The Houston Texans are no stranger to first-down runs. Under Bill O’Brien, the team favors rushes to set up second and third downs, as they do so 57% of the time, per Sharp Football Stats.
Luckily, O’Brien has one of the NFL’s best first-down runners. According to ESPN, their top tailback, Carlos Hyde, sits within the top 10 for average yards rushing on first down. Hyde gains 4.9 yards per first-down run, good for seventh in the NFL, ahead of household names Alvin Kamara and Leonard Fournette.
Hyde’s abilities as a first-down rusher have the Texans second in the NFL in success rate on first-down runs (53%, per Sharp Football Stats).
A journeyman in the last two seasons, Hyde has been a revelation for the Texans offense. His ability to run upfield helps them move the chains on first downs while also setting up play-action.
“Carlos has come in here and he runs hard,” said coach Bill O’Brien on Oct. 23. “He’s done a good job. He’s done a real good job for us, and hopefully it can continue.”
Hyde has rushed for 769 yards and four touchdowns on 158 attempts (4.9 yards per attempt) in 10 games as a Texan.