If you remember the age-old Sportscenter cliché like I do of ‘you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him’, then I’m sure you understand where this is heading.
Trying to completely halt a running back the caliber of Arian Foster is a mission destined to fail. The San Diego Chargers know this; you and I know this; my grandmother knows this. Okay, so maybe my grandma isn’t aware, but at least me, you, and the Chargers are well-versed.
What the Chargers will try to do in their Monday night opener is to force the game onto the arm of Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. There are plenty of questions about whether Schaub is or isn’t elite QB material, and those concerns are justifiable. The guy has shown elite flashes at times, but for one reason or another his limitations continue to hold both he and this Texans team back.
San Diego can expose those limitations by forcing the game into his hands on Monday night rather than allowing Foster to gash them on the ground. The Bolts have a solid defensive line with Cam Thomas manning the nose flanked by Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes on either side. Add to the rotation undrafted free agent stud in the making Kwame Geathers at nose tackle and recent addition defensive tackle or end Sean Lissemore, and you’ve got a winning formula for slowing down the Texans’ beast in the backfield.
Again, stopping Foster outright is a pipe dream for any team in the upcoming season. The Chargers need to focus on making the Texans one-dimensional by taking away their bread and butter offensively. If Houston isn’t confident that they can convert and third and short on the ground then the Chargers have done their job.
Winning the opener may seem like a longshot for the rebuilding Bolts, but it all starts with containing Arian Foster and the ground game for the Texans. If the guys in the trenches for the Chargers can win the one-on-one battles with the linemen for Houston, the game might be a bit more interesting than the so-called experts are predicting.