The Houston Texans‘ offense looks to rebound from last weeks disappointing showing in Baltimore when they take on the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday at Reliant Stadium. The Seahawks will pose a major challenge as they bring the No. 1 defense in the NFL to town. That includes the top pass defense in the league, led by the secondary affectionately known as the Legion of Boom.
The big Seattle secondary is comprised of two All-Pros and three Pro Bowlers from 2012. Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor can make life difficult for the passing game of the opposition. That is a big reason why the running game of the Texans will determine how effective their offense is on Sunday.
Houston is tenth in the league in rushing with an average 128.7 ypg. They will need to set the tone early by running the ball against the Seattle front seven. While Seattle is tops in total and passing defense, they rank 12th in rush defense, allowing a not so shabby 95 ypg on the ground. The offensive gameplan of Gary Kubiak should include a heavy dose of Arian Foster and Ben Tate.
Early success by Houston on the ground will make their play action more effective, thus making the tall task of hitting plays in the passing game against the Seattle defense easier. The offensive line will need to play much better than they did against the Baltimore Ravens. They may once again be without their best player, as LT Duane Brown will be a game time decision. Brown missed the Ravens game with a sprained toe, and if he can’t go Ryan Harris will once again start in his place.
The Seattle defense has alot of speed on the edges, so the Texans best bet may be to run right at them between the tackles. That means center Chris Myers and guards Brandon Brooks and Wade Smith will have to control massive Seattle DT Red Bryant. If they can keep him out of the backfield, Foster and Tate will be able to do some damage up the middle. Tate leads the NFL with an average of 4.5 yards after contact.
He should receive 12-15 carries tomorrow, and Foster between 15-20 for the Texans offense to be successful. Houston ran the ball only 23 times in Baltimore in Week 3. If that number is similar against Seattle, the likelihood of them coming out victorious will be slim. Kubiak has been slowly working Foster into the mix through three weeks after he missed all of training camp and preseason.
Four weeks into the season, this is where he needs to unleash Foster and let him go full throttle. Should he and Tate combine for 30 carries for abour 150 yards, the Texans will pull the ‘upset’ and hand the Seahaxks their first loss of the season.