Before we head into our Get On/Get Off section, there are a few topics I would like to touch on.
- Despite being born and raised in Houston during their last grasp at glory, I was never a Houston Oilers fan. I have, however, grown to loathe the Tennessee franchise, in large part due to some of their fan base. Due to this, yesterday’s domination was enjoyable. Since the start of the 2009 season, the Texans have won three of five games against Tennessee by a combined score of 99-21. One of those two losses, as you will remember, is a game where Houston rested its starters (and still was a two-point conversion away from winning). Needless to say, it feels like the tide has turned in this division rivalry and Tennessee does not look close to Houston at all.
- We cannot have an article called G.O.A.T.s without talking about, quite possibly, the greatest month of any Houston Texan ever. J.J. Watt has 7.5 sacks, 5 passes defensed, 2 fumbles recovered, 10 tackles for a loss, and a whole lot of people who are burning through thesauruses trying to find new ways to say Watt is playing at the highest level right now and what a treat this is to see.
Fun with numbers: With 75% of the season remaining, J.J. Watt is over 50% of the way to breaking Mario Williams' 2007 single-season franchise record for sacks (14). Not bad for a 3-4 defensive end who was delivering pizzas a few years ago.
- Your Houston Texans are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history. They have, with preseason games, won seven out of eight games this year. That is awesome. While there are bigger goals to achieve, soak it in. This is fun, and I hope everyone is enjoying the ride so far.
Let's take a look at our Get On/Get Offs for this week.
Get Off....cornerback Kareem Jackson.
I know. I am shocked, too. I really did not think I would put his name in the ‘get off’ slot, but Jackson has earned it.
There are days when we get excited when Jackson defends a pass without committing pass interference. This first month of the season has actually shown some tangible improvement for the former Alabama star. Two interceptions, four passes defensed, and some rather nice tackling makes for a strong September month and Kareem's best month as a professional football player.
The great thing about Sunday's interception was that, unlike the one against Miami, Jackson was not a blind squirrel finding a nut. In one beautiful play, Kareem put everything all together. Jackson recognized the play, broke on the ball, aggressively snatched it out of the air, and outran everyone to the end zone.
Yes, K-Jax has work to do and can keep improving, but, so far, I do not find myself missing Jason Allen or calling for Alan Ball to replace Kareem at all. It has taken three years, but Kareem Jackson is actually starting to resemble a number two cornerback.
Get On...Arian Foster's workload.
After yesterday's game, Foster is on pace for 412 carries. This actually is down from his pre-Week Four projection. Still, 412 would be 90 more carries than he has ever attempted, the second-most in the NFL history, and would put him past a dangerous mark for running backs.
In NFL history, only five running backs (James Wilder, Eric Dickerson, Jamal Anderson, Eddie George, and Larry Johnson) have broken the 400 carry mark. Coincidentally, all five of them were either 26 or 27 when they put up 400-plus carries. Perhaps not coincidentally at all, none of the five would put up rushing yards at a level to what they did prior to the 400 season. In 25 combined post-400 carry seasons, those five running backs only broke 1,000 yards seven times.
The 26-year-old Foster just signed a five-year deal worth, potentially, $43.5 million. Running him into the ground does not do the franchise any good in the short and long terms. Getting Foster the ball makes sense, but subjecting him to the punishment that comes with increased rushing attempts does not. The Master of the Namaste should not even be carrying the ball this much with Ben Tate and Justin Forsett right behind him and three games being considered blowout wins.
Those are my G.O.A.T.s this week, BRBers. Time for you to get on or off a Texan in the comments.
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