264.8 yards per contest while also ranking last in rushing offense and average per carry with a 3.2 average per run.

Kelly was retained after the Texans fired former head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien and the AFC South franchise had the NFL passing yardage leader last season with Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson. 

Photo: Houston Texans

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 morning 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 the football, pass the football and have improved lately in avoiding turnovers. Overall, though, this is far from a dangerous offense.

“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 when asked if there’s something he would like to see Kelly do differently. “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 a pair of touchdown passes to wide receiver Brandin Cooks and rookie tight end Brevin Jordan to build a 14-3 lead in the second quarter to rebound from a screen pass intercepted by defensive end John Franklin-Myers in the first quarter, 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 averages of 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.”

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