Texans Search For Another Fast Start

Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com/Bob Levey - Getty Images
Arian Foster's injuries are a concern. Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com/Bob Levey/Getty Images
A Super Bowl fancy for most of last season, Houston again disappointed when it came to the business end of the campaign, limping out of the postseason with a 41-28 defeat at the hands of New England. Little has changed in Texas in the off-season, although the addition of former Ravens safety Ed Reed will help bolster Houston’s already intimidating defence. Inside linebacker Brian Cushing comes back from a long-term knee injury; a chop block from behind against the Jets ended his season and the play has now been banned under what’s known as the ‘Cushing Rule’.

One of the big concerns for the Texans is the fitness of running back Arian Foster . He hasn’t played in the pre-season after injuring his calf on the opening day of practice in May, while he has also had back issues. Ben Tate is likely to earn a bit more work than usual in the backfield, despite coach Gary Kubiak declaring his Pro Bowl running back is clear to play.

San Diego struggled on offence last year, which was the main reason why the team lurched to its first losing record since 2003 and ended with the firing of head coach Norv Turner. Veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers and running back Ryan Matthews failed to fire in 2012 as their team finished 30th in the league in yards gained per play, but the Chargers’ run defence, in particular, kept them in plenty of games.

The Chargers were 3-5 at home last season, and two of those wins came against Kansas City and Oakland, teams which won six games combined throughout the regular season. The Texans were 6-2 on the road, but lost their last couple at New England and Indianapolis, as well as the Division playoff to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Texans started the year 5-0 last campaign and have won eight of their past ten starts in September. The Chargers have won all four clashes between these teams, but they haven’t met since 2010 when San Diego triumphed 29-23 in Houston.

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