Texans "Totally Shut Down" Ezekiel Elliott

Houston held Elliott to a season-low 54 rushing yards

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 08, 2018 - 9:16 am

USA Today Images


The Houston Texans beat the Dallas Cowboys, 19-16, in overtime Sunday night, and it’s easy to see why.

“They did a tremendous job against Ezekiel Elliott,” Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Just totally shut him down.”

Elliott rushed 20 times for a season-low 54 yards (2.7 yards per carry) and caught seven passes for 30 yards. That’s 27 touches for 84 yards (3.1 yards per touch). He was also held out of the end zone.

“He was leading the league in rushing, he averaged 5.8 yards (per carry), and he had been doing well as receiver,” McClain said. “So that was the game plan – to try to force Dak Prescott to throw. Dak hit a couple of big plays early to his tight ends, but after the first quarter, in the last three quarters and overtime, he threw for only 111 yards. The defensive backs of the Texans had been getting torched the last two games. They played their best game of the season. The secondary and the way the defense shut down Elliott – that was the best thing I saw.”

The Houston offense struggled as well, particularly in the red zone, as Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked three field goals between 19 and 21 yards. 

Deshaun Watson finished 33-of-44 for 375 yards, one touchdown and one interception and rushed 10 times for 40 yards. He was only sacked once but was hit early and often – both in the pocket and as a runner.

“They’ve got to make sure he gets rid of the ball quicker,” McClain said. “He knows it, and he says it and then he says that’s the way I play. They don’t want to curtail him too much, but he’s good in the pocket. They’re trying to have a running game but right now it’s not working. They need to use the pass to set up the run.”

Houston (2-3), which has won two straight following its 2-3 start, hosts Buffalo (2-3) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.