Texans vs. Titans: Arian Foster or Chris Johnson?


Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) catches a pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Texans defeated the Chargers 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As we all wait for week two of the NFL season, the Houston Texans will open their home schedule as they host the Tennessee Titans Sunday at 1 p.m. EST. on CBS.

With that said, this game features a very interesting running back matchup between Houston’s Arian Foster and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, both of whom have had very successful NFL careers thus far.

My question is who will have a better game this Sunday, Foster or Johnson and why?

Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) carries the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Tennessee Titans won 16-9. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

First off, let’s talk about Foster. Last season in two games vs. the Titans Foster had 38 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and two seasons ago in one game against Tennessee where he had 25 carried for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

So in his past three games against the AFC South rival, Foster has 239 yards and four touchdowns, for an average of 79.6 yards per game.

Foster is coming off a Week 1 performance where he had 18 carries for 57 yards (3.2 ypc) with his longest run going for nine yards. Remember Foster didn’t play a single snap in the preseason and have very little practice time before the season opening 31-28 win over the Chargers.

The All-Pro running back also split carries with Ben Tate who rushed for 55 yards on nine carries. Tate average 6.1 ypc.

I don’t see splitting time between Foster and Tate as being a bad thing for Foster, actually I see it as a benefit to the starter because it gives him time to break into football shape, plus it will take off some of the wear-and-tear on his body throughout the season.

Then there is CJ2K otherwise known a Chris Johnson of the Titans.

Johnson is coming off a week one performance of 70 yards on 25 carries for a 2.5 ypc average in the Titans’ win in Pittsburgh. His longest run was 11 yards.

The Tennessee starter is coming off an impressive season of 1,243 yard and has rushed for over 1,000 (2,006 in ’09) the past five seasons, every season of his NFL career.

What seems to hamper Johnson that past two seasons is his ability or teams ability to reaching the end zone as he has just 10 touchdowns in ’11 and ’12 combined and was held scoreless in the season opener.

In two meetings last season against the Texans, Johnson rushed for 192 yards on 38 attempts, but zero touchdowns. He averaged 5.1 ypc in the two games vs. Houston in ’12.

With all of that said, the question remains who will have the bigger day?

If I’m picking I’m going with Foster and not just because I write about the Texans. My reasoning is that I feel the Texans have the better offense of the two teams.

I’m not taking anything away from the undefeated Titans, but in the grand scheme of things the Texans have a better roster, and Foster has more help around him to help him produce better numbers in this game.

This matchup of two of the better running backs in the game will be fun to see, but if I have to pick who is going t have the better overall day, I’ll take Foster in this showdown.