Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/19/12

The Houston Texans are a team set in its ways. Under head coach Gary Kubiak, now in his seventh season as the Texans’ head man, the team has been known for it’s offensive prowess, particularly the zone-blocking running scheme. In the early part of Kubiak’s tenure, the Texans frequently shuffled their tailback position trying to find somebody who would stick. Heading into the 2010 season, it appeared the Texans still didn’t have that guy on the roster when they spent their second round draft pick on Auburn RB Ben Tate. Tate would break his ankle during the preseason that year, paving the way for second-year undrafted RB Arian Foster to get a shot at the starting job. 

 

The rest is pretty much known. Foster has become one of the game’s elite running backs while Tate has proven to be an NFL quality starting RB when he steps on the field to spell Foster. Unquestionably the league’s top RB duo, the Texans run much of their offense through Foster and Tate, staunchly dedicating themselves to the run game while also utilizing both in the pass game out of the backfield. With uncertainty surrounding the Texans’ pass catchers heading into the 2012 campaign, the team made the decision to heavily lean on their backfield pair, which thus far has paid huge dividends.

At 2-0 with two straight 20-point victories, the Texans’ have won in a manner that many would call “old school” or “traditional”. In today’s NFL where the passing game rules and quarterbacks put up 300 yard passing games like it’s nothing, the Texans win with defense and running the football. Where many may see this as a thing of the past, I should note that the two most impressive teams so far this season, the Texans and the San Francisco 49ers, both play this style of football. 

Offensively, the Texans’ game plan starts and ends with Foster and Tate. Both struggled some in week one against the Miami Dolphins, largely in part to a retooled offensive line still working on fine tuning their cohesiveness. Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars was a different story. Tate exploded with one of the best performances of his career, finishing with 74 yards on 12 carries (and a whopping 6.5 yards per carry) to go along with four catches for 23 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Foster recorded the seventeenth 100-yard rushing game of his career, carrying the ball 28 times for 110 yards while hauling in six passes for 37 yards and one rushing TD of his own in becoming the franchise’s all-time leading rusher (3,286 yards).

Foster and Tate combined to get roughly 60% of the touches Sunday and accumulated about 60% of the team’s total offensive yardage. Clearly, the Texans rely on Foster and Tate to carry a heavy load week in and week out, as they should. The entire Texans’ offensive strategy revolves around the running backs, and Foster and Tate has thus far stepped up to the plate. 

As the season continues for the Texans, it will be imperative that the team establishes the run early in every game to keep the defense off balance and open up the passing attack. As long as the O-line continues to improve and play the way they did on Sunday, it should be a very promising season for Foster and Tate. Their backfield duo is an unmatched advantage league wide, and the Texans know it. 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rich Hill blames himself after losing no-hit bid on walk-off

Mitchell Trubisky getting first-team reps, will get time with starters Sunday

Protest movement a polarizing problem for NFL

The crazy AL wild-card race is a beautiful mess

Klay Thompson not worried about money breaking up Warriors

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Vikings troll Aaron Rodgers with tweet to ex-girlfriend Olivia Munn

Report: Young Bulls players 'can’t stand' Dwyane Wade

MLB contenders in the best shape for a World Series run

Report: Kyrie Irving told Cavs he wouldn’t report to training camp

Report: Browns looking to trade Osweiler, Colts potential destination

Rob Gronkowski has given up alcohol with new diet

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

The 20 biggest storylines heading into the 2017 NFL season

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker