Friday, December 7, 2012
Running game: Pats or Texans?
By Field Yates
In a recent piece posted to the Stats & Info blog on ESPN.com, the rushing attacks of the Patriots and Texans are compared based on their performances through 12 games.
It's no secret that the Texans rely heavily upon Arian Foster, whose 283 carries in 2012 lead the NFL, and he has become a perfect fit within their zone-blocking scheme. But the Patriots have established a formidable ground game of their own, ranking eighth in the NFL in average yards per game.
The folks at ESPN Stats & Info point out the proficiency of the Patriots in converting third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 situations on the ground, as they league the NFL with a 90 percent conversion rate in those situations. In addition, they top the NFL in rushing touchdowns (19) and rushes for a first down (116).
Meanwhile, Houston's ground game catalyzes its offense, as no team has rushed the ball more in 2012, and as a result, Houston leads the NFL in average time of possession (34:07). The closer the Texans have inched toward the end zone, the better Foster has been, as he has an NFL-best 13 rushing scores in the red zone.