If Pro Football Focus is to be believed, then Houston Texans center Nick Martin was the worst center in the AFC South in 2018. And not only was he the worst in a four-team division, but he was the worst in a five-center race.
According to analytics released by Pro Football Focus on Sunday, Martin graded out at 59.3. Indianapolis Colts fill-in center Evan Boehm, who started four games among his 11 played, had a better grade.
When quarterback Deshaun Watson takes 62 sacks on the season and the running game drops off the map in the final four games of the season, then one would be hard pressed to find high grades along Houston’s offensive line. Therefore, it shouldn’t be an indictment of Martin’s play as a center so much as another example of how bottom tier the offensive line was in 2018.
Martin started out the 2018 season as one of the best pass-blocking centers. The talent is there for Martin to be a key contributor along the blocking unit. Nonetheless, Martin and the rest of the unit have to find ways to protect Watson and keep the running lanes open as the Texans make a division title defense in 2019.
The Houston Texans were able to win three straight for the first time since the 2016 season and with every team in the AFC South losing their games yesterday outside of this team, it’s now a dead-heat for three teams in the division.
With the way things have started for the season and with the peculiar way this team has been able to win games, it’s quite amazing to make that admonition. But it’s true. I’m not sure how long things will last as the Houston Texans will start to face some tougher competition over the next few weeks but the division crown is for the taking if this team should so choose to go get it.
Yesterday’s win wasn’t finesse in any sorts but the Houston Texans were able to outlast the Buffalo Bills 20-13 after two key interceptions thrown by Nathan Peterman were caught by Johnathan Joseph — which was a game-winning Pick 6 — and Kareem Jackson respectively.
The offense looked as horrid as they could possibly be as a unit and I’m extremely thankful that they didn’t have to come back out on the field for those final minutes of the game.
Why did such an important unit look so lackluster? It was Deshaun Watson not necessarily having the best of days on the field with poor blocking from the offensive line as a result of mostly-stout Bills’ defense.
Yesterday afternoon, I saw hit-after-hit that Watson took along with multiple fumbles and turnovers that were created as a result — the team had three total — and it was extremely hard to watch.