The Houston Texans are trying to fill the void left by Peyton Manning in the AFC South. The Colts are winless, making Manning’s placement on the IR more and more likely. Meanwhile, the Texans are taking advantage of an impressive running game while the passing game heats up.
The Texans have jumped out to a 3-1 start with a pretty good defensive effort and a solid offense. The defense is allowing just 17.5 points a game and features the 10th ranked passing defense *(214.3 yards per game) and the 18th ranked rushing defense (108.8 yards per game). Though the defense is not able to hold back the rushing onslaught, they have been able to win the turnover battle, forcing three fumbles and picking off opposing quarterbacks four times. Their own offense has only turned the ball over four times.
Concerning the offense, many thought the aerial assault would resume with the return of QB Matt Schaub, WR Andre Johnson, and TE Owen Daniels. However, Houston has only managed to rank 20th in the league through the air. Schaub is not at fault. He has a 101.7 QB rating with 8.5 yards per pass, 7 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions. Gary Kubiak has simply not had to air it as often.
Ben Tate filled in quite admirably for RB Arian Foster. Tate ran for 321 yards while Foster healed. Foster proved he is back after rushing for 155 yards on 30 carries against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With these two able to eat time on the clock and rack up first downs (28 between the both them), Schaub will be asked to do much less. This is a great development because the team will be without Andre Johnson for three weeks. This may anger fantasy football owners, but it could mean the franchise’s first trip to the playoffs.
First, Houston Texans tickets are available for a matchup with the Oakland Raiders in Week 5. The Raiders can stop neither the pass not the run. This gives Kubiak the freedom to tear this team apart. The Texans will have to be concerned with the best rushing offense in the league though. Darren McFadden is the lead back in an offense that picks up 178.7 yards a game. Given the lack of resistance by the Texans front seven, I would expect a stacked box to force Jason Campbell to beat them through the air.