Texans Dameon Pierce deserves to be Offensive ROY

Houston Texans, Dameon Pierce (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Houston Texans, Dameon Pierce (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Halfway through the season, Houston Texans fans have not had much to cheer for. One win, one tie, and six dismal losses have made this another punt year for the Texans. But among all the rubbish, one sole diamond shines ever so faint. Dameon Pierce.

In eight games, Pierce has tallied 776 yards from scrimmage while leading the team with four touchdowns. The rookie running back also leads Houston’s offense in touches and is third in receptions.

It is safe to say that Pierce has been the lone bright spot in the lone star state thus far. Not just Texans fans taking notice. Pierce has established himself as the front-runner for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. With eight weeks left in the season could anyone challenge Houston’s burgeoning workhorse?

Short answer, yes. Noise is already being made about multiple contenders for the title. Explosive wide receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson have already made names for themselves on their respective teams (Saints and Jets).

Keep an eye on Dameon Pierce as he has everything needed to win OROY

Steelers QB Kenny Pickett could become a dark horse if he shows even half of the promise he displayed in college. But far and away the biggest threat to Pierce’s crown is Seattle running back Kenneth Walker III. After taking over for the injured Rashaad Penny, Walker has stepped into the spotlight, helping the Seahawks jump into a division lead over the rest of the NFC West. Is Walker a more viable choice for rookie of the year?

Let’s look at the stats. Comparing the numbers, the two backs are neck and neck. Pierce edges Walker in yards, while Walker dominates with seven rushing touchdowns. Yards per attempt are comparable, Pierce at 4.6 and Walker at 5.1. As a receiver, Pierce has eight more catches for 50 more yards and one touchdown compared to Walker’s zero.

It seems like a veritable toss-up. But some experts argue that Walker deserves the award simply because he is on a winning team. Pierce’s statistics mean less because the Texans can’t seem to win a game. That’s one way of looking at it.

Another way of looking at it would be to determine which player is more valuable to their team. Pierce is top three on the Texans in most of the statistical categories he qualifies for. He has shown that he can shoulder a load for a team that needed any sort of spark plug.

Through his first eight games in the league, Pierce has accounted for nearly ⅓ of the team’s offensive touchdowns. Walker may also lead his team in touchdowns and yards from scrimmage, but the next closest player (wide receiver Tyler Lockett) is merely 20 yards behind him.

The next closest Texan to Pierce, Brandin Cooks, is more than 400 yards behind Pierce. Nowhere in his stratosphere. Five Seahawks have scored two or more touchdowns, not counting Walker. Besides Pierce, only two Texans have broken the plane at least twice. Chris Moore and O.J Howard each have town touchdowns a piece.

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The point here is not that Walker isn’t a key contributor to his team. He has flourished as the starting running back, helping Seattle win despite the odds. But what Pierce has done as a rookie, coming in and leading the offense as he has, is too impressive to ignore. If both backs keep this pace for the rest of the season, my money is on Pierce to be the Rookie of the Year.