The Texans scored a satisfying and convincing 34-24 win against defending AFC South and conference-champion Indianapolis in Week One using a powerful running game led by second-year RB Arian Foster. Foster rushed for a franchise-record 231 yards, with 191 coming in the second half. Foster scored all three of his touchdowns in the second half as Houston, which has struggled to hold leads recently against Indianapolis, held the Colts at bay.
Foster, an undrafted free agent from Tennessee in 2009, became the starting back late last season, held the job throughout an impressive offseason and now seems capable of being Houston's top back for the forseeable future. After the win, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak praised Foster for his improved maturity, something he began to see last season
"He's really changed the way he goes about being a player and a pro. I'm really proud of him today," Kubiak told Houston reporters after the win over the Colts.
The PFW Spin
Foster's sudden emergence as the lead back makes an already very good offense more balanced — and thus more dangerous. The Texans have been committed to the ground game even when they have struggled in this area. To wit: Houston was 30th in rushing a season ago, but the Texans attempted 425 rushes, about 15 less than the league average.
Already, Houston uses the play-action pass effectvely. The Texans' rollouts and bootlegs will be that much more effective if Foster continues to thrive — and the offensive line plays as well as it did on Sunday.
Don't be fooled — the Texans will have a more robust passing game in the weeks to come than they had in the opener. QB Matt Schaub's 17 pass attempts in Week One were a career-low in a full game with Houston, but the Texans didn't need to air it out vs. Indianapolis.
Such is life with a running game that can assert its will.
"It's nice to be able to line up when you get the football and try to close out a game," Kubiak said Sunday. "That's what we looked like we could do today, so hopefully we can keep that going."
Think of the possibilities this could create for the Texans' offense, one loaded with weapons in the passing game.