One of the more common refrains among
idiots commonters idiots who have an opinion on Arian Foster, his tweets, and/or his hamstring has been some version of "he had one good season so who cares what he thinks?" Ignoring for a moment the logical disconnect between the two parts of the statement, dismissing Foster's performance thus far as "one good season" doesn't provide adequate context for just how good his start has been.
To that end --- and because I'm sick of only seeing/hearing negativity about Foster --- I thought I'd compare Foster's career numbers to the numbers of other running backs at the same point in their careers. I looked both at raw totals through each RB's first 22 games as well as through the first 19 games after the RB became a starter or regular ball carrier.
Long story short, the results are pretty surprising. After the jump, tables and numbers and abbreviations and other stuff!
So, I tried to pick a good cross-section of great RBs who played a role on their teams similar to the role played by Arian in Houston (i.e. a three-down back who can run and catch). For comparison, I went with Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson, Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, and Thurman Thomas. The categories, left to right, are total number of carries, rushing yards, rushing TDs, yards per carry, rushing yards per game, receptions, receiving yards, receiving TDs, yards per reception, and total yards from scrimmage.
After their first 22 games:
Pretty impressive, huh? I mean, sure, he's got miles to go before he earns mention with any of these guys as far as career numbers go, but he's right there with them at this point. Plus, as you know, it's not like Foster started from Day 1. If we compare his numbers through the first 19 games as the team's primary back to the same guys at the same point in their careers, Foster looks even better.
Again, I'm not suggesting that Foster is a Hall of Famer. I am, however, suggesting that he's been far more impressive to this point than people give him credit for. Maybe, instead of griping about the fact that "OMG HE LIKE, HAS OPINIONS AND A SENSE OF HUMOR AND WHO THE HELL DOES HE THINK HE IS?!?!???!" we could talk about his actual performance. Radical concept, I know, but far more interesting in my book.