Texans vs. Colts: Why Arian Foster, Ben Tate Will Shred Soft Indy Defense

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIDecember 22, 2011

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 18:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans rushes against the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

While T.J. Yates has been solid at quarterback for the Houston Texans, we all know they are going to rely on their formidable rushing attack to win games. On Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts, that ground game should be able to shred the soft Indianapolis Colts defense en route to a win. 

Houston boasts the NFL's second-best rushing attack, averaging 151.8 yards per game on the ground. Meanwhile, the Colts rank 28th in the league at stopping the run, surrendering 138.7 yards per game. 

The Texans are coming off a disappointing 28-13 loss against the Carolina Panthers in Week 15, but are still 10-4. Against the 1-13 Colts, they shouldn't have a problem getting a win. Indianapolis is the exact type of team Houston is built to defeat. The Colts are soft up front and will have an extremely difficult time handling Houston's rushing attack.

If the Texans can run the ball the way they should be able to, it will take pressure off Yates, who opened the season as the team's third-string quarterback. If Houston can gain yards on the ground effectively, it will mean the team can control the clock and the game. The only way the Texans can lose this one is if Yates is forced to throw the football.

Despite the loss to the Panthers on Sunday, Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster had another excellent performance. He totaled his fifth 100-yard rushing effort on the season and scored his eighth touchdown in his last eight games. He rushed for 109 yards while also catching five passes for 58 more. 

While Foster has been fantastic of late, backup Ben Tate has also had a terrific season. The second-year back out of Auburn has 846 yards on 153 carries (averaging 5.5 yards per carry) and three touchdowns this season. 

The combination of Foster and Tate should give the Colts fits tonight and should send them ever closer to securing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.