With Ahman Green going down, Ron Dayne’s value is going up.
Just a scant couple of weeks ago, the Houston Texans appeared to have a fantastic opportunity to earn the first playoff appearance in franchise history.
Coming off a big win over the Saints, the team was 5-5, and held a 10-7 lead (that probably should have been more) midway through the second quarter in Week 12 in Cleveland.
But the Texans wound up blowing that game, and then getting squeezed out last week in vital AFC South game in Tennessee, to fall to 5-7. Forget about the playoffs at this point; with NFC South Division leaders Tampa Bay coming to town tomorrow, even the Texans’ chances of matching the club record of seven wins set in 2004 is starting to look like a longshot.
This team’s offense has actually been pretty strong, thanks to a powerful pass attack that ranks sixth in the NFL. Although he’s been inconsistent in recent weeks, quarterback Matt Schaub has definitely held his own in his first season as a starter. However, a dislocated shoulder suffered early in last week’s game will almost certainly keep him out of action against the Bucs, even though the team hasn’t officially ruled him out.
The weak link in the offense has been the run, ranking just 23rd overall in yards. Things are improving in that area, however. Since Ahman Green went down with a knee injury, Ron Dayne has really stepped up his game and become a much bigger part of the Texan attack. He’s averaging almost 94 yards per game on the ground over the past four weeks. With Green landing on the IR today, Dayne’s value should hold steady for the remainder of the season.
You certainly can’t moan about veteran place kicker Kris Brown. He’s enjoying his finest season, having nailed 24-of-27 FG attempts, including five of 50 yards or longer (one of which went for a career-best 57 yards). Brown is perfect on 25 extra point attempts.
Where this team is faltering is on defense, despite another fantastic season being enjoyed by DeMeco Ryans, who ranks fifth in the NFL in tackles after pacing the league as a rookie last season en route to winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honours. The team’s problems against the rush ” 25th overall in rushing yards against ” have proved to be a real Achilles’ Heel.