Texans vs. Patriots: Who has the advantage at every position?
Who has the better running backs?
This might be the toughest position to assess out of the 10 that are being compared, as New England traditionally has a stable of superlative backs, but hasn’t found their usual success this year.
Their rushers have stumbled to a lackluster 23rd overall, accumulating only 1,011 yards all season. Now at 3.4 yards per carry, Sony Michel’s averages are dropping faster than Sony’s stocks after they tried to take Spider Man back from Marvel.
James White comes in second with 129 yards on the year, but his main value is derived from his pass-catching ability (414 yards out of the backfield). Rex Burkhead is a former Nebraska stud, but has been relegated to a change of pace role and occasional mop-up duty.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Texans running game has leaned on two players who were not on the roster until August yet both have flourished. Carlos Hyde, acquired for Julie’n Davenport is 10th in the NFL with 836 yards rushing and five total touchdowns.
Duke Johnson only has 65 rushes, but is impressively third in the NFL with a 5.4 ypc mark (minimum 50 touches) and three touchdowns. Deshaun Watson would not be able to accomplish what he’s doing this year without the run game being established this well, and the sheer number lean towards Houston.