It’s been a weird season for the Houston Texans, who are now playing with their fourth quarterback of the season. It hasn’t stopped them from taking control of the AFC South and get closer to a playoff spot, while having Alfred Blue pick up the slack in the running game.
Blue ran for 107 yards in the win over the Indianapolis Colts which gives the Texans sole possession of the division’s top spot. It’s only his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season, but the more surprising part about it was his early fumble, which unlike what usually happens in NFL games, didn’t cause his coach, Bill O’Brien, to give up on him completely. Blue ran the ball 20 times in the game and 16 after his fumble.
O’Brien said the fumble didn’t matter. Blue isn’t a fumbling kind of guy (it was his second this season), and so there was no need to bench him for a long period of time. The Texans don’t really have exciting options beyond Blue, who is the team’s leading rusher this season with 551 yards, somewhat filling in for the injured Arian Foster. Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes are the other two with more than 200 rushing yards so far this season.
With Brandon Weeden being the quarterback, this means Blue might get more opportunities to run 20 times or more in the upcoming couple of games against the Titans and Jaguars, something he has done only three times this season. It’s not exactly conventional to realise who your best running back is when it’s the final week of December, but better late than never, especially with the playoff spot so close you can almost taste it.