Can Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes Save Texans’ Run Game in Foster’s Absence?

September 23, 2014   ·     ·   Jump to comments

To discern just how much running back Arian Foster's new injury means to the Texans—and thus how much of a drop-off there is from him to Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes—we need to unfold the layers of Foster's statistical production.
Arian Foster's current value to the Houston Texans can vary wildly depending on whom you ask and what statistics you wish to use.
Foster hasn't been a statistically dominant back on a seasonal basis since 2010, when he finished fourth in Football Outsiders' DVOA.
The key difference between then and now appears to be an offensive line that aged poorly. Offensive tackle Eric Winston was replaced by the wildly inconsistent Derek Newton. Guard Wade Smith grew too slow to reach the second level. The 2010 Texans had the perfect mix of blocking and vision.
But a back that relies on vision, like Foster, is naturally going to rely more on offensive line play than a back that excels at avoiding or powering through tackles.

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