BREAKING: Mallett Played With Injured Pectoral; Could Miss Games   Read More

Sports

Gallant: Ground Game Grounded

BY PAUL GALLANT, SportsRadio 610
View Comments
(Credit: Thomas B. Shea/ Getty Images)

(Credit: Thomas B. Shea/ Getty Images)

Gallant 3 Paul Gallant
Paul Gallant What I do for 610: I co-host the “B-Straw and Pauly ...
Read More
Featured Items

Small-Wtt8 Offensive Stars J.J. Watt Is Better Than

Small-WttTerran Hilow W/ Triple Threat

77820352_8Hot Cheerleader - Funny Faces 2014

From Our CBS Music Sites

77820352_8Sleeping With More Than 20 Women Lowers Your Cancer Risk

77820352_812 Musicians Who Really, Really Love Sports

listicle41 Gallant: Ground Game Grounded The Health Benefits Of Growing A Beard

77820352_8Fight Ensues Because Of A McGriddle [VIDEO]

Sports Fan Insider

Keep up with your favorite teams and athletes with daily updates.
Sign Up
Texans Central
Buy Texans Tickets
Mon Oct.20
Away vs Pittsburgh Steelers
findticketsbtn Gallant: Ground Game Grounded
Sun Oct.26
Away vs Tennessee Titans
findticketsbtn Gallant: Ground Game Grounded
Sun Nov.2
Home vs Philadelphia Eagles
findticketsbtn Gallant: Ground Game Grounded
Shop for Texans Gear
NFL Scoreboard
NFL Standings
Team STATS
Team Schedule
Team Roster
Team Injuries

17 carries. 29 yards.  And 1.7 yards per carry.

That’s all Arian Foster managed Sunday night against the Packers. A mediocre defense playing without run stuffing nose tackle B.J. Raji.

That. Is. Awful.

Six weeks into 2012, it’s clear that the Texans running game has taken a turn in the wrong direction. Especially since last season, when Foster and Ben Tate were cruising through gargantuan holes and combining for over 2,000 rush yards.

There’s no question about Gary Kubiak’s dedication to grinding it on the ground. Houston has run the ball 211 times this season, second only to New England. But dedication and success are two entirely different things. And Sunday night, the Texans rush attack hit rock bottom.

It hasn’t been the only blip on the radar. The Texans performance against the Jets just a week ago was equally alarming.

Sure, Arian Foster had 152 yards against New York – at that point the second worst run defense in the league. But 46 came on one carry. Take that big play away, and Foster averaged about 3.6 yards per rush. That’s right in line with his season average: 3.8, and down from 4.4 ypc last season.

Here comes the “Well that’s because he’s damn a Vegan” argument.

That’d be wrong. Tate, who spelled Foster to the tune of 5.4 per rush, has also seen a noticeable drop in success on the ground. He’s averaging 4.0 flat.

In the past, we’ve seen Kubiak coached teams pound on the ground with backs plucked off the scrap heap. His zone blocking scheme has allowed no names like Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Reuben Droughns, and Steve freaking Slaton to rush for 1,000 yards. Foster and Tate are significantly more talented than any of the aforementioned backs ever were.

So what’s the deal?

Easy.

Take a look at the right side of the O-Line – which has transformed from two solid starters into a four-man uncertainty brigade. Tackle Derek Newton and guard Antoine Caldwell have been ineffective, a major reason the two are splitting snaps with tackle Ryan Harris and rookie center turned guard Ben Jones.

Note – they haven’t fared much better. Meanwhile, rookie guard Brandon Brooks hasn’t even been activated for a game. With as little depth as the Texans have in the trenches, it’s starting to look like a bad selection.

And we can’t leave the left side blame free. Duane Brown, Wade Smith, and Chris Myers have had issues of their own. Last night, they were magnified.

Things will likely get better for the Texans run game as the season progresses. Especially next week against the Ravens, who were just shredded for 227 rushing yards by the Cowboys. And that was before linebacker Ray Lewis (out for the season) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata left the game with injuries.

But we all said the same thing entering Sunday’s game against Green Bay. This running game – and more importantly, this O-Line – needs to evolve quickly. Otherwise, we’ll continue to see pathetic efforts like Sunday night. And more importantly – losses.

Get in contact with Paul Gallant on Twitter – @PaulGallant610 – or on Facebook – Paul Gallant: SportsRadio 610.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,284 other followers