Who Wears the Crown: Who Is the Best Player for the Houston Texans Right Now?

Matt Goldstein@mattgoldstein5Contributor IISeptember 26, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Gary Kubiak head coach of the Houston Texans leads his team against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

For the first time in the history of the Texans' franchise the team has started with a perfect 3-0 record. Not only that, but the Texans currently are considered the best team in the National Football League.


After years of disappointment and mediocrity, the Texans' recent outstanding play has earned them a spot among the best in the NFL. After years of loyally waiting, Texans' fans can now stand proud behind their terrific football team.

On the team that is currently number one in the AFC standings, there are three players who each are well deserving of the honor of being called the best player on the Texans.

Who are these players and why are they so deserving?

Let's find out.

J.J. Watt

1st and 10. Ball on the Cincinnati 33-yard line. Andy Dalton drops back in the pocket, attempting to lead his team to a quick score before the end of the half.

Dalton locates his target. He turns, aims and fires. Right into the hands of J.J. Watt.

Reliant Stadium explodes as Watt sprints into the endzone for a touchdown that gave the Texans all the momentum they could possibly need to win their first franchise playoff game.

Watt ran full speed into the endzone on that emotional Saturday, and he has not looked back.

So far this season, Watt has been simply and absolutely dominant. He has, in many ways, single-handedly made the Texans' defense better.

Normally with a Wade Phillips defense, scheme triumphs skill. Not to say that skill is not required, but Phillips does such an excellent job of disguising pressure that multiple players can put up huge numbers.

This has not been the case with Watt. He is, on his own, blowing past opposing lineman to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.

In Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Watt displayed the three most powerful aspects of his game. Stopping the run, getting to the quarterback, and knocking down passes.

For inexperienced quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Watt was an absolute nightmare. Watt brought pressure all game long, and he finished with one-and-a-half sacks and three quarterback hits.

Watt did not just stop there, though. With his endless motor, Watt continuously was able to make plays against the run. He finished with a team-high five tackles, and he managed to completely stifle one of the best running backs in the game, Maurice Jones-Drew.

Watt, finally, did what he does best. He knocked down two passes at the line of scrimmage, and those plays can certainly halt any momentum that an offense is feeling.

Watt has clearly been the dominant force on the one of the best defenses in the NFL, and he is certainly deserving of being called the best player on the Texans currently.

Matt Schaub

Whatever you need Matt Schaub to do, he will go out and do it for you. If you need him to throw for 4,770 yards in a single season in 2009 to allow for the Texans' offense to keep pace with its then terrible defense, then he will.

If you need him to simply manage a game and not turn the ball over, then he will. If you need him to stand in the pocket and deliver big throws before getting clobbered, then he will.

Most importantly, if you need Schaub to go out and win your team a football game, he will.

Though Schaub is often lost under the spotlight of the likes of Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, he is the cog that keeps the Texans' machine-like offense moving.

Schaub is a perfect fit in the Texans zone blocking, play-action offense system, and this fact allows him to run the offense to near perfect success.

Schaub's incredible knack to create big and important plays off the play-action pass was evident when the Texans squared off against the Denver Broncos in Week 3. This ability of his was likely the main reason for the Texans' victory in Mile High Stadium.

In the middle of the first quarter against the Broncos, Schaub faked a handoff to his running back, fooled the defense, and chucked the ball up to his star receiver, Andre Johnson. The pass was a perfect strike that resulted in a 60-yard touchdown; the pass also was delivered right before Schaub took a huge hit.

Then, in the second quarter, nearly the same exact play unfolded. Rolling out of a play-action fake, Schaub stepped into pressure and threw an even more perfect ball to Kevin Walter for a 52-yard touchdown. The pass had pin-point accuracy, and it could not have dropped into the hands of Walter in a more perfect way.

Schaub is able to find success no matter what the opposing defenses throw at him. If they try to take away the big pass play that always is waiting to happen with the Texans, then Schaub will be content consistently completing short yardage throws.

If they try to stop the Texans' excellent ground game, then Schaub will likely will find a wide open receiver on an expertly disguised play-action bomb.

Schaub is vital to the Texans' offense, and he can certainly make a case for being the best player on the entire team.

Arian Foster

Arian Foster sprints into the endzone, briefly celebrates with his teammates, then turns and faces the crowd. He slowly bows down in a symbol of respect and love for the game that gives him so many opportunities. 

Texans' fans should return the favor.

Since Foster's breakout season in 2010, he was been an incredible, consistent playmaker for the Texans' offense. Whenever he steps onto the field, a great performance is always to be expected.

Though any team in the NFL would be glad to have a running back of Foster's caliber, the Texans are even more ecstatic that they managed to pick him up in the undrafted free agent market.

The success of the Texans' offense is determined by one thing and one thing only: their ability to run the football. 

The Texans would not be able to move the ball downfield and eat up large chunks of the clock without, and Schaub would not be able to derive success from the play-action pass.

Obviously, then, the Texans would not be able to win games without being able to effectively run the ball.

Thankfully for the Texans, they have one of the most consistent running backs in the game in Foster. Even Week 1 against Miami, in what was considered to be a sub-par performance, he still managed to rush for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Most teams in the NFL would love to get that kind of production out of their running backs on a week to week basis.

Foster's success is key to the Texans' offensive success, and, therefore, his ability to continuously produce for the team makes him one of the best and most important players on the Texans.

Finally, the player who currently wears the crown for the Texans is...

J.J. Watt. No player on the Texans has been able to solely impact a game like Watt has.

With five-and-a-half sacks tallied already, Watt is on pace to have over a 20-sack season, and that is certainly impressive when his best talent is being able to stuff the run.

Also, Watt's ability to swat down passes at the line of scrimmage is one that directly can change the outcome of a game. Against Miami, two of Watt's tipped passes resulted in interceptions that produced two offensive touchdowns.

If that is not single-handedly influencing an entire game, then I do not know what is.

Watt's play this season can earn him not just Defensive Player of the Year votes, but Most Valuable Player votes as well. Watt is currently the best athlete on the Texans.


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