Can the Texans win without Arian Foster?


Sep 7, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) rushes during the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at NRG Stadium. The Texans defeated the Redskins 17-6. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The news that Arian Foster is nursing some wear and tear from his high carry load in the Texans first two games is neither surprising nor unexpected. He sat out much of last seasons implosion and was limited in the preseason. After a major surgery like he had on his back, many wondered if he could return to form. Well, two 100 yard plus performances answers that however was the cost too high? Why were the Texans leaning on Foster so much? Now we face a real question: Can the Texans win without Arian Foster?

Granted, he’s only day-to-day and could very well show up at the Meadowlands and have a field day with a defense that has thus far proven to lack much ability to stop the run. However, isn’t this is the best to time to sit him for a game and let Blue, Grimes and Brown get some touches? All three are more then capable in different ways of making up for a game without Foster. Is Arian Foster this important a player in the scheme? I think the answer is no and yes.

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What Bill O’Brien has shown us thus far offensively is frankly rather boring. If the Redskins Baccari Rambo didn’t blow his coverage then that 76 yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins never happens. Incidentally the Redskins let Rambo go back on the 16th. O’Brien has leaned heavily on the most reliable asset he has. Foster. Fitzpatrick has history against him, his 10 years in the league say when forced to pass, he’s going to try to force something to happen and that generally ends poorly for the team.

O’Brien has made, due to the reality of his quarterback, a conscious choice to lean on Foster to ensure success. While the Texans are 2-0, sit alone atop the AFC South they also have matched last years record to this point. 2-0. Takeaway #23 Arian Foster, can they still win? Yes, Andre Johnson is amazing, and the tight end position is chock full of goodness in C.J, Fiedorowicz, Garret Graham and Ryan Griffin. DeAndre Hopkins, DeVier Posey, Keshawn Martin and recent addition Damaris Johnson are are all capable wide receivers. Yet to date, they haven’t been really that important in the scheme of things. Can the Texans beat the Giants without the lynch pin of their success on the field?

I believe that they can, and I believe that O’Brien will show us another version of the safe and controlled offense he’s putting in place. I don’t expect to see much in the way of high flying, fast paced and high scoring power offense going on. Ground and pound with some safe passing calls to keep the defense honest. As long as Watt and Co. can keep Eli Manning from having a big day the Texans should win this. Even without Foster should that be the case.

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