Andre Johnson's problems getting open downfield this season have a lot to do with the Houston Texans' inefficient running game, according to head coach Gary Kubiak. Johnson has five receptions over 20 yards this season, and just one over 40 yards. In 2010 he finished with 18 receptions of 20-plus yards, and five over 40 yards. According to Kubiak, a running attack averaging 3.8 yards per carry isn't keeping defenses from focusing on the pass rush.
"We're not running the ball well," Kubiak said. "That was pretty obvious from early in the game. We got into more of a quick count mode, had to get rid of the ball quick because of their pressure. That's the way we had to move the ball the other night. If we run the ball, we'll have our chances to go down the field but it starts with us running it."
Fantasy Impact: There is also the fact that at 31 years old, Johnson may not have the same physical advantage he once enjoyed over defensive backs. He has had less than 60 yards receiving in three of his six outings this season, and less than seven targets in four of six. Johnson had eight receptions for 75 yards against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but that came a week after catching one pass for 15 yards against the New York Jets.
Johnson is still capable of big performances, but it's becoming clear that he isn't the uber fantasy prospect he once was. He is still a solid WR2 in most leagues, but it's not inconceivable that he could be relegated to the bench if your Flex options have particularly good matchups. Johnson should be a very good start this weekend, however. Expect the running game to get going and Johnson to put up decent numbers against a dinged up Baltimore Ravens defense.