Arian Foster, Texans Defense Give Houston a Chance at AFC Championship

Denise CharlesContributor IIISeptember 27, 2010

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 26:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans rushes against the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter at Reliant Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Two weeks into the regular season, many were beginning to think the Houston Texans were finally going to have their year.

For once, they seemed like a championship-contending team—or at least much better than previous seasons.

In all respects, they were capable of taking down former Super Bowl winners the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins.

However, after their loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday (a team they had beaten in the preseason), things seem to be returning to normal in Houston.

Credit must be given when credit is due though. The Texans have established a decent team this year and have sparks among players. Most notably this season, they have one key component that has impressed and could lead them to a division championship—if Sunday’s loss does not conquer their confidence.

That key factor to their success is running back Arian Foster. Although he is not new to Houston, Foster has somehow stepped up and done some work. Foster has doubled his rushing yards from last season. He had a grand total of 257 rushing yards and three touchdowns in 2009. Already, after Week 3 he has doubled his rushing yards with a total of 406 and has matched his three touchdowns from last year.

However, one player is not the cause for success for the team as a whole. The defense, which has already proven to do some damage to teams in the preseason and the beginning of the regular season, will have to stand its ground.

Aside from all the incomplete passes Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw in the first game, the defense was able to put pressure on him by recovering fumbles and with the two sacks they delivered.

The Houston Texans also came back from a 13-point deficit in the second half against the Washington Redskins. Needless to say, the defense also put pressure on quarterback Donovan McNabb with a total of three sacks in the second half and overtime.

Foster may not be a force to be reckoned with on an individual basis, but nobody should overlook the things he has done with the ball so early in the season. If quarterback Matt Schaub continues to trust in Foster and if the defense can continue to stop the opposing team from moving the ball, things will start to look up for Houston towards the end of the season, especially since well-liked receiver Andre Johnson is having ankle problems.

Don’t be surprised if you hear or read Houston Texans and playoffs in the same sentence—because as of right now they are first in the AFC South. Expect the unexpected.