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Unsung Hero: Meet Lawrence Vickers, Road Paver

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Brian Cushing's excitement is bursting at the seams as we set out to crown the 6th unsung hero of the year.
Brian Cushing's excitement is bursting at the seams as we set out to crown the 6th unsung hero of the year.

When I set out to name an unsung hero at the end of every Houston Texans victory, I stick to my guns and look for unsung. The Unsung Hero internet honor is not a play of the game (that would be Homebrew Vega’s shtick) or a game ball (handed out thanks to the generosity of the fine people at Samsung), so I try to avoid infringing on those awards and handing the honor to someone who has received praise from the masses due to their contributions to Sunday’s victorious effort. 

This week, it was a bit harder to identify someone who went unnoticed. For starters, a dominant overall performance makes it hard to single out one guy. Also, fans are so excited about their 6-3 Texans that they are talking about every positive thing about this franchise - from Jacoby Jones' crushing block of Joe Haden to the offensive line's dominance to the newly minted 
number one defense in the league.

Still, I was able to find someone worthy of the unsung title this week. Frankly, given how many of us talked about him during the preseason, this is a nice turn of events. When I say jump, you
say how high click the jump link.

Lawrence Vickers was supposed to be the Vonta Leach replacement when he moved from Cleveland to Houston this offseason. Vickers had paved the road for multiple 1,000-yard rushers, had a similar build, and was an actual fullback as opposed to the penciled-in starter.

Slowed by a struggle-filled preseason and James Casey’s emergence, Vickers was mostly relegated to special teams duties. With Casey slowed by a pectoral injury, Vickers has gotten the nod, and Sunday’s game was his best of his season.

Look at 
this video clip of Ben Tate’s 27-yard touchdown. Look at how Vickers clears the path by blocking out a linebacker (cleaning up Wade Smith’s shedded block) and pushing him into the trailing safety. On this 24-yard scamper by Tate and Arian Foster’s 19-yard touchdown, you will again find Vickers paving the road by putting a hat on the linebacker in the running lane.

That is all the legal, online documented proof for Vickers, but the Texans ran for a franchise-record 261 yards and the fullback was a big part of that, as the Texans spent more time in a two-back set than any in recent memory. The offensive line has gotten its praise, but Vickers' blocking was just as critical - especially on the two long touchdown runs.

Perhaps he was motivated by playing his former team or has finally gotten his bearings straight, but Vickers blocked like a champ to the cheers of none. That changes now as Lawrence Vickers is this week’s unsung hero.

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