The Ravens bottled up trenches in Week 1, forcing Pierce to try to bounce multiple runs outside, where the angry runner is less effective. Four of Pierce’s 11 carries went for three or fewer yards, with a long of seven on Sunday.
“That was a tough challenge last week,” Slowik said. “They’ve got really good interior [defensive] line players. They’ve got really good linebackers, and we still had some opportunities in the run game. Especially this last week, to me, everything is a starting point [and] comes back to me. I wanted to stick with the run longer, and I got away from it at the end.”
Sunday’s opponent, Indianapolis, allowed 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground against Jacksonville last week.
Offensive line issues played a massive role in the Texans’ inefficiencies in Week 1. Still, rookie QB C.J. Stroud throwing the ball 44 times is not the recipe Slowik wants for his offense moving forward.
“We want to be, ‘We’re here to run the ball,’ and everything kind of plays off that,” he said. “Now, we couldn’t really always get it going. Sometimes it was a play call issue on my part. Sometimes it was an issue as far as just executing self-inflicted wound stuff. So, again, we’ll be cleaner on that this week.”
If the blocking doesn’t improve in Week 2, Slowik’s intentions might not matter.