Who Is The Houston Texans Most Important Player?

Which Houston Texan is the most instrumental to the team reaching its goals?

That’s an interesting question. The Texans have several talented players on both sides of the ball, thus the lofty Super Bowl expectations.

The fans are talking Super Bowl. The players are talking Super Bowl. So the media is talking Super Bowl.

Houston Texans and Super Bowl in the same sentence is very new feeling. Fans hope the feeling will become familiar.

Heavy expectations weigh heavily on the shoulders of mortals but such is life for those who have the ability to get it done in the NFL.

So who has the most weight on their sculpted shoulders?

Is it Brian Cushing?

You can make that argument. With Mario Williams in Buffalo and DeMeco Ryans now in Philadelphia, it’s his defense now. He is the veteran. The fourth year linebacker will be the new leader on defense.

The talent around Cushing is young. Brooks Reed and Connor Barwin are still growing in their careers. Whitney Mercilus is obviously a rookie.

Without Cushing, the defense will not be a championship defense.  Houston would still be a playoff team though.

Is it Arian Foster?

Foster is certainly Houston’s best player, in my opinion. He is the best running back in the NFL. He is the perfect runner for the one-cut, zone blocking scheme. Foster led the league in rushing two years ago and perhaps would have again this past season had he not missed the first three games inhibited by a hamstring injury.

However, if if was a fifth then we would all be drunk.

He was paid like a top back this off-season because he deserved a pay day.

But he has a competent backup behind him. Ben Tate could run for 1000 yards if given the opportunity.  There are reports that the Cleveland Browns offered the Texans a first round draft pick for Tate.

If Foster were hurt or gone, Tate cold carry the full load.  He is not the Texan’s most valuable player.

QB vs Receiver

The argument for Andre Johnson is valid. There is limited talent around him at the receiver position. If Johnson is hurt, the position looks very below average. They would be one of the worst in the league in fact.

The front office is abiding by the “hope” creed in terms of pass catchers. Rick Smith “hopes” Lestar Jean is a good player. It’s a good possibility given the team’s evaluation acumen but not something to bet on. Kevin Walter has regressed for the past two seasons. Beyond that, everyone else at the position is a rookie.

Without Johnson, the Houston offense is not dynamic though the same could be said for Matt Schaub. The Texans scored fewer points per game with Schaub out.

There is no hope with Schaub out though.

With TJ Yates at the helm, we knew the endgame. This team was too good defensively and in the running game not to compete on a high level but everyone knew the Texans weren’t title contenders once Schaub went out. Yates locked onto his number 1 receivers. He was not particularly accurate. He just was not what a team close to a title needed.

Without Johnson, the Texans aren’t explosive. Schaub would need to utilize their tight ends over the middle of the field.

But without Schaub, the Texans are an average team. Not because he is their best player, because he is their most important player.

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  • James

    The Texans can’t afford to lose Matt Schaub or Arian Foster. Matt Schaub can make mediocre receivers like Kevin Walter look like Wes Welker. He proved time and time again in 2010 that he can overcome a deficit. Arian Foster was the reason T.J. Yates was successful. Why? Because he controlled the clock with his patient and safe rushing while utilizing the zone blocking scheme to his advantage. Arian Foster was the only offensive player who showed up in the post season against the Bengals and the Ravens. He was efficient and dependable when Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jacolby Jones, and Owen Daniels were shut down by two teams with a top 5 defense. Ben Tate while explosive, doesn’t use his blockers to his advantage proven in the game against Carolina Panthers who shut him down.

    • Chris Shelton

      Well, if the Texans lost Foster they are still a SuperBowl contender. Ben Tate is not his equal but he is certainly a great backup. And Tate is still getting better. Last season was his psuedo rookie year. Give him this year and he will be able to carry the load on a contending team. I agree about Schaub, without him, the Texans don’t make the playoffs. He’s no where close to their best player though. That’s just the nature of the importance of his position in today’s NFL. You are underselling Andre Johnson though. He’s still a great player in this league and their second most important player. If he is injured, the passing attack is hampered. The Texans don’t get past the first round without a healthy Johnson or Lastar Jean or DeVier Posey being much better than we think.