Every week I have a decision to make.
For each regular season game, we (really me) select a 'matchup' for our 'Cold Hard Facts' feature that runs on the HoustonTexans.com. Perhaps you've seen it, if not, you can below. We create a graphic highlighting two players, using statistics from a specific time period as a way to try and determine future success.
When Tuesday of a game week rolls around, I start doing research for this segment. Some weeks are obvious (Andre Johnson vs. Dez Bryant) others more difficult (Chris Myers vs. Maurkice Pouncey). Skill positions are easier to compare, while lineman and specialists (like a cornerback) can vary greatly from team to team. Those variables make it tough to highlight more than a handful of players, which is precisely what I try to avoid doing. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way.
As I got to work for this week's matchup, I found myself unsure of what position to feature. This is the Texans second matchup against the Titans, and both teams have made several personnel changes over the course of the season. So, I started like I always do...in the backfield. Then, it hit me.
The Titans starting running back is a rookie.
The Texans current starting running back (no word yet on Arian) is a rookie.
The Titans rookie, Bishop Sankey, has started four games and has 112 carries on the year.
Alfred Blue, the Texans rookie, has started three games so far and has 120 carries.
The more you compare these two running backs the more similarities you see. It is kind of stunning. Their season yardage totals are separated by just four yards, with Blue holding the slight edge. They both weren't expected to have big roles in their respective offenses (as least not right away) yet have seen significant playing time in the backfield.
Check out the image below to see all the numbers. As always, if you have suggestions on who you'd like to see us feature in the coming weeks, feel free to tweet at me (@EricSan) or send me an email (click on my bio up top for that).