It’s time to take an early look at five offensive players on the Houston Texans to watch out for ahead of the Monday Night Football clash between the New England Patriots and Texans. These are the two top teams in the AFC, and the Texans certainly have the offensive talent to reflect this.
1. QB Matt Schaub
Matt Schaub is one of my favorite quarterbacks in the NFL, and people who aren’t rating him in their top ten at the position are severely underrating him. Schaub is clearly one of the best ten QBs in the NFL and has been the seventh best in the league this season. The metrics support the notion that he has had a strong season, and he has showed off his accuracy with a 64.4% completion percentage while also consistently moving the chains for the offense. The best word to describe Schaub is “consistent”, and he can pick apart an undisciplined secondary despite not having as talented of a group of pass-catchers as the other top ten QBs do.
2. WR Andre Johnson
The most talented weapon at Schaub’s disposal is Andre Johnson, who is likely the third best receiver in the NFL behind Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. In my opinion, only Calvin Johnson has been better this season. Andre Johnson is averaging about ten yards per attempt, and he has already amassed 74 receptions for 1,114 yards this season. And he’s doing it at an extremely efficient rate.
Johnson is able to stretch the field well with an average of just over 15 yards per reception, and he is also catching nearly two-thirds of everything thrown at him. That combination shows why Johnson is still such a force at the WR position in this league, and he is going to be extremely difficult for even an improved Patriots pass defense to contain.
3. TE Owen Daniels
The second most valuable receiver on the Texans, Daniels has 50 receptions this season and has been a big red zone threat for this team. He and wide receiver Kevin Walter do a good job of consistently moving the chains, and Daniels leads all Texans players with six receiving touchdowns.
4. RB Arian Foster
Ah yes, Arian Foster. The Patriots run defense will need to clamp down against one of the game’s best running backs, and it will be easier for them to do so with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones in the fold. Foster, however, has had much better years and is currently averaging under four yards per carry. However, he has still been very good with over 1,000 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. Those are some scary numbers when combined with the rushing ability that both Ben Tate and Justin Forsett bring to the table.
5. LT Duane Brown
Duane Brown has consistently improved in every year of his career, to the point where he emerged as one of the game’s best left tackles. An excellent 2012 season thus far has affirmed Brown’s place among the league’s elite at the coveted tackles position, because he is a monster as a run blocker and a pass protector. His proficiency in both categories is outstanding, and he and center Chris Myers will be two elite players to watch out for on the offensive line. I just can’t praise these guys enough.
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