Houston Texans: Arian Foster Playing Like the Best Running Back in the League

Eli Nachmany@EliNachmanyCorrespondent IIIOctober 2, 2012

HOUSTON, TX- SEPTEMBER 30: Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans rushes against the Tennessee Titans on September 30, 2012 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Houston Texans won 38 to 14. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

TheΒ  4-0 Houston Texans are winning a lot of games thanks to an aggressive defense and a very solid offense that moves the ball down the field with ease.

Matt Schaub has settled into an impressive groove for Houston, completing 83 of 124 passes (66.9 percent) for 953 yards and seven touchdowns (just one interception) through four games.

Schaub's backfield mate, All-Pro-caliber running back Arian Foster, makes things very easy for the team. In fact, he's played like the best running back in the NFL.

Foster hasn't had just one amazing game that made fans crazy about him as the top runner in the NFL (though he did come close against Jacksonville), which, in my eyes, solidifies his status.

The best player at a position isn't the one who has a great game here and there, a la Chris Johnson. Foster is consistently above average. There is never a hiccup.

Week No. Team Faced Carries Rushing Yards TDs
1 MIA 26 79 2
2 JAX 28 110 1
3 DEN 25 105 0
4 TEN 24 86 1

Foster has found his way into the end zone in each of his first four games, as he caught a TD pass against Denver.

Granted, Foster's yards per carry ratio is down (from 4.4 a season ago to 3.7 now), but he runs the rock with a purpose and has received around 25 carries each game, with one slight deviation from the mean in Jacksonville.

This Texan has carried the ball 103 times so far, which leads the NFL. The next closest player? Marshawn Lynch, who is eleven carries off at 92. After that, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Alfred Morris hold steady at 82.

Foster grinds out tough yardage and is a true workhorse on a winning team. He's scored four touchdowns on the ground (tied for the league lead) and amassed 380 yards thus far (good for fourth in the NFL).

Don't be fooled by the low per-carry average. Foster has just been very consistent getting around four yards every carry. It's rare that he's brought down behind the line. His longest run this year went for a solid 22 yards.

Foster is not a "one-touch-and-go" type of running back like Jamaal Charles or C.J. Spiller, who have come strong out of the gate and garnered consideration as the best offensive player this year.

This Texan runner, on the other hand, carries the ball hard between the tackles and is a bona fide star.

He has all of the attributes that a scout would look for in a top-notch running back. He's carried a tremendous workload, has breakaway speed, isn't afraid to lower his shoulder and is a sure thing around the goal line.

Will Foster go on a string of 200-yard games and prove his mettle as the best rusher in the league? It's doubtful.

However, he has the track record of being a superstar rusher and consistently performs very well. He's a great bet every week, and for now, is the best player at his position.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.