Texans running back Devin ‘Motor’ Singletary revs past Bengals: ‘Love the way he finished all his runs’

Texans running back gained 150 yards, a career-high

Houston Texans' Devin Singletary (26) runs for a gain as Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (29) defends during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Legs churning, eyes darting with the football firmly gripped in the crook of his arm, Texans running back Devin “Motor” Singletary had everything he could have hoped for in front of him.

A clear vision built on road-grading blocks from his offensive line of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, left guard Tytus Howard, center Michael Deiter, right guard Shaq Mason and right tackle George Fant and his tight ends. Even the wide receivers got into the act.

“Man, the line was going crazy, moving guys like crazy,” Singletary said. “And then you had the the receivers getting it. Not only blocking on the edges, they’re getting inside the box getting dirty and grimy. It was a collective effort, for sure.”

Singletary did his part, too, eluding defenders in pursuit and making moves, revving forward for a career-high 150 rushing yards on a career-high 30 carries for an average of five yards per carry and ran for his first touchdown as a Texan in a dramatic 30-27 victory Sunday at Paycor Stadium. The Texans rushed for a season-high 188 yards.

“The way Motor ran the football today is our best rushing game this year,” Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said. “Credit to the O-line and Motor for the way he ran the football. It was impressive to see, and I love the way he finished all of his runs.”

Singletary had a long run of 22 yards to go with runs of 14 yards, 12 yards and 11 yards. He scored a touchdown from six yards out in the third quarter to boost the Texans’ lead to 20-7. Singletary is the first Texans running back to rush for over 100 yards since Dameon Pierce gained 139 yards last November against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Singletary’s running complemented rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, who passed for 356 yards and engineered a game-winning drive for the second year in a row.

“He ran the ball really well,” Stroud said. “It starts up front. Those guys are moving a really good D-Line. Their ‘backers fill the gaps really well. Motor was making people miss on top of that. We were getting to our second-level defenders and moving them around. I think once we get the running game going, you can see the play-action starts working, the dropback pass. It makes my job a lot easier, so shout-out to the running game and we’ve got to keep that going.”

For the majority of the season, it’s been extremely difficult for the Texans to muster up a respectable running game.

They entered Sunday averaging just 87 yards on the ground per game to rank 27th in the NFL at running the football.

Running the football effectively against a stout Bengals defense was a major point of emphasis Sunday.

“We made a concerted effort to make sure we ran the ball,” Fant said. “Guys up front, we talked about it all week and we took care of business today. It wasn’t even tough blocking things right, it was one or two guys were the problem. We talked about it all week. I thought we showed it today.”

Starting the past two games in place of Pierce as he recovers from an ankle injury, Singletary entered Sunday with 209 rushing yards and an average of 3.4 yards per carry, a career-low below his 4.6 career average.

He had rushed for 26 yards on 13 carries last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had no touches against the Atlanta Falcons, 58 yards against the New Orleans Saints and other games of 15 yards, 14 yards, 41 yards, 25 yards and 30 yards.

“Man, we’ve been working at it,” Singletary said. “The run game hasn’t been what we wanted, but we kept fighting and fighting. That’s the league and we got it going.”

Aaron Wilson is a Texans and NFL reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com

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